At Professional Gastroenterology Associates, we strive to provide timely, pertinent information regarding our practice and your health care needs. To schedule an appointment please call us at (856) 429-4433. Our staff is available to address your concerns and answer any question.

PGA Monthly Health Tip

Tips on Heartburn and Reflux:

1. Heartburn occurs when stomach acids flow upward (regurgitate) into the esophagus. The esophagus carries food and liquid into the stomach. A sphincter (specialized muscle) is located at the end of the esophagus, known as the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). The LES should only open when food or liquid is passed into the stomach, however, sometimes it is too weak to stay completely closed and stomach juices seep back into the esophagus. This is known as reflux.

The following are factors that reduce the LES pressure and allow reflux:

  • Nicotine
  • Fried or fatty foods
  • Caffeine
  • Citrus fruits and juices
  • Peppermint or spearmint
  • Alcohol
  • Pregnancy
  • Lying flat

2. To treat reflux:

  • Eat smaller, more frequent meals
  • Do not lie down immediately after eating and avoid eating several hours before going to bed.
  • Avoid excessive lifting, bending, abdominal exercises, and girdles and tight belts which all increase abdominal pressure and provoke reflux.
  • Lose weight if overweight.
  • Quit smoking.
  • Avoid fatty foods, alcohol, coffee, chocolate, peppermint.
  • Elevate the head of the bed 8-10 inches (so gravity keeps stomach juices out of the esophagus while you sleep), extra pillows may help.
  • Consult your doctor about antacid or prescription medication for treatment of persistent reflux.

Reprinted From Meducate

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