102013Jun

Anti-Reflux Regimen

What Lifestyle Changes Should I Make?

Lifestyle factors do not cause acid reflux disease, but they can trigger or worsen your symptoms.  In addition to taking medicine, you will want to make lifestyle changes to help control your symptoms.

CHANGE YOUR LIFESTYLE:

•Eat small meals – Large meals can make your stomach too full and force stomach contents up into the esophagus.  Try eating 4 to 5 meals throughout the day.

•Avoid spicy and acidic foods and drinks

  • Alcohol
  • Carbonated drinks (soda)
  • Coffee/tea (regular and decaf)
  • Tomatoes
  • Onions
  • Pepper
  • Spices
  • Fried/fatty foods
  • Peppermint
  • Chocolate

•Stop smoking – Smoking relaxes your LES (the muscle at the end of your esophagus) and lets stomach acid back up.  It may make your symptoms worse.

•Lose weight – Being overweight can put extra pressure on your stomach, which could irritate your symptoms.

•Wear loose clothing – Don’t wear clothes that are tight around your waist.  The extra pressure on your stomach could make your symptoms worse.

•Don’t lie down after eating – You should wait 3 hours after you’ve eaten before bending over or lying down.  This will help keep the acid from going up into your esophagus.

•Raise the head of your bed – This helps keep the acid where it belongs – in the stomach – and could lead to a better night’s rest.

•Write it down! – Keep a log of your symptoms, what causes them, and what medicines you take to control them.  This will help you know what foods and drinks to avoid and what makes you feel better.

Remember, you are unique – and so are your symptoms!  It’s important to figure out which of these lifestyle factors make your symptoms worse, so you can take steps to avoid them.