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How to Treat Acid Reflux With Medicine and Lifestyle Changes

24th August 2020

There are many potential reasons for a sore throat, with the most common reason being a bacterial infection of Streptococcus (strep throat). Strep throat usually goes away in 5 to 7 days. If you have a persistent sore throat, you may be suffering from acid reflux disease. When gastric acid touches your vocal cords, it can cause inflammation and irritation. This happens when a sphincter muscle at the bottom of your oesophagus allows stomach acid to pass upward. If this happens frequently, it is known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

Diagnosing Acid Reflux and GERD

Your doctor will help determine if you are suffering from acid reflux or GERD. There are a number of tests your doctor may run in order to determine if you have acid reflux or GERD. Following are some of the tests your doctor may request.

  • A barium swallow (esophagram) An upper gastrointestinal series, also called a barium meal or barium swallow, is a series of radiographs used to examine your gastrointestinal tract for abnormalities. The exam is performed to assess frequent heartburn, gastric reflux (food and acid coming back up your esophagus), aspiration (food or fluid in your wind pipe), difficulties with eating, drinking, and/or swallowing.
  • Esophageal manometry An oesophagal manometry is a test to assess motor function of the upper esophageal sphincter, esophageal body and lower esophageal sphincter.
  • pH monitoring Esophageal pH monitoring is the current gold standard for diagnosis of gastroesophageal reflux disease.
  • Endoscopy The endoscopy procedure uses an endoscope to examine the interior of a hollow organ or cavity of the body (such as the esophagus).
  • A biopsy The biopsy process involves extraction of sample cells or tissues for examination to determine the presence or extent of a disease.
man suffering with acid reflux and heartburn

How to Treat Acid Reflux

The typical medicine prescribed for treating Acid reflux is Omeprezole. Omeprazole is a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) that reduces the amount of acid produced in the stomach. In addition to medicine, there are lifestyle choices you can make which may help treat acid reflux and GERD, reducing its severity or duration.

Treating Acid Reflux with Lifestyle Changes

There are lifestyle changes which can help reduce the severity of acid reflux. Below we discuss the different things you can do to alleviate symptoms of acid reflux and gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD).

Eat Smaller Meals

When the stomach is full, it can be easier for acid to reflux into the oesophagus. You may find it easier to eat more meals of smaller amounts. It can be a very effective way of managing acid reflux if you can fit small meals into your schedule.

Avoiding Vigorous Exercise on a Full Stomach

While walking may be fine, strenuous workouts after eating can contribute to acid reflux. This is because rapid movements and squeezing of muscles in your abdomen area can push acid into the oesophagus. Wait up to three hours after eating if you will be exercising vigorously.

Foods to Avoid

Some foods are more apt to trigger acid reflux. These foods include foods that are fatty or spicy. Mint, tomatoes, onions, garlic, tea, coffee, chocolate and alcohol can exacerbate acid reflux. Learn more about foods that will help with acid reflux at Foodicine Health.

Avoid Carbonated Beverages

Carbon dioxide is acidic. Drinking carbonated beverages is likely to increase inflammation of your oesophagus as well as make your stomach more acidic. This includes sodas and sparkling waters.

Do Not Eat Prior To Sleeping

When you are upright, gravity holds acid down in your stomach. When you lie down, acid can more easily escape your stomach into your oesophagus. By waiting for up to three hours after any meal before going to sleep (or taking a nap), you can help prevent acid reflux.

sleep on an incline for acid reflux relief

Sleep on Incline

If you raise your head slightly as you sleep, it will be easier to avoid night-time acid reflux. There are special beds that can produce this type of incline. You can also alter your bed by placing supports beneath the bed legs that are closest to your head. Foam wedges are also effective at helping elevate your upper body area so that gravity keeps acid in your stomach.

Weight Loss

If you are overweight, losing weight can help treat acid reflux. If your upper body is heavy due to being overweight, it spread the muscles required to support the lower esophagus sphincter. This can interfere with its ability to control acid reflux. weight loss pills such as Orlistat can help you shed weight and get control of your acid reflux.

Quit Smoking

Nicotine relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter. This means that smoking can make acid reflux disease worse. Medicine such as Zyban can help you quit smoking.

The first step is getting diagnosed. If your sore throat is from acid reflux, the medication and other tips found on this page can help you alleviate symptoms of GERD and acid reflux. Quitting smoking and losing weight can help you get healthy in other ways as well.