Hello, everyone, I hope you all are having a GREAT week! :D

Today, I will provide you with a few tips you can use to maybe help soothe your acid reflux symptoms Drinking alcohol and caffeine sodas, smoking, eating fatty foods, are just few of the things that contribute to acid reflux , which affects about 15 million Americans.

This is a condition that causes stomach acids to travel back up into the esophagus As a result you may feel a burning sensation in the upper part of your stomach, or in the lower chest area. This feeling is also known as heartburn

Sometimes people dismiss that bad sensation, thinking it was only something they ate. If this sounds like you, please realize that if left untreated (especially, if you're experiencing this feeling more than twice a week), this stomach acid will actually damage the lining in your esophagus, causing bleeding, ulcers and, possibly esophageal cancer.

Even though heartburn is the most common symptom people experience, it's certainly not the only one. In fact, before I got up the courage to see my doctor to begin treatment, I rarely experienced heartburn.

Some other symptoms of acid reflux may be:

  • Asthma
  • Belching
  • Chronic dry cough
  • Difficulty with swallowing - (Which can result in an esophageal stricture. This is what happened to me from years of being left untreated.)
  • Laryngitis
  • Nausea

Adults are not the only ones to experience acid reflux. This condition also affects infants as well. A baby spitting up is normal after feeding.

However, if it's been a year and your baby still arches their backs in pain and is spitting up constantly, then it can cause other problems such as vomiting repeatedly, coughing or respiratory problems. Now, older children may complain of abdominal or chest pain.

Lifestyle changes are a good way to treat your symptoms. With the proper changes the symptoms may never come back. These are two things I've tried and I think may also work for you as well.

  1. OTC (Over-the-counter) and prescription medicines such as antacids are something you may want to try. Tums , or Rolaids, usually do the trick, but it only lasts about 35 to 40 minutes.

    Try not to get too desperate with these tablets and take more than 3 in a day. These tablets has magnesia in them and if you take too many of them, diarrhea can set in.

  2. Proton pump inhibitors (PPI) like (Aciphex, Nexium, Prevacid, Prilosec, and Protonix) can relieve acid reflux. Now out of these five different meds, my Gastro dr. prescribed three of these to me. Prilosec works best for me. Nexium was the first prescribed medication I was treated for.

    Even though I noticed a difference practically over night, within about two weeks, I also experienced a truck load of side effects. To find out more about my experience with Nexium, see my "About Me" page.

    The next prescription I tried was Prevacid. While I was at the counter getting ready to pay for my prescription, I talked with my pharmacist about my condition. I was telling her that I couldn't find a medication that could give me the type of relief that Nexium gave me. Then my Pharmacist suggested that I try Prilosec.

    She said that Prilosec was an "OTC version" of Nexium. Unlike Nexium, with Prilosec, I didn't need to take need to take the pill on an empty stomach and wait an hr. before I ate after I took the pill.

Out of all these options, probably one of the most effective means of treatment is a lifestyle change. Here are 6 lifestyle changes you can use to treat acid reflux.

  1. If you smoke, then please try your very best to stop smoking. It's very much easier said than done - I know. Smoking will relax the lower esophageal sphincter . When the LES is relaxed it allows stomach acid to travel to the esophagus
    (see "Acid Reflux and Smoking").

  2. Foods like chocolates, peppermint, also fatty, tomato based foods and spicy type foods are something you might want to avoid.

    One thing I recommend is to create a food diary. Because for me some of these foods I can eat or just eat during certain times of the day. Our body chemistry is different, so what one person can eat another may not.

    Like with me, I can eat chocolates and peppermint without a problem. If I eat pizza in the daytime, I'm fine, but if I eat it for dinner, then stomach acid will begin to sing in my esophagus. This is why I suggest that you record the time you ate the foods.

  3. Chewing gum helps build up saliva and increases the rate of swallowing. Saliva neutralizes stomach acid in your esophagus

  4. When it's time to eat, try not to allow your eyes to grow larger than your tummy. I know it's a hard thing to do when the food looks good and tastes good, but eating more small meals will reduce pressure in your abdomen.

  5. Waiting 3 to 6 hrs. before going to bed after a meal will give your body some time to digest the food you've eaten. Doing this you may not experience any symptoms, or they won't be as severe.

  6. While you're sleeping, if you lie flat on your back, or belly this will allow stomach acid to travel to your esophagus. Try to sleep in a more slanted position. Elevate your bed by 6 inches, or do a search on sleep wedges (acid reflux pillow).

    A Sleep wedge is a foam pillow, cut on an angle, higher at the top and tapering to a thin edge that should elevate your head, shoulders and torso. It uses gravity to keep stomach acid and food down.

    Many doctors recommend elevating the entire upper body when sleeping as a way to help relieve discomfort caused by acid reflux. There are many types sleep wedges and the prices vary, so I recommend you search to see which one is best for you.

Well, that's all for today. I hope some of these tips provided you with some much needed information. If you or someone you know has heartburn or acid reflux and would like to offer any tips that would be of help to someone please share your story by clicking here.

Thank you so much. Have wonderful day and a better tomorrow!

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