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To prevent acid reflux, or heartburn, begin by considering the types of foods that have caused acid reflux for you in the past. It might be helpful to keep a log of the foods that are worst; many people find that spicy or acidic foods are particularly bad, as well as alcohol, carbonated beverages, or coffee. In addition, consider changes in the way you eat, the times of day that you eat, and the way you sleep at night in order to prevent acid reflux.
The types of foods consumed are the most common source of acid reflux. Not all foods will trigger acid reflux in everyone, though, which is why it is a good idea to determine your personal foods that cause acid reflux and then avoid them. In addition, the way you eat your meals can help to prevent acid reflux. Try to eat a few smaller meals throughout the day rather than three large meals; having less food in the stomach will make acid reflux less likely. Slow down while you are eating your food, taking small bites and putting the fork down in between bites to allow the food time to digest and to allow the body to send cues to the brain when it is full.
Do not exercise immediately after eating to help prevent acid reflux; in addition, be sure to eat your last meal for the day at least two or three hours before going to bed. Eating and then laying down immediately can cause stomach acid to enter the esophagus. In addition, elevate the head when sleeping at night to help prevent acid reflux from occurring overnight. This can be accomplished by simply adding an additional pillow, though some people choose to purchase special wedges to place under the pillow to put the head at a higher angle than the stomach. Either method can be effective, particularly since heartburn is often worst at night for many people.
People of a healthy weight are less likely to experience acid reflux, so try to lose any extra weight and maintain a healthy weight. In addition, avoid wearing belts, pants, or undergarments that are too tight, all of which can contribute to acid reflux. In addition to these preventions, an antacid regimen can help to prevent acid reflux from occurring, as well as relieving the symptoms you may have. If acid reflux is persistent and painful, it may be necessary to visit a doctor for prescription medication that can be taken daily to prevent acid reflux.
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