If you have painful acid reflux and heartburn is a constant companion after you eat, don’t give up hope. We can help.
Our board-certified bariatric surgeons here at Turnquest Surgical Solutions see patients with acid reflux almost daily. We try conservative treatment first in most cases. But if a hiatal hernia is the cause of your acid reflux, we can surgically repair it.
A hiatal hernia is when a portion of your stomach pushes through an opening in your diaphragm, allowing acids to back up into your esophagus.
If you don’t have a hiatal hernia, you may be able to control your acid reflux with a change in eating and lifestyle habits. Changing your habits is a risk-free method of controlling acid reflux. Here are some of the changes you can make to help relieve your symptoms.
Yes, smoking can cause acid reflux, among other health problems. This habit affects your lower esophageal sphincter, a muscle at the intersection of your stomach and your esophagus.
This muscle normally covers that intersection to keep acids inside your stomach. Smoking lessens pressure on the muscle, so it can remain partially open, allowing acid to move upward into your esophagus.
If you’re obese or significantly overweight, you likely have acid reflux. The excess weight places pressure on your abdomen. Your belly fat presses on your stomach, so acids are able to move up into your esophagus.
Limit fried and fatty foods
If you love fried foods like french fries, fast food chicken nuggets, and hamburgers, your eating habits are fueling your acid reflux.
Greasy, fatty, fried foods lead to reflux. They take a long time to digest and can cause heartburn. They also prevent your lower esophageal sphincter muscle from closing properly, allowing stomach acids to travel to your esophagus.
Expand your eating habits to include more healthy foods. The Mediterranean diet includes a lot of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein. Cook with olive oil instead of vegetable oil. Work with a nutritionist who can help you learn to cook tasty, healthy meals.
Keep a food diary to find triggers for your acid reflux
Following are some other common triggers for acid reflux:
- Citrus fruits
- Peppermint and spearmint
- Spicy foods
If you consume these foods, see if you experience reflux after having them. If you do, find a substitute that doesn’t produce reflux.
Too much alcohol consumption can lead to reflux. It’s a proven trigger. It’s also dehydrating, which can make your reflux worse. Cut back on the amount you drink and see if your symptoms abate.
Weight loss surgery
If conservative methods fail and your acid reflux is severe, weight loss surgery is an option. Our board-certified surgeons, Dexter Turnquest, MD, and Victoria C. Chang, MD, can discuss several options with you.
After reviewing your medical history, talking with you about your goals, and conducting tests, they determine which option would be best for you.
Call us at Turnquest Surgical Solutions in Houston, Texas, today or book an appointment online. If you have uncontrolled acid reflux, we have answers.