You may have acid reflux if you feel a burning sensation or pain in your chest or throat after eating. This condition occurs when acidic digestive fluids from your stomach back up into your esophagus and cause pain and burning.
Although you can experience acid reflux anytime, its symptoms are most likely to occur after eating a meal. It is especially likely to happen if you eat a large meal.
Acid reflux can cause significant discomfort. But fortunately, there are steps you can take to find relief. The care providers at Texas Digestive Disease Consultants in The Woodlands, Texas, including Dr. Ilyas Memon, want to help you with your acid reflux symptoms. Here, we offer tips on how to manage acid reflux after meals.
Here’s a critical step you can take before you eat your first bite: Plan your meals to address your post-meal reflux. Pay attention to what triggers your symptoms. Spicy food? Large meals? Fast food? Caffeine? Carbonated beverages? Alcohol? A food journal may come in handy here to determine your problem foods.
Once you are aware of what sets you off, adjust your eating habits to protect yourself. Perhaps you could benefit from eating five small meals a day instead of three larger meals. Or by avoiding certain foods. By understanding your symptom triggers, you can make choices that help prevent symptoms from occurring.
If you recline after a meal, you make it easier for digestive juices to flow up into your esophagus. Protect yourself by sitting up after eating and avoiding lying down for a couple of hours. Try not to eat within two hours of going to bed.
Better yet, go for a walk after you eat. Exercise helps with healthy digestion and bowel function. However, limit your postprandial activity to walking because a vigorous workout could bring on reflux, mainly if your workout includes bending over.
Wearing tight clothing — especially items like bras or tight pants that are binding around the abdomen or chest — can restrict you and add to the physical process of pushing food and digestive juices into your esophagus. Help your body by unbuckling tight bras or pants or wearing looser clothing, especially after a large meal.
Being overweight or obese can contribute to acid reflux. Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight could reduce or eliminate your symptoms.
If you need help losing weight, ask your provider for a referral to a registered dietitian or a medical weight loss program.
Lifestyle choices, such as smoking, substance misuse, drinking excess alcohol, being sedentary, and eating a poor, low-fiber diet, can contribute to acid reflux and other digestive conditions. Our providers encourage you to talk to them if you need help addressing these habits.
Over-the-counter and prescription acid reflux medications can provide relief, but you should use them only if your digestive disease specialist recommends them. Although medication has a place in treating reflux, addressing lifestyle factors could reduce your reliance on medication.
Although these steps can help provide relief, if you’re experiencing acid reflux pain or any other digestive disease symptoms, you owe it to yourself to have your condition evaluated. Reflux can sometimes be a sign of a more serious medical condition.
We invite you to schedule an appointment at Texas Digestive Disease Consultants by calling 281-764-9500 or booking an appointment online.