Tips for Managing Acid Reflux

If you are one of the 50 MILLION (!) Americans who suffer from heartburn, you might have some idea that the symptoms go hand in hand with some of your lifestyle choices. You have memorized the Zantac insert - you quit smoking, loosened your jeans, but the fire is still burning? 

Here are five tips turn down the flame on heartburn

1. Maintain a healthy weight and get on a daily exercise routine. Excess weight (and yes, tight clothing) can put pressure on your abdomen making symptoms worse. 

2. Look to your diet to see if you are eating common "trigger" foods like fatty, spicy, or acidic foods such as coffee, peppermint, chocolate, alcohol, tomatoes, onions and garlic. Try reducing these to see if it helps your symptoms. 

3. Keep a food diary to try to identify food culprits - some of the foods that cause heartburn are idiosyncratic and a diary is one of the best tools you can bring to your GI Dietitian. 

4. Consider taking deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL). Two chewable tablets taken before each meal may help to soothe the esophagus. 

5. Do not lay down for 2-3 hours after a meal. This can be the simplest solution for many reflux sufferers. 

As always, if symptoms persist, talk to your doctor, as this may be an indication of a more serious condition.