Acid reflux is a condition that can certainly make life uncomfortable. There are nights when you may wake up and may be unable to go back to sleep because the burning is so bad. There may be times when you have to turn down a party invitation because even the simple thought of eating something seems to cause the burning to start. It doesn't have to be this way. There are ways to reduce stomach acid so that you can enjoy life and sleep soundly at night. Best of all, many of the following steps are natural remedies.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Keep a food journal. Food isn't the only cause of acid reflux, but it can make stomach acid worse. Certain foods like tomatoes, chocolate, peppermint and citrus fruits can cause acid reflux to become worse. Trigger foods are different for each person, and keeping a food journal will help you determine which foods cause discomfort. If a food causes acid reflux to become worse, highlight the food in the journal and add it to a list of your other trigger foods.
Avoid foods that trigger acid. Once you know which foods trigger acid reflux, you can work on avoiding those foods. It may take awhile to learn how to avoid certain foods, such as tomatoes or caffeine, but there are a number of different ways to make substitutions to your meals. For example, try a cream-based sauce on your pasta rather that spaghetti sauce. Another suggestion is to switch to caffeine-free drinks.
Lose weight. If you're overweight, the extra weight can push on your stomach and cause acid to rise into your throat. This is especially true if you sleep on your back or if you clothes fit too tightly. While in the process of losing weight, you may want to purchase bigger clothing. Also, it's always a good idea to keep your bed propped up, even if you aren't carrying extra pounds.
Reduce stress. Stress can cause acid reflux to flare up. This is why many people who suffer from acid reflux can be fine for several months and then have a flareup. In order to keep your stomach acid at bay, it's best to reduce stress with hobbies, a change of job or even counselling.
Try over-the-counter medications. There are many over-the-counter medications available that help reduce stomach acid. There are even generic versions that contain the same ingredients as the pricier brand name brands.
Consult your doctor for stronger medications, if necessary. Sometimes it's impossible to control stomach acid on your own or even with OTC medicines. Your doctor may be able to prescribe medications that will offer relief. Your doctor will also be able to give tips and suggestions that suit your body's needs.
Tips and warnings
- Consult your doctor before taking medications or starting a weight-loss program.