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15 Common Acid Reflux Questions Answered

acid-reflux

Acid reflux is a condition many people experience – most refer to it as heartburn. Heartburn is actually a symptom of acid reflux and something almost everyone has once in a while.  Even though acid reflux is common, there are a lot of questions people have about it.

Here are answers to your 15 most common acid reflux questions.

1. What is acid reflux?

Acid reflux is when the contents of your stomach back up into your esophagus (traveling the opposite way than it is supposed to). This occurs when the sphincter at the end of your esophagus is weak and does not close properly. The acidic contents can irritate the lining of your esophagus and cause symptoms associated with acid reflux.

2. What causes acid reflux?

A weak or relaxed lower esophageal sphincter (LES) will allow acid to flow back up into the esophagus. Several substances can cause the LES to relax. Some of the most common culprits are coffee, chocolate, spicy foods, citrus foods, peppermint, and alcohol.

3. How to get rid of acid reflux?

Sometimes acid reflux can be managed with lifestyle modifications, meaning changing some daily habits.

This includes the following:

  • Eliminating all caffeine from the diet (coffee, tea, and chocolate)
  • Avoiding spicy foods
  • Avoiding citrus foods and beverages
  • Avoiding alcohol
  • Eating smaller meals
  • Waiting at least three hours between your last meal and the time you go to bed
  • Sleeping on your left side
  • Wearing loose-fitting clothing

If these measures do not work, then different types of medications can be prescribed such as an antacid medication.

4. What to drink for acid reflux?

Non-caffeinated and non-citrus liquids can help prevent symptoms of acid reflux. Beverages that soothe the mucosa (lining) of the esophagus include herbal teas such as camomile tea. Other beverages that may be helpful are low-fat milk, water, and coconut water.

5. What does acid reflux feel like?

The symptoms of acid reflux vary from person to person, but some symptoms you may experience include heartburn or a burning sensation in the center of your chest. Other symptoms are coughing, an acid taste in your mouth, difficulty swallowing, or feeling a lump in your throat (often called a globus sensation).

 6. How to stop acid reflux?

Even with following lifestyle recommendations to avoid acid reflux, you may still have an unexpected event. Over-the-counter heartburn medications like Tums, Maalox, or Pepcid may help.
For more frequent acid reflux, proton-pump inhibitors like Prilosec may be helpful. If you have more than two episodes of heartburn a week, it’s time to see a doctor.

7. What helps acid reflux?

Lifestyle modifications discussed above, such as diet changes can help with acid reflux. There are also medications that can help. Two common medications are proton pump inhibitors and H2 blockers. Omeprazole is an example of a proton pump inhibitor that is commonly prescribed for the treatment of acid reflux.

8. Does milk help acid reflux?

Some believe that fat-free milk can help with acid reflux because it coats the lining of the esophagus and helps soothe it. In contrast, some people experience more irritation or reflux symptoms after drinking milk, especially whole milk.

9. How to get rid of acid reflux in the throat fast?

Taking an antacid medication such as TUMS helps provide immediate relief because it helps reduce the acid level in the stomach.

10. What foods help acid reflux go away?

Foods that may help acid reflux include ginger, yogurt, nuts, beans and lentils, whole grains, and vegetables.

11. What helps with acid reflux?

Waiting at least three hours before going to bed after eating helps prevent and reduce symptoms of reflux. In addition, sleeping with your head elevated about 30 degrees or more can also help. These recommendations make it more difficult for the acid content in the stomach to reflux back into the esophagus.

12. How to help acid reflux?

Avoiding all triggers such as acidic foods, smoking, and alcohol can help with your symptoms of acid reflux.

13. How to treat acid reflux?

Evaluation and treatment of acid reflux vary based on the symptoms you are experiencing. An endoscopy (EGD), which visualizes the esophagus, may be necessary to further evaluate and diagnose acid reflux. It is important to talk to your healthcare provider so that they can help you treat chronic acid reflux. You may need prescription-strength medications or even surgery to correct underlying problems.

14. What to take for acid reflux?

Antacids can be used for immediate relief of acid reflux symptoms. These can often be purchased over the counter. Proton pump inhibitors, such as omeprazole, are often the first class of prescribed medications to help prevent symptoms of acid reflux.

15. Can acid reflux cause chest pain?

Some people experience chest pain as a symptom of acid reflux. It is important to remember that chest pain can also be caused by other severe disorders such as a heart attack, which requires immediate medical attention. If you are experiencing chest pain, it is best to be evaluated by a healthcare professional so that the underlying cause can be identified.

Don’t continue experiencing symptoms of acid reflux – schedule an appointment today!

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