Acid reflux is known to cause different issues wherein few of the symptoms can peak in during the morning hours or during the evening time. Throughout the day our body is busy in digesting foods which we consume through generation of saliva to speaking or walking are all known to contribute to digestion. But during the night time, these functions are known to shut off their operation thereby leading to worsening of the acid reflux during the morning hours. The acid reflux is known to be a common kind of medical condition which is characterised with severe case of burning pain which is also called as heartburn. This burning sensation occurs in the lower chest region and it is said to mostly occur when the acid from the stomach flows back up into the food pipe. The stomach is said to contain an acid known as the hydrochloric acid which is a very strong acid that is known for helping in breaking down the food as well as to protect against any kind of pathogens such as bacteria. The lining present of the stomach is known to be specially adapted in such a way so as to protect it from this powerful acid but in case of esophagus it is not protected from this acid. There is a ring of the muscle known as the gastroesophageal sphincter. It is said to normally act as a valve which allows the food to enter into the stomach but not to back up in the esophagus. Whenever there is failure in this valve the contents present in the stomach tend to regurgitate into this esophagus. This is when the individual would experience the symptoms of acid reflux such as heartburn.
Below are few tips mentioned which would help in managing the issue of acid reflux whenever it occurs.
- Try and avoid medicines such as anti-depressant, muscle relaxants, anti-inflammatory or sedatives before you go to bed. There are certain medications which tend to cause irritation to the lining of the esophagus thereby leading to heartburn and in few others it may tend to increase the severity of acid reflux. Narcotic such as codeine or those which contain hydrocodone, quinidine, anticholinergics, tricyclic antidepressant, calcium channel blockers as well as nitrates, progesterone, theophylline, tranquilisers or sedatives are all known to possible increase the effect of acid reflux or can tend to worsen the situation hence it is best to avoid them before bedtime.
- You can elevate your head before going to bed since gravity is also known to play an important role in worsening of the acid reflux. When you lie down directly after eating can pose a problem since the acid present in your stomach would be more likely be in the esophagus. Hence it becomes important to give a good gap between eating food and lying down or going to sleep. It is said that one must give their digestive system an assist from gravity by not consuming food close to going to bed. At least there should be a gap of three or more hours after you have eaten your food and before you lie down. It would also help to raise the head of the bed for four to five inches higher than the foot. It has been mentioned earlier that gravity is one of the biggest contributor of GERD and this is mostly in case of individuals who are obese or suffer from hiatal hernia or any other kind of abnormality of the passage going in from the esophagus to the stomach. When you head is placed higher than the feet then there is no possibility of acid being building up. For raising the head of the bed you can make use of blocks which would seem to be comfortable for you. It is said that raising one’s head with pillows is not as efficient since it tends to exaggerate the bend in the waist.
- Eliminate the foods which are said to trigger the excess production of stomach acid. If you are someone who experiences the case of acid reflux too frequently then there can be possibility that you may have noticed the symptoms when you eat certain kind of food items. Hence it is important to cut down on those trigger food items so that it can help in easing out the symptoms. Try to cut back on the foods such as spicy ones, chocolates, peppermint, onion, greasy food, mint, onion, fried food, tomatoes and any other citrus fruits.
- Ensure to eat smaller meals but frequent meals throughout the day. When one eats more often in small proportions throughout the day then it is said to help the digestive system to operate quiet smoothly and also efficiently so that it does not lead to build-up of acid. Try to limit the portions of each service size. Wait until you do not feel full any longer before you plan to eat more food.
- Obesity is considered to be one of the chief contributor of acid reflux, it is said that the extra weight of the body tends to put on extra pressure on the esophagus thereby leading to start building up. By bringing about changes in your lifestyle such as following a regular exercise regime and going in for healthy eating it can help to eliminate the symptoms without the need for any other treatment.
- Stay away from alcohol, smoking as well as caffeinated drinks. Consumption of alcohol and caffeine is known to loosen the sphincter which is known to control the passage of the esophagus going into the stomach thereby allowing for the acid to flow up backwards. Avoiding of alcohol or caffeinated drinks mostly before hitting the bed would help in terms of easing out the symptoms of GERD. Apart from alcohol and caffeine drinks, smoking is also said to cause interference with the digestion thereby leading to damage of the lining of the esophagus. Maybe for those who are regular users of smoking may find it quite difficult to quit smoking but it is very much important to limit smoking as much as possible.