Living with acid reflux or GERD is a definite nightmare. You dread eating because it hurts. Sleeping is stressful because you feel the acid go up to your throat or you wake up in the middle of the night in pain. Even mere existence can be painful!
It takes time and an eternity of patience to deal with the condition, so here are some tips from doctors and acid reflux “veterans” that might help you deal with your acidic stomach.
1. Sleep on your left side or slightly upright.
Sleeping on your left side—not your right—aids in digestion. Sometimes sleeping in a flat position can make the acid creep up your esophagus. When you feel this way, you can also sleep with your head and shoulders propped up a little higher than the rest of your body. This helps keep that acid down.
Also, make sure to get loads of rest. Constant or extreme stress can trigger acid reflux, too.
2. Eat small but frequent meals.
Being full puts that stomach acid into hyperdrive—even if you’re full with the proper food or just water. Eating smaller quantities throughout the day will make the whole digestion experience much more bearable and also helps keep those painful hunger pangs away.
But remember this: under any circumstances, do not go hungry! Acid hunger is a hundred times worse than normal hunger.
3. Speaking of eating (and, sadly) you might have to change your diet.
There are many different kinds of food and drinks to avoid when you’re acidic. Oily food, acidic food, and dairy trigger and even irritate acid reflux. So, no citrus, onions, tomatoes, red meat, coffee, chocolate, junk food, alcohol, sodas—and so on—allowed. Avoid them.
Instead, opt for things like lugaw (porridge), grilled chicken and fish, bone broth, bananas, avocado, watermelon, walnuts, non-fat yogurt, leafy veggies, and kelp. You can find some acid-friendly recipes online.
4. After eating, do not lie down.
Lying down after eating will cause excruciating acid reflux and make things much worse. Instead, try walking around a little bit and letting gravity help you digest. It’ll be a much better digestion experience.
This is actual advice I got from my doctor.
5. Lastly, please see a doctor.
They’re the experts who will help you deal with your pain and work towards wellness—because acid reflux and GERD take really long to heal from and oftentimes don’t go away on their own. Consult a medical expert!
Dealing with this condition, and the pain that comes with it, takes a lot of patience, a change of lifestyle, and the will to power through it.
It’s a lot but it’s not impossible—so stay strong and keep on! You’ll get better in no time.