5 Tips to Control Acid Reflux Symptoms

5 Tips to Control Acid Reflux Symptoms

If you’re like 20% of American adults suffering from the painful symptoms of acid reflux, over-the-counter antacids can provide acute relief for acid reflux. But this medication doesn’t address the underlying cause of your condition and long-term use can cause unwanted side effects. 

At Digestive Disease Care, with eight locations in New York, our gastroenterology providers specialize in diagnosing and treating acid reflux. We put our focus on fixing the issues that cause your painful symptoms to protect your long-term health while getting you relief.  

If you’re experiencing frequent acid reflux, schedule an appointment for an evaluation. In the meantime, check out our top five tips for controlling acid reflux. 

1. Watch what you eat to identify (and avoid) triggers

Most people notice that certain foods cause acid reflux symptoms. By paying attention during and after you eat, you can identify your triggers and avoid them in the future. This helps stop acid reflux in its tracks. 

Everyone is different, but some of the most common food triggers include:

You’ll also want to pay attention to your beverages, since they can also trigger acid reflux. The drinks highly linked to acid reflux include:

By staying away from these common beverage triggers, you can better control your acid reflux. 

2. Mind the time before you eat

For most people, acid reflux symptoms are the worst as you’re trying to fall asleep at night. Much of the time, this is caused by eating too close to bedtime. 

Your stomach takes an hour (more for large or heavy meals) to digest your food so it can pass into the next section of your digestive tract. To control your acid reflux best, our providers suggest waiting 2-3 hours after eating your last meal before going to bed. 

3.  Quit smoking 

Did you know recent studies consistently find a close link between smoking and acid reflux? And that’s not all — smoking also dramatically increases your risk of developing the most serious complications, like Barrett’s esophagus and throat cancer. 

If you smoke, know that by quitting, you can get your acid reflux symptoms under control. This reduces your risk of developing the more serious side effects associated with acid reflux. 

4. Prop up your head at night

Another reason people often get their worst acid reflux symptoms at night is the position of their head while asleep. Sleeping flat on your back makes it easier for the acid from your stomach to flow up into your esophagus.

To control your acid reflux, try propping up your head at night with a pillow. You can also try a foam wedge to raise your upper half or use risers or extenders to lift the bed frame by your head.  

5. Commit to losing those extra pounds

At Digestive Disease Care, we know it’s not easy to lose weight. But if you’re struggling with acid reflux, those extra pounds put pressure on your stomach.

This added pressure not only puts you at higher risk of getting gastroesophageal disease, but it also worsens the symptoms of acid reflux, increasing your odds of experiencing unwanted complications. 

If you’re overweight or obese, dropping some excess weight eases the pressure on your stomach and helps you better manage your acid reflux.   

When to get medical help for acid reflux

If you get acid reflux or take over-the-counter antacids twice a week or more, it’s time to schedule an appointment at Digestive Disease Care. This is essential, since, when not treated, gastroesophageal reflux can cause serious health issues, including: 

At Digestive Disease Care, your provider generally starts acid reflux treatment by prescribing personalized lifestyle changes, like those listed above. Our goal is to help you fix the underlying causes of your condition so you can get lasting relief and protect your long-term health without the need for medications that bring unwanted side effects.  

Get help managing the painful symptoms of acid reflux by scheduling an appointment online or over the phone with a provider at Digestive Disease Care in New York.

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