One is that awful taste of vomit (which is, of course, what it is). However, a more serious consequence that can happen is aspiration (‘breathing in’) the acidic liquid of the reflux.
Lose excess weight. Being too heavy puts pressure on the bottom part of your esophagus and makes you much more likely to get reflux. When you get acid reflux, if you keep doing whatever gave you the ailment, you’ll keep getting the ailment, and eventually there will be consequences beyond discomfort and pain. Eventually, your throat will become so sensitive that reflux bouts will hurt even more. You could develop anything from a chronic sore throat and cough, to a precancerous condition called Barrett’s esophagus.
In the situation of a sliding hiatal hernia, the GE junction moves above the diaphragm and into the chest, and the portion of the higher-pressure zone due to the diaphragm is lost. Acid is allowed to reflux back into the esophagus causing inflammation of the lining of the esophagus and the symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Most often if symptoms occur, they are due to gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) where the digestive juice containing acid from the stomach moves up into the esophagus.
This is especially useful for people who are overweight or have the symptoms of GERD. Aligning the stomach in an ascending (rather than flat) position significantly lowers the risk of gastric backflow related to hiatal hernias. Loosen your belt and remove tight clothing. Ultimately, anything that constricts the abdomen can trigger symptoms as you move about and jostle the contents of your stomach. Give yourself a break and avoid cinched waistlines or anything that places direct stress on the stomach.
A combination of approaches, and some trial and error, may be necessary. Choose whole grains over refined starches to add fiber to your diet. Brown rice, steel-cut oatmeal, quinoa, whole-grain pasta and rye bread are smart whole-grain fiber choices.
- Lifestyle advice currently appears to be ineffective.
- Changing the size and timing of your meals can significantly reduce heartburn, regurgitation, and other symptoms of GERD.
- “For straightforward GERD symptoms, lifestyle modification and medicines like the proton pump inhibitors [PPIs] are the mainstays of treatment.
- Treatment of esophagitis includes diet, lifestyle changes, and medication depending upon the cause.
- These foods can aggravate acid reflux and related conditions.
A hiatal hernia occurs when the upper part of your stomach bulges through your diaphragm into your chest cavity. For hiatal hernia associated with GERD, complications can include bleeding, perforation of the esophagus, and a greatly increased risk for esophageal cancer (one of the more serious forms of cancer). If treated appropriately and lifestyle changes are made, you can minimize the effects of a hiatal hernia.
So, prevent, prevent, prevent. Limit or avoid alcohol, mint, citrus, tomatoes, and/or carbonated beverages according to individual tolerance. These foods may cause further irritation to damaged esophageal mucosa but have not been found to cause reflux themselves.
Endoscopy is used to diagnose scarring with strictures (narrowing of the esophagus) and precancerous conditions like Barrett’s esophagus. Biopsies or small tissue samples may be taken and examined under a microscope. Changing the foods you eat may help with acid reflux caused by a hiatal hernia. If you’re having trouble figuring out your triggers, consider keeping a food diary. By choosing foods that don’t produce much acid, you can lessen this symptom.
Lifestyle plays just as important a role as medication
Write down what you’ve eaten and how it makes you feel. After a few weeks, you may be able to observe patterns and figure out which foods are causing your symptoms. Eat whole foods whenever possible. The fiber content of these foods should help with your acid reflux. Also, the less processed the food is, the better.