Reflux, the incidence of which has increased rapidly in all countries of the world in recent years, is the nightmare of one out of every 4 people in our country! Acıbadem Fulya Hospital Gastroenterology Specialist Prof. stated that inactivity and changes in eating habits triggered the increase in reflux, especially during the pandemic process that has been going on for more than one and a half years. Dr. Oya Yönal says, “In the pandemic, reflux complaints increased significantly due to overeating, eating until late hours, carbohydrate-rich and fast-food diet, inactivity, weight gain and stress.” Stating that reflux, which causes complaints such as stomach acid escaping back to the esophagus and burning in the esophagus, bitter-sour water coming into the mouth, significantly impairs the quality of life. Dr. Oya Yönal warns that the disease can lead to cancer if left untreated. Gastroenterology Specialist Prof. Dr. Oya Yönal explained 10 effective rules against reflux in the pandemic, and made important warnings and suggestions.
Avoid fatty foods
Avoid fries, fast food, sesame foods and margarine. Fatty foods have a long residence time in the stomach, delay gastric emptying and increase reflux complaints by reducing the pressure of the lower esophageal (esophageal) sphincter.
Don't overdo the chocolate
Chocolate causes reflux for two reasons. First; Especially when it is consumed on an empty stomach and in large quantities, it loosens the valve mechanism between the esophagus and the stomach, and the second is that it contains plenty of caffeine, which itself is the cause of reflux.
Avoid alcohol, acidic and caffeinated beverages
Caffeine-containing beverages such as coffee, sweetened sodas, iced tea, and acidic beverages such as alcohol, cola, soda, orange juice trigger reflux very quickly by lowering the sphincter pressure in the esophagus and increasing acid secretion. Therefore, stay away from these drinks and take care to consume 2 liters of water every day.
Reduce spicy food consumption
Foods containing hot green peppers, red peppers and black pepper are among the biggest triggers of reflux. When spices are consumed excessively, they increase acid secretion in people with reflux disease and accelerate burning in the chest. Therefore, it is necessary to reduce the consumption of spicy food.
Scientific studies show that while smoking is extremely harmful to health, it also causes reflux by lowering the pressure of the lower esophageal (esophageal) sphincter, like many other diseases.
Build your diet according to these rules
Gastroenterology Specialist Prof. Dr. Oya Yönal states that it is essential to change the nutritional conditions against reflux and lists her suggestions as follows;
- Avoid overeating as overeating increases stomach pressure and triggers reflux.
- Eat small, frequent and regular meals.
- Eat food slowly and chew well.
- Since fluid consumption increases stomach pressure, take it between meals, not during meals.
- Stop eating and drinking 3-4 hours before going to bed. (When the stomach is full, reflux complaints increase because it is easy for the stomach contents to escape into the esophagus.)
- Do not make movements that will increase abdominal pressure after meals, wait for a while for physical movements that will cause bending and straightening.
Try to reach your ideal weight
In recent studies, a significant relationship was found between body mass index and waist circumference and reflux. Increased reflux in obese; It is explained by the fact that the increase in intra-abdominal pressure causes an increase in intra-gastric pressure. Increased intragastric pressure can also increase the risk of developing a hernia and cause reflux. For this reason, overweight patients should lose weight in order to reduce reflux complaints.
Stay away from stress
Disorders in the visceral nerve pathways, which cause hypersensitivity in the esophagus, can also be effective in the formation of reflux symptoms. For this reason, try to manage your stress, which causes an increase in reflux complaints, and try to stay away from excessive stress.
Raise the head of the bed 30-45 cm
Using double pillows or raising the head of the bed 30-45 cm and lying on the left side reduces reflux complaints.
Do not wear tight clothing
Make sure your pants and skirt are loose. Tight trousers, tight belts and corsets make it easier for stomach acid to reach the esophagus, while increasing abdominal pressure and triggering reflux complaints.