Occasional acid reflux is common, and we do not have anything to be concerned about. However, when stomach acid keeps flowing back into your esophagus, you may want to sit and think about what is causing it.
If you experience frequent acid reflux, you may have a chronic condition known as gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD. While the symptoms may appear harmless initially, the disease can lead to long-term damage and even develop cancerous conditions. If your acid refluxes do not go away with medications or lifestyle changes or they keep coming back frequently, contact a gastroenterologist in Lima today for a consultation.
Common triggers for acid reflux
Laying down after eating a large meal.
While taking a nap sounds great after a large meal, it can cause acid reflux. Large meals take more time to digest. Therefore, when you lie down immediately after your meal, the food still present in your stomach may flow back up into your esophagus. If you need to lie down, lay on your left side or elevate your head using a higher pillow.
While smoking does not directly cause acid reflux, it can surely exacerbate the following symptoms.
- Damaging mucus membrane
- Increasing acid secretion in your stomach
- Impairing muscle reflexes in the throat
- Reduces salivation required for neutralizing the effects of stomach acid
Various medications, if taken regularly, can cause frequent acid refluxes as a side effect. Aspirins or NSAIDs are not supposed to give you heartburn; however, regularly taking them can irritate the esophagus. Some blood pressure and heart disease medicines are also known for causing acid reflux. You can avoid these triggers by asking your doctor to prescribe medicines that are less likely to trigger heartburn.
Some foods can trigger acid reflux in your body more quickly than others. These may include spicy foods, fatty or fried foods, chocolate, foods containing tomato, garlic, onions, and citrus fruits. Beverages such as alcohol, tea, coffee, and carbonated drinks also cause acid reflux.
Some types of exercise will increase your chances of acid reflux, and many of them will worsen your condition. Crunches and ab work can trigger acid reflux in your body. Any workout position that involves putting pressure on your abdomen will cause the stomach acids to thrust back into your esophagus. However, you do not need to quit the gym due to this reason. Instead, it is better to wait for a couple of hours after eating before you work out.
If you are pregnant, it is normal to experience heartburn or acid reflux more often than before. During your pregnancy, the esophagus pushes the food slowly into the stomach. Thus, the food in your stomach takes longer to digest. The condition goes away after the delivery.