Not all acid reflux patients can cure their condition without drugs, but many find that certain practices can reduce their acid reflux symptoms. Learn these smart strategies in this free video on living with acid reflux.
Hi, I'm Dr. David Hill, and today we're going to talk about how to cure acid reflux without drugs. Now, this is a somewhat problematic topic because a lot of acid reflux absolutely cannot be cured without drugs. Why is that? Well, the damage the esophagus that occurs when stomach acid washes up into it. Creates an environment that ironically makes it easier for stomach acid to wash up into the esophagus. Once there is some irritation and some inflammation in the esophagus. The problem can build on itself and get worse. That an especially nasty situation, because of some of the complications of severe and prolonged reflux. The worse complication is Esophageal cancer. Now, before you get the cancer, you get a condition get called Barrett's esophagus. Which can only be diagnosed with an endoscopy. Where somebody goes down, a the gastroenterologist looks inside your esophagus, take a little tissue and sends it off to be examined under a microscope. Barrett's esophagus is condition that can lead to Esophageal cancer and needs to be treated very aggressively with medication. That said, even when you're using medication, lifestyle change and dietary change can make a significant difference, in how bad the reflux is. And in some cases, it can make it go away. At the most extreme, if you're obese, losing weight may really help the reflux. Likewise, if you're drinking significant quantities of alcohol or caffeine, if you're smoking. Making those things go away, can make the reflux go away. Eating greasy or fatty foods, is a common cause or a exacerbator of acid reflux, that is, it makes it worse. So, taking those things out of your diet, is kind of a no brainer. Other things you can do, that do not involve medication, are staying upright for a few hours after you eat. Rather than eating and going right to bed. When you do go to bed, you can elevate the head of the bed. The idea is to just change how your body is lying in the bed. So the gravity is not bringing that stomach acid up into your esophagus. Also, if you can, try and lie on your left side, if you're going to sleep on your side. That's the position that seems to keep some stomach acid out of the esophagus and can help out. That said, so you've done all those things, you've eliminated caffeine and alcohol. You've taken out the greasy foods, you started to exercise and lost a few pounds. You're avoiding lying down, right after you've eaten and when you do lie down, you're lying on your left side. You've still got some symptoms or you've had symptoms for more than a month or so. You really do want to talk to a doctor about addressing your reflux. This is a disease that can affect the esophagus, the lungs, as we said before. Ultimately, it can cause scarring or cancer. So, don't mess around with esophageal reflux. If it's bad, not getting better, going on a long time. I hate to tell you, that medications are probably the solution you're going to need. Talking about medications and not using medications, to treat Gastroesophageal reflux, I'm Dr. David Hill.