What can be done about reflux?
The most important points in brief
- Reflux is not really threatening or only takes a certain amount of time, but it is extremely unpleasant.
- This causes stomach acid to flow up the esophagus, for example after drinking alcohol or eating too much.
- A classic symptom of reflux is a burning pain in the chest area.
- This can cause some symptoms, such as an urge to cough, being forced to clear your throat, difficulty swallowing, hoarseness and more. So what can you do about reflux?
The name "reflux" aptly describes the cause of the symptoms. Translated, the term simply means "reflux", and it is precisely this reflux that occurs when excess stomach acid is formed after a very large meal and flows up the esophagus. Excessive consumption of alcohol can also lead to reflux. Reflux feels like heartburn. But how do you get rid of the symptoms?
This is how reflux occurs
Of course, a lot of alcohol and fatty foods are just the external symptoms of reflux. Completely different processes take place in our organism. Certain stomach enzymes, the so-called pepsins, break down the food residues that are in our stomach. Up to this point, this is a completely normal process in digestion. But they only become really influential when they become active.
And this happens as follows: In cooperation with the stomach acid, they rise up as a gas in the esophagus. This often goes as far as the larynx, not infrequently even into the pharynx. Here they infiltrate the mucous membranes and wait for acid to develop, for example due to food that is too greasy. The pepsins now become active and begin to break down the mucous membranes in the larynx and throat. This not only irritates these regions, but also, for example, the airways or the vocal cords.
Here's what you can do about reflux
If the symptoms are severe and don't get better quickly, only going to a specialist will help. If the agony does not subside, then the amount of stomach acid does not decrease, and one day this can really become a serious problem - because the cells in the mucous membranes threaten to be changed at some point. To prevent this, small changes in everyday life are often enough.
In the case of reflux, the first thing you should pay attention to is how you eat, what you consume and to what extent, and at the same time reduce your alcohol consumption. If you are older, reducing the amount of food you eat could be a decisive advantage. How much you are, how often and when, can be decisive for the course of reflux disease.
Concrete changes in diet to prevent reflux
Specifically, this can mean that you shouldn't eat anything in the last three hours before you go to sleep. Try to avoid coffee and carbon dioxide during the day; you should also largely eliminate fatty foods and sugar from the menu. Observe once in the first few weeks whether this is good for you - if the symptoms recede, you could have already hit the mark with the measures.
A tip at the end: Reflux is sometimes only noticeable when lying down, because the acid can then rise more easily in the esophagus. This can be remedied by trying to raise the top of your bed a bit (and not just the headboard). If the upper body is inclined as a whole, this helps against the rising acid and the reflux symptoms may not occur at all or may be greatly reduced.
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