Acid reflux occurs when your stomach contents, including corrosive acid, flow back into your esophagus. While occasional acid reflux is normal, chronic acid reflux can lead to complications like gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Once GERD hits, you face the probability of inflammation, scarring, and ulcers in your esophagus.
Not on our watch.
Dr. Nirav Naik and our team at New Life Medical in Bakersfield, California, take acid reflux seriously because we know the damage it causes when it goes untreated. For example, nearly everyone with chronic acid reflux ends up with a hiatal hernia, where the stomach lining pokes through the surrounding muscle tissue. Surgery is the only way to fix a hiatal hernia.
Your esophagus stands to sustain some damage, too. When the acid rises past the lower esophageal sphincter, it eats away at the lining inside your food pipe, gradually damaging and changing the tissue cells, which can lead to cancer.
We have treatments to address acid reflux in all stages, but the best treatment by far is prevention. Don’t let acid reflux spin out of control — try these at-home tips to ward off the damage.
At-home acid reflux hacks
If you’re constantly popping antacids to quell your heartburn, you might be surprised to learn that there are several alternatives to those chalky tablets. Here are some home remedies for acid reflux:
You’ve probably got a box of baking soda in your pantry, making this a convenient source. Take it a few hours after eating — never on a full stomach — dissolved in a glass of water.
Studies show that several common and not-so-common nutritional ingredients might also reduce acid reflux and GERD. The nutrients that show promise include:
- Aloe vera
Ripe bananas, which are alkaline, may also guard against acid reflux.
How and what to eat when you have acid reflux
Aside from using home remedies, you can manage acid reflux by controlling your food intake — not only what you eat but also how and when you eat. Here are some tips:
Avoid trigger foods
Certain foods, including spicy, fatty, or fried, can trigger acid reflux. Keep a food diary to determine which foods trigger your symptoms so you can avoid them.
Overeating can also lead to acid reflux or worsen existing symptoms. Eat smaller and more frequent meals to reduce pressure on your stomach.
Chewing food well gives your gut a head start and can reduce the likelihood of acid reflux symptoms. Digestion starts in the mouth, and properly chewing your food breaks it down and makes it easier to digest.
Avoid eating too close to bedtime
Eating too close to bedtime increases the risk of acid reflux symptoms. Aim to eat your last meal 2-3 hours before going to bed.
Acid reflux-friendly habits
Take a good look at your daily habits and mark down those that trigger acid reflux or make it worse. Here are a few known culprits you can address:
Excess weight puts additional pressure on your stomach, which can lead to acid reflux. Losing excess weight may alleviate symptoms of acid reflux.
Sleep with your head elevated
When sleeping, elevate your head 4-6 inches to reduce the chance of stomach acid flowing back into your esophagus.
Sleep on your left side
Sleeping on your left side can prevent stomach acid from flowing back into your esophagus, which lies on the right side. It also helps improve digestion.
Stress leads to and aggravates acid reflux symptoms. Incorporating stress-relieving practices such as meditation, yoga, and deep breathing could relieve your symptoms.
Avoid alcohol and tobacco
Drinking alcohol and using tobacco contribute to acid reflux, so reducing or quitting these habits can alleviate symptoms.
Although these lifestyle changes and natural remedies may help relieve symptoms and prevent progression to GERD, we urge you to call Dr. Naik if symptoms persist. He offers the latest treatments to resolve your acid reflux and has many years of experience surgically repairing the damage chronic acid reflux causes.
Call New Life Medical at 661-230-7344 to schedule an appointment and get your acid reflux under control.