Acid reflux refers to when stomach acid rises up, or "refluxes" up into your esophagus and throat. It can cause heartburn, coughing, chest pain, wheezing, and a bad taste in your mouth. You may also develop hoarseness and a bitter or metallic taste in your mouth as a result of reflux. While acid-reducing medications can temporarily ease your symptoms, they may not be an appropriate long-term treatment option for you. Here are some drug-free acid reflux treatment options that can help improve your symptoms.
Avoid Trigger Foods
Reflux is often exacerbated by certain trigger foods and drinks such as chocolate, oranges, grapefruits, lemons, carbonated beverages, and coffee. Peppermint, onions, tomatoes, garlic, and high-fat foods may also trigger a reflux episode in certain people. If you are unable to tolerate eating citrus fruits, then you probably will not be able to tolerate drinking citrus juices without experiencing reflux symptoms.
If coffee causes reflux symptoms, try to taper off gradually because this will help prevent caffeine withdrawal symptoms such as migraine headaches. The reason why coffee is such a common trigger for reflux is that caffeine relaxes your lower esophageal sphincter, also called the LES valve, which is a muscle that helps keep stomach acid from refluxing into your esophagus.
Losing weight is one of the most important things you can do to help manage your reflux symptoms. Extra abdominal fat puts pressure on your diaphragm and stomach, especially when lying on your back, which causes acid to be pushed into your esophagus.
If you are overweight try sleeping on your side because the lateral position helps keep the acid in your stomach. Even losing a few pounds can help improve your symptoms, however, if you struggle to lose weight on your own, talk to your doctor who can give you a list of foods to eat that will be less likely to cause reflux symptoms.
Other lifestyle changes that may help improve your symptoms may include not smoking, limiting your alcohol intake, and managing your stress levels. Certain medications such as antihistamines, decongestants, and beta blockers can also relax the LES valve and trigger reflux symptoms. If you take medications that cause reflux, talk to your healthcare provider before you stop taking them.
If you are looking for drug-free acid reflux treatment options, consider the above interventions and make an appointment with your physician for a checkup. Reflux can be caused by various underlying causes such as a hiatal hernia. Once your doctor identifies and treats the underlying cause, your symptoms may disappear.
For more information, contact a company such as Gastro Health.