Acid reflux and insomnia
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Question:
I am having trouble with acid reflux and I am having a hard time sleeping as it gets up in my throat and I choke. What can I do to correct this problem?

Answer:
Both medications that stop acid in the stomach and lifestyle changes can help a lot. To avoid reflux, you want your stomach to be acid free when you lie down, and you want whatever is in your stomach not to go up your esophagus. Here's what you can do to prevent this:

    First, have nothing to eat or drink for 2 hours before lying down. This includes water. The less in your stomach, the less acid. When you lay down, be sure the legs at the head end of your bed are on blocks about 6" tall. This keeps stomach contents down away from your gastro-esophageal junction. Other things that help include taking medications to stop acid. These can be H2 blockers, like Axid, Tagamet, and Pepcid, etc., or proton pump inhibitors like Prevacid or Prilosec.

Some folks find that avoiding constricting garments like girdles or tight belts can reduce pressure on the stomach, which may reduce the amount of acid that affects the valve at the junction between the stomach and esophagus. If you wear tight things, think loose. Think suspenders.

Many folks find that antacids that coat the lower esophagus and upper stomach, like Gaviscon, can help. Sometimes a little at bedtime and a dose on the night table can be effective.

By Dr. Flash Gordon

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