The occasional episode of acid reflux is nothing to be concerned about and can usually be alleviated by over-the-counter remedies. For some people, acid reflux becomes a frequent problem. Making lifestyle changes and finding the right medicine can reduce or eliminate the problem.
Identify Dietary Problems
The foods and beverages you consume and the timing of meals can be a major culprit. Dairy, alcohol, fat, and spices, can be the problem. When considering fatty foods, it is not always about avoiding deep-fried foods. Some people develop problems with fattier cuts of meat, butter, or even a drizzle of olive oil. Avoid eating within a few hours of lying down. You want your stomach to empty before lying on the couch or bed. If you must lie down soon after a meal, prop yourself up with pillows. Eating your heavier meal in the middle of the day can also help. If you typically eat a salad or sandwich for lunch and a hearty dinner, swap the two meals whenever possible.
Look At Your Medications
Medications can be hidden culprits for acid reflux, and in some cases, it is unavoidable. If you have a sensitive digestive system, you might find non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) cause problems. Try to use the lowest possible dose of NSAIDs and alternate them or take them in combination with acetaminophen, as long as your doctor agrees. If you take prescription medications, you may need to minimize your use of NSAIDs, since the combination could be causing acid reflux. For prescription medications, try to find a dosing regimen that prevents you from taking your medication near bedtime. Additionally, the medications you take might be less irritating if taken with meals, unless they must be taken on an empty stomach.
Try Better OTC Medications
If you have tried simple OTC medications, such as the ones designed for immediate relief of acid reflux symptoms, you should consider investing in medications designed to be taken for a couple of weeks. These medications are proton-pump inhibitors and you typically take them once per day in the morning. You should notice a reduction in your symptoms after a few days, but you must finish the full course of medication. If your symptoms return after finishing the medication, it is important to speak with your doctor. Severe cases of acid reflux may require stronger medications or might indicate a structural problem or damage to the digestive system.
Mild to moderate cases of frequent acid reflux can usually be managed on your own. If you cannot find relief, speaking with your doctor can help pinpoint the cause and find a way to reduce or eliminate your symptoms.
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