So how is Acid Reflux treated? One of the easiest cures for GERD, Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, is referred to as life-style changes. This consists of a mixture of changing your routine, predominantly changing your food intake. There are quite a few modifications in eating practices that can be favorable in treating GERD.
Reflux is more likely to occur when patients with Acid Reflux lie down. Reflux of acid is more damaging at night than during the day. During nighttime, when human beings are lying down, it is easier for reflux to take place. The explanation for this is simple. Gravity is not holding back the reflux, as it does in the upright position during the day. Additionally, the lessening of the effect of gravity permits the refluxed fluid to pass further up the esophagus and stay in the esophagus for a longer period of time, causing more damage to the esophagus.
These problems can be partly conquered by careful positioning of the upper body in bed. You can elevate your body either by putting blocks underneath the bed’s headboard feet or by lying with your upper body positioned on a pillowed wedge. These activities raise the esophagus above the stomach, and, to some extent, reinstate the effects of gravity. Additionally, it is essential that the upper body and not just the head be raised. This elevation of the upper body at nighttime usually is suggested for all patients with GERD. Nonetheless, a good number of patients with GERD have reflux only during the day and elevation at nighttime is of little comfort to them.
Unfortunately, it is not possible to know for certain which patients will gain comfort from elevation at night. Not unless acid testing undoubtedly reveals night reflux. Conversely, patients who have regurgitation, heartburn, or other indications of GERD at night are perhaps experiencing reflux at night and certainly must use upper body elevation. Moreover, reflux also happens less often when patients lie on their left sides than on their right sides.
A variety of foods are known to increase reflux. These foods include chocolate, peppermint, caffeinated drinks, and alcohol. Fatty foods, which should be decreased, and smoking, which should be stopped, also decrease the pressure in the sphincter and promote reflux. Additionally, patients with GERD may discover that other foods worsen their symptoms. Some examples are spicy or acid-containing foods, carbonated beverages, tomato juice and citrus juices.
These foods should be avoided. Antacids are also known to reduce the problems brought about by Acid Reflux. Antacids are said to neutralize the acid in the stomach so that there is no acid to reflux. The dilemma with antacids is that their effectiveness is short. The best way to take antacids is about one hour after eating meals or just before the symptoms of reflux start after a meal. Antacids can be aluminum, calcium or magnesium based. Other treatments such as acid rebound, intake of histamine antagonists, proton-pump inhibitors, pro-motility drugs, foam barriers, surgery and endoscopy can be carried out and should be discussed with your doctor.
If you suspect you are suffering with Acid Reflux, you should first consult your primary care physician before taking other steps.