If the worst meal experience you have had involved the line “Waiter, there’s a fly in my soup,” consider yourself lucky. Many people in Medford suffer from acid reflux following mealtime. Personally, we think cheesecake is a much better way to wrap up dinner. Antacids and other medications aren’t always effective, but there are natural remedies you can use to help alleviate heartburn and make meals enjoyable again.
Combating Heartburn Naturally
Approximately 60 million people across the U.S. suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Approximately 327.2 million people across the U.S. suffer from an inability to pronounce gastroesophageal reflux disease, so it’s simply called acid reflux or heartburn. The condition is characterized by burning and pain in the chest, swallowing difficulty, regurgitation, a sour or bitter taste in the mouth, burping, nausea and bloating, resulting from stomach acid flowing into the esophagus, where it does not belong. Symptoms tend to be worst following meals and when lying down.
If you suffer from acid reflux, your Medford ear, nose and throat doctor recommends the following options.
- Reduce food intake. Eating too much food too quickly is one of the leading causes of heartburn. Try slowing down and savoring every bite; this gives your body time to adequately digest your food. As a bonus, you’ll feel fuller sooner and will end up eating less.
- Avoid fatty, greasy and spicy foods. Certain foods are more likely to cause heartburn to flare up. Choose lean meats and vegetables instead of fatty, greasy or spicy foods.
- Don’t eat too close to bedtime. Lying down worsens acid reflux, so space out your meals to ensure you finish your last bite a minimum of three hours before turning in for the night.
- Cut back on alcohol. Too much alcohol can trigger acid reflux. Drink in moderation and avoid sipping that pinot noir too close to bedtime.
- Chew gum. Chewing gum can help reduce acid levels in the esophagus. For maximum effectiveness, look for gum containing bicarbonate.
- Slow down. If your mom ever told you to wait a half hour after eating before going swimming, she was onto something. Waiting 30 to 45 minutes after eating will help you digest your food, preventing acid reflux.
If these natural remedies don’t take care of your heartburn, schedule an appointment with a Medford ENT doctor. This is especially important if you are having other symptoms such as unexplained weight loss, painful or difficult swallowing or a persistent sore throat.