Reflux is very common and practise of simple measures may bring enough relief.
The more the stomach is stretched by food, the higher the tendency to reflux. Eating fatty meals as fat delays gastric emptying also increases the tendency to reflux.
- Eat small meals
- Eat regularly, this helps in reducing the pressure on the upper part of the stomach caused by large meals.
- Avoid large rich meals, particularly in the evening this reduces the tendency to reflux.
- Avoid eating late at night so as to keep the stomach relatively empty at bedtime.
- Avoid alcohol, if it is being taken, it should be in moderation with meals.
- Smoking should be avoided. Tobacco prevents the esophageal sphincter from working properly, reduces the rate at which the stomach empties and increases stomach acid production.
- Bending should be kept to a minimum, especially after meals.
- Loose clothing is preferable instead of tight clothes especially around the waist and belt.
- Being overweight can cause upward pressure on the base of the esophagus, so losing weight may relieve symptoms.
- The tendency to reflux increases when you are lying down. This is mainly due to gravity. A simple way to change that is to use a pillow under the mattress or to raise the head of your bed to help to keep stomach contents from rising into the esophagus.
3. Drug treatment
- Usually only needed for a short period, although sometimes it may need to be prescribed again.
- Medication, which can enhance the normal movements of the esophagus, can also be prescribed and can be helpful.
4. Surgical treatment
- This can be done by laparoscopy, by this procedure the tissue around the lower oesophagus can be tightened thereby decreasing or preventing reflux.
- If the oesophagus has become narrow, then it may be widened by an endoscopic procedure or, occasionally, by way of surgery.
- Schwann, Theodor. Über das Wesen des Verdauungsprocesses. Arch Anat Physiol Wissensch Med. 1836; 90-138 [Reprinted in Selected Readings in the History of Physiology, 2nd ed. Translated by Fulton JF, Wilson LG. Springfield, IL: Charles C Thomas; 1966, pp. 190-2.
- Manipal Manual Of Surgery: K. Rajgopal Shenoy. MBBS, MS. (2000 EDITION)