One in ten people get acid reflux almost every day and if that includes you i’m gonna give you some great tips, they should really help. Now let’s begin, okay so first let me explain to you what acid reflux and heartburn is but bear with me in a couple of seconds, because I’ve thought of a really creative way to explain it to you, so here’s my masterpiece, obviously it’s not to scale but you have to use your imagination a bit, so let’s say you have a glass and the glass part is your esophagus, You have a green balloon and the green balloon is your stomach, you have a black tape and the black tape is your lowest linked, now the lowest thing set is a muscular bowel which lets food in one way, so food and liquid come down into your stomach one way through this, now here’s the fun bit, the lowest thing that closes and prevents food from the stomach and stomach acid from reflux back into the esophagus but if it opens too far or doesn’t close tight enough, then this stomach acid to reflux back up so this is what leads to acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease otherwise known as Gord which is the more chronic severe version of acid reflux and it both causes that burning sensation in the chest which everyone calls heartburn, so heartburn is a symptom of acid reflux and wart and I hope that helps clear things up and one last thing, the other symptoms of acid reflux include an acid taste in your mouth, belching, bloating and possibly a drive assistant cough.

Now let’s move on to tips so remember the esophageal sphincter, well there are ways to make this stronger and prevent acid reflux, smoking, drinking alcohol and being overweight, all factors that can reduce the sphincter strength, so if any of these apply to you, then consider stopping smoking, reducing or stopping your alcohol intake entirely and getting to a healthy way as these can help strengthen the esophageal sphincter and make it close or tighter to prevent the acid reflux and it’s symptoms. Certain medication may also make your symptoms worse by either irritating the esophagus or relaxing the lower esophageal sphincter, now there are common culprits, anti-inflammatory pain killers like ibuprofen and aspirin and also other medication like diazepam, theophylline and calcium channel blockers like ‘no therapy and by the way that wasn’t a complete list because we’ll be here forever, instead if you feel like a medication is causing your symptoms or increasing your symptoms, then speak to your pharmacist, they’ll check for you and advise you appropriately, so let’s say your acid reflux symptoms are worse at night when you’re lying down in your bed and that makes sense because the acid is no longer fighting gravity to make its way up, so you’re now lying down and it can easily make its way up so the solution to this is to elevate the entire upper part of the body, so that doesn’t mean get a big pillow and put it behind your head because that’s just gonna elevate your head and make no difference, so what you want to do is raise one end of the bed by about 10 to 20 meters, so either put something with the top two legs of your bed or under the mattress or even use a wedge so the chest and the head are above the waist and the acid isn’t gonna travel up.

Going to bed with an empty and dry stomach can also really help, so in the last three hours I’m going to bed, make sure you don’t eat anything and in the last two hours of going to bed, make sure you don’t drink anything with foods and drinks, the best advice is to eat smaller more frequent meals. Peppermint, tomato, chocolate and caffeine are all suspected to making acid reflux worse too, also if you like to wear tight clothes around the waist or a belt, it’s gonna push up that acid and cause the acid reflux symptoms and nobody wants that, so instead try wear something loose. For treatment of acid reflux, I always recommend patients to speak to their pharmacist first, they can then ask you specific questions to determine whether they can give you treatment over-the-counter or to refer you on to your GP and in terms of treatments, there are loads of options that pharmacist can recommend from antacids, alginates and acid suppression tablets but this will be determined on an individual patient basis, lastly acid reflux isn’t usually serious unless you have red flags and that means you need to see a GP urgently for treatment and investigation, now there’s quite a lot of red flags, they include;

Heartburn that occurs at least twice a week is the biggest red flag. Heartburn symptoms include a burning sensation in the chest and vomit in the back of the throat (acid regurgitation).
Other symptoms to watch for include:

Heartburn that worsens or wakes you from sleep.

Painful or difficult swallowing.

Sensation of food stuck in your esophagus.

Constant sore throat, sour taste in your mouth or bad breath.

Unintentional weight loss.

Blood in stool.

Vomiting.

Wheezing, dry cough, hoarseness, or chronic sore throat.

Dysphagia — the sensation of food being stuck in your throat

Hiccups that don’t let up

Nausea

Heartburn Home Remedies

People with heartburn commonly reach for antacids, over-the-counter medications that neutralize stomach acid. But eating certain foods may also offer relief from symptoms. Consider trying the following:

Milk

Does milk help with heartburn? “Milk is often thought to relieve heartburn,” says Gupta. “But you have to keep in mind that milk comes in different varieties — whole milk with the full amount of fat, 2% fat, and skim or nonfat milk. The fat in milk can aggravate acid reflux. But nonfat milk can act as a temporary buffer between the stomach lining and acidic stomach contents and provide immediate relief of heartburn symptoms.” Low-fat yogurt has the same soothing qualities along with a healthy dose of probiotics (good bacteria that enhance digestion).

Ginger

Ginger is one of the best digestive aids because of its medicinal properties. It’s alkaline in nature and anti-inflammatory, which eases irritation in the digestive tract. Try sipping ginger tea when you feel heartburn coming on.

Apple cider vinegar

While there isn’t enough research to prove that drinking apple cider vinegar works for acid reflux, many people swear that it helps. However, you should never drink it at full concentration because it’s a strong acid that can irritate the esophagus. Instead, put a small amount in warm water and drink it with meals.

Lemon water

Lemon juice is generally considered very acidic, but a small amount of lemon juice mixed with warm water and honey has an alkalizing effect that neutralizes stomach acid. Also, honey has natural antioxidants, which protect the health of cells.

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