Tips for Managing Acid Reflux - Crozer-Keystone Health System - PA

Published on September 04, 2013

Tips for Managing Acid Reflux

Even though nothing goes better with football season than hot wings, chips, and beer, this can be a particularly troublesome time for those with acid reflux. And sure, it’s unfair that your buddy has no problem scarfing down a plate of fried foods while you’re sick all night, but it’s time to get your heartburn under control so you can enjoy not just the game, but every day as well.

Acid reflux, also known as heartburn, occurs when stomach acid flows up into the esophagus, resulting in a burning sensation in the chest. In a healthy individual, a part of the esophagus known as the esophageal sphincter works to keep food in the stomach and prevent acid from getting out. However, when the sphincter fails to function properly, the acid can escape. While some might only experience heartburn once in a blue moon, others can get it so frequently that it interferes with their daily life.

Even though your doctor may recommend medication to help neutralize the stomach acid, it’s still important to make the necessary lifestyle changes and dietary modifications to maintain your health, such as:

  • Eating small meals more frequently throughout the day. You should stop eating before getting too full. 
  • Chewing gum after meals to promote the production of saliva, which neutralizes stomach acid and helps the stomach move its contents into the small intestine faster
  • Not lying down after a meal, especially after dinner. you should wait three hours after dinner before going to bed.
  • Quitting smoking, which can increase your risk of heartburn.
  • Avoiding certain medications, such as aspirin or ibuprofen, which can trigger acid reflux symptoms.
  • Eating slowly to promote proper digestion of food.
  • Following a low-fat, high protein diet.
  • Drinking herbal teas, milk, and plain water, which dilute stomach acid.
  • Preparing certain foods by broiling, grilling, or roasting instead of frying them.
  • Removing fat and skin from meat before cooking.

Avoiding common trigger drinks and foods, such as carbonated drinks, coffee or tea, alcohol, citrus fruits, tomatoes (and anything tomato-based), chocolate (which contains caffeine), peppermint, fatty foods, spicy foods, onions and garlic. 

Trust us – the game will be more fun if it doesn’t feel like your chest is on fire. 

Crozer-Keystone offers a range of board-certified physicians who are trained in the latest technologies and procedures to comprehensively diagnose, manage and treat gastrointestinal and liver conditions. For more information or to make an appointment, visit http://gi.crozerkeystone.org or call 1-877-CKHS-GI1 (254-7441).

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