Here’s how to keep acid reflux in check.
While the majority of people will experience acid reflux every once in a while, as many as 20 percent of Americans will develop acid reflux two or more times a week. This is known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and this can cause serious damage to the tissue of the esophagus if left untreated. Wondering whether you should treat acid reflux yourself or turn to our Garland, TX, ENT doctor Dr. James Maddox for care?
Can I treat acid reflux myself?
If you deal with little episodes of acid reflux every once in a while, then you may be able to control it through simple lifestyle changes. For example, many of the foods and drinks we consume can contribute to acid reflux. If you are prone to acid reflux, you’ll want to avoid these foods and drinks as much as possible:
- Carbonated beverages
- Citrus fruits
- Garlic and onions
- Spicy foods
- Tomatoes and tomato sauce
- Processed and fried foods
It’s important to eat smaller meals rather than one larger meal, which can also contribute to acid reflux. Make sure to avoid lying down after eating or to eat your last meal at least three hours before bedtime. If you’re a smoker, this is also a contributing factor. Talk with your doctor about the best ways to quit.
For those occasional bouts of acid reflux, you may even reach for an over-the-counter antacid.
When should I see a doctor?
While a night of acid reflux will certainly not send you to the doctor for an evaluation, if you are dealing with acid reflux on a weekly basis then it’s time to consult with our Garland, TX, ENT. After all, GERD isn’t something that can just be treated by taking antacids all the time. In this case, our gastroenterologist may prescribe a proton pump inhibitor (PPI), which blocks acid production in the stomach rather than just neutralizes acid like an over-the-counter antacid.
If you are living with acid reflux in Garland, TX, and it’s happening regularly, then it’s time to turn to an ENT for more effective treatment. Over-the-counter antacids are not considered a viable treatment option for managing long-term or chronic acid reflux. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Maddox, call us at (972) 272-5555.