Treat Reflux through Diet and Lifestyle Changes
The simplest measures to treat reflux would be not eating within three, four, or five hours prior to bedtime. This means that your stomach will then normally be empty, and when you lie down at night, you will not be refluxing stomach contents, up into your esophagus or your throat. Other measures are avoiding trigger foods. Trigger foods that we know that cause further weakening and therefore, lack of strength in the sphincter and causing more reflux to occur, are things like caffeine, chocolate, alcohol and peppermint. Large amounts of fatty food in the diet slow down the stomach emptying, and then this allows for more reflux to take place.
Now, we’re not really talking about eliminating these completely from your diet. It is okay, with moderation, to have for instance, a cup of coffee, eight ounces or less per day, but beyond that, we cause repetitive weakening and then repetitive episodes of reflux. Another important concept is to not lie flat in the bed at night when you’re sleeping. During the day, it’s very easy to control reflux because we’re in the upright position so gravity helps the reflux to stay down towards our stomach. However, when we lie down at night flat in the bed and especially if we’ve eaten too soon before bedtime, then what is in the stomach is going to end up in the esophagus as well as up into your throat because you no longer have the benefit of gravity helping to keep the food down in the stomach.