Skip to main content

Tips for Managing Chronic Acid Reflux

Tips for Managing Chronic Acid Reflux

If you’re fed up with chronic acid reflux and that persistent burning sensation is disrupting your daily life, you’re not alone. Chronic acid reflux is one of the most common gastrointestinal disorders with approximately 20% of adults struggling with it in the United States. 

When you’re ready to take the next step in finding relief, board-certified otolaryngologist and skilled surgeon Matthew W. Shawl, MD, and our dedicated team located in the Union Square neighborhood of New York City, are here to support you every step of the way with a personalized treatment plan.

To take control of your chronic acid reflux and reclaim your comfort, keep reading for practical tips and strategies to help you manage your symptoms.

Understanding chronic acid reflux

Let’s start with the basics — what is chronic acid reflux? Also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), this condition occurs when stomach acid flows back up into your esophagus, causing irritation and discomfort. Common GERD symptoms include heartburn, regurgitation of stomach contents, chest pain, difficulty swallowing, and chronic cough. 

Effective management strategies 

As you navigate the challenges of chronic acid reflux, it's important to explore a variety of strategies to find what works best for you. While medication may provide temporary relief, incorporating lifestyle changes and self-care practices can offer some major long-term benefits. 

Here are some effective management strategies that can help you take control of your acid reflux:

Dietary changes 

Certain foods and beverages can make your acid reflux symptoms much worse. Consider avoiding spicy foods, acidic fruits, caffeine, alcohol, and carbonated drinks. Opt for smaller, more frequent meals and avoid eating late at night to minimize reflux episodes.

Lifestyle changes 

It’s always important to prioritize your health and wellness. By maintaining a healthy weight, you reduce the pressure on your abdomen that may be contributing to acid reflux. Along with prioritizing your nutrition, we also recommend elevating the head of your bed to prevent nighttime reflux, and avoiding tight-fitting clothing that can exacerbate symptoms.

Over-the-counter medications 

Antacids and H2 blockers can provide temporary relief from mild acid reflux symptoms. However, it’s important to use these medications as directed by Dr. Shawl, especially if your symptoms persist. 

Stress management 

Stress has a way of affecting every area of our lives, and unfortunately, that includes acid reflux flare-ups as well. By incorporating more stress-reducing activities such as yoga, meditation, deep breathing exercises, or hobbies you enjoy in your routine, you promote relaxation and minimize your overall symptoms. 

Sleep hygiene 

Don’t underestimate the healing power of a good night’s sleep. We highly recommend that you get an adequate amount of sleep each night and establish a consistent sleep schedule. To reduce nighttime reflux, avoid eating large meals or consuming caffeine close to bedtime, and consider using pillows to elevate your head and torso while sleeping.

Regular exercise 

Along with prioritizing a healthy diet, you can minimize acid reflux symptoms by prioritizing regular physical activity to support healthy digestion and maintain a healthy weight. However, avoid vigorous exercise immediately after eating since it may exacerbate acid reflux symptoms.

Seeking personalized care 

If you’re still experiencing acid reflux symptoms more than twice a week or facing difficulties like breathing issues, it’s time to prepare for your evaluation and get the relief you deserve. Ignoring your body’s warning signs can lead to serious health risks, including permanent damage and increased cancer risks.

Dr. Shawl offers comprehensive care and personalized treatment plans for acid reflux. During your visit, expect a detailed review of your symptoms and potential diagnostic tests to pinpoint your condition. Treatment starts with lifestyle adjustments, with further options like medication or other interventions based on your specific needs.

Don't let acid reflux control your life — contact the office of Matthew W. Shawl, MD, to book a consultation today or schedule your appointment online.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Why You Keep Getting Sinusitis

Why You Keep Getting Sinusitis

If you’re tired of the sinusitis cycle, we don’t blame you. Keep reading to discover why it keeps coming back and how to break free.