Reflux is the common problem of one out of every four people, regardless of age, due to wrong eating habits and unhealthy lifestyle. Disease caused by the leakage of gastric fluid into the esophagus and causing burning behind the breastbone and bitter water in the mouth; It can cause chronic cough, burning in the throat, hoarseness, difficulty swallowing, bad breath, chest pain and even irritation of the teeth. Acıbadem Dr. Sinasi Can (Kadıköy) Hospital Gastroenterology Specialist Assoc. Dr. Suna Yapali “The main problem may be reflux in patients who apply to an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist with hoarseness or cough, or to a cardiology specialist due to chest pain. In the pandemic; Eating more often and more, consuming fast-food-style foods, staying sedentary, gaining weight and giving weight to night snacks caused reflux disease to become widespread. Lifestyle changes are the basis of treatment in reflux disease. Otherwise, it may not be possible to get successful results from the treatment.” Gastroenterology Specialist Assoc. Dr. Suna Yapali explained her 10 effective suggestions against reflux and made important warnings and suggestions.
Avoid foods that increase reflux!
Fries, drinking on an empty stomach and excessive coffee-tea, consuming acidic beverages cause relaxation of the muscle, which is a protective mechanism under the esophagus. This facilitates the passage of gastric juice into the esophagus. For this reason, foods with high acid content such as oranges and tomatoes should be consumed limitedly, and foods with excessive tomato paste should be avoided. Consumption of ready-made and packaged foods containing additives, foods with sauce, excessively hot, salty and spicy foods should also be avoided.
Avoid large portions
Consuming larger portions than we need increases intra-abdominal pressure and facilitates reflux. Instead of consuming soup, main course, salad, dessert or fruit together at the same meal, it may be preferable to reduce the portions and consume fruit or dessert as a snack.
Do not drink too much water with meals
Consuming water with meals increases the volume of the meal and facilitates the formation of reflux. Water consumption should be shifted between meals, moreover, drinking water between meals will prevent reflux by clearing the gastric fluid that escapes into the esophagus. Contrary to popular belief, consuming mineral water to facilitate digestion after meals will increase reflux.
Avoid night snacks
Consuming snacks such as fruit, snacks and chocolate in the late hours causes the pre-sleep food to be indigestible and increases the reflux complaint. Therefore, avoid eating and snacking in the last three hours before bedtime.
Raise the head of the bed
Especially people with night reflux should sleep with the head of the bed elevated at least 30 degrees, or sleep with a pillow that is not too high, which will keep the head slightly higher than the body. Having your head slightly elevated while lying down will prevent stomach acid from reaching your esophagus or throat.
don't gain weight
Gastroenterology Specialist Assoc. Dr. Suna Yapali “Obesity is an important public health problem that is rapidly increasing in our country as well as in the whole world and has become a pandemic. 1/3 of the population is obese and 1/3 is overweight. With the increase in obesity and waist circumference, intra-abdominal pressure increases and this facilitates the formation of reflux. By reaching the ideal body weight, reflux can be controlled and continuous drug use can be prevented.
Do not wear tight-fitting clothing
Tight clothes such as belts and corsets should be avoided, as they increase intra-abdominal pressure and prepare the ground for reflux.
Do not lie down immediately after meals
Lying down right after a meal is an important danger that facilitates reflux. After eating meals, you should sit or stay in an upright position for at least 3 hours, not lying down immediately.
Avoid smoking and alcohol
Smoking and alcohol disrupt the defense mechanisms of the esophagus, and also facilitate reflux by causing relaxation of the muscle under the esophagus.
Exercise regularly and at the right time
The most important way to control weight is to create a calorie deficit by doing regular exercise together with diet. Exercising immediately after a meal will facilitate reflux and affect the quality of exercise. Walking 3-5 times a week for at least 30 minutes will be beneficial.