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Dealing with an Acid Reflux Flareup

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Are you experiencing persistent coughing, wheezing, belching, shortness of breath, bloating or that feeling that you have a lump in your throat when you swallow?

These are common symptoms of acid reflux.

And take it from someone who has been there, it’s no picnic. I made a gorgeous decadent chocolate cream pie recently for a dinner party, and didn’t think twice when I enjoyed a piece that night, and again the following nights until it was gone! Did I mention that I’d had a couple glasses of wine too?

It had been at least a year since my last flareup of GERD, so it really wasn’t on my mind at all.  I’d managed pretty well controlling it through diet and lifestyle changes so far. But all that chocolate was just too much for me. It brought on many days and nights of chest pain, coughing, and asthma like breathing difficulty. It took me about a week and a half of medication and good habits to get better again.

Acid reflux arises when the lower esophageal sphincter, the circular muscle that acts as a gate between the esophagus and stomach, has lost its elasticity, causing gastric acid to backwash into the esophagus.

Gastroesophageal reflux disease, (GERD) is a chronic digestive disease, with acid reflux as its most common ailment.

Two standout digestive aids include ginger and fennel.

Quick relief of acid reflux flare up

These foods and beverages can help relieve symptoms:

  • bananas,
  • whole grain bread or crackers,
  • ginger tea,
  • green tea
  • apple cider vinegar.
  • Sour candy and sugarless gum can also help relieve a GERD attack, since they trigger an increased production of saliva that helps neutralize stomach acid.

Antacids are commonly used to relieve heartburn, but stronger proton pump inhibitor medication to inhibit stomach acid production may be advised when symptoms are more than occasional. Check with your doctor.

Don’t…

have any of these acid reflux trigger foods:

  • Mint
  • Chocolate
  • Deep-fried fatty foods
  • Coffee
  • Alcohol
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Tomatoes
  • Citrus fruits
  • Sugary foods
  • Red and processed meats

Keep in mind that everyone responds to foods differently, and not all of these possible trigger foods will affect you.

Do

  • Change the way you eat. Eat smaller portion sizes that are easier for your stomach to digest.
  • Eat a predominantly low fat, vegetarian diet, choosing acid reducing proteins such as fish, eggs, legumes, wild rice and non-wheat flours.
  • Choose probiotics: Probiotic acidophilus bifidus combats the acid imbalance in your body. Take powder capsules as needed and heartburn should subside within 30 minutes.
  • Include yogurt: yogurt also contains acidophilus bifidus.
  • Take 2-4 tablespoons of raw apple cider before each meal.
  • Eat lots of fiber. Load up on fiber-packed fruits, veggies, nuts, and whole grains
  • Two standout digestive aids include ginger and fennel. Sailors have long touted the calming digestive powers of ginger, and research suggests it speeds up the passage of food from the stomach into the small intestine. Fresh, dried, candied, or pickled varieties are all good bets. And fennel, a high-fiber vegetable that can be eaten raw or cooked, is thought to relieve bloating.
  • Take care with dairy. Opt for goat’s milk dairy products, which contain less fat and are easier to digest than cow’s milk dairy. If it’s cow’s milk dairy you crave, reach for reduced-fat and fat-free varieties.
  • Wait at least an hour after eating before working out. As a general rule, avoid exercise that involves a lot of jumping around like aerobics, or stomach crunches that squeeze or jostle stomach contents, possibly causing contents to move upward.
  • Don’t lie down after eating. Most especially don’t eat at least 2 hours before bedtime.
  • Never go to bed with a full stomach! This is a recipe for disaster!
  • Try lifting the head of your bed up by 6 inches. This allows your body to sleep on a bit of an incline, and any stomach acid rising up at night won’t get very far.
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