Written by Nicole Baldwin FNP-C, Family Nurse Practitioner
Greetings Fellowship Bible Baptist Church Family! Have you ever got a burning feeling in your chest after you eat? Maybe even a burning that disturbs your sleep? You may have acid reflux. Acid reflux occurs when stomach contents back up into the esophagus. Acid reflux may also be referred to as acid indigestion, heartburn, or regurgitation as these terms define the symptoms. If acid reflux occurs two or more times per week, this can be GERD. GERD is gastroesophageal reflux disease. People may experience symptoms from mild to severe. Heartburn appears as a burning sensation in the chest and may last from a few minutes to hours. Regurgitation is when stomach contents travel into the throat. This may cause a bitter, sour, or even food-like taste. Other symptoms of acid reflux include hoarseness or a chronic cough. Adults with the chronic form of acid reflux, GERD, may have cavities, bad breath, or chronic sore throat. Symptoms of acid reflux like nausea with chest pain may be difficult to distinguish from something more serious, like a heart attack.
Make these lifestyle and dietary changes to treat acid reflux:
- Avoid fried and fatty foods such as fast food
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol
- Avoid citrus fruits and tomato products
- Reduce your portion size
- Do not eat within two hours of planned sleep
- Raise the head of your bed
- Do not sleep on multiple pillows as this causes pressure on the stomach
When in doubt, always seek medical attention. Stay healthy and be well!