Ways to Lessen Pain
Among the discomforts associated with acid reflux pain are heartburn, sore throat and chest pain. Various treatment remedies are available to provide temporary relief from pain.
Healthy food habits provide a natural cure from acid reflux pain. It includes keeping off your diet foods that cause the symptoms and drinking plenty of water to wash down the excess acid secreted in the stomach. Heartburn is more pronounced at night and hence overeating at bedtime should be strictly avoided. The practice of chewing gums especially after meals increases the flow of saliva which in turn washes the excess stomach acid present on the esophagus. Gums containing antacids are available in the market.
Over-the-counter antacids provide temporary relief for acid reflux pain. But if you need them more frequently or the symptoms persist and the pain does not go, you are in need of prescription drugs recommended by your doctor. Often the acid reflux pain increases when you are bending or lying down. Lying with your head pillow elevated some 6 to 8 inches above the bed to keep you upright and lying on your side lessens the pain by reducing the secretion of stomach acid.
In extreme cases where medicines prove ineffective, surgery may become necessary to provide relief to the patient from acid reflux pain. A new surgical procedure called ‘Plicator’ involves stapling of the valve between the stomach and the upper esophagus with pleat. It is a short duration but very effective surgery. In the traditional method, the upper part of the stomach is wrapped around the lower esophagus to tighten the valve lying between them. The surgical procedures mentioned above are performed after administering the patient with general anesthesia. It requires 2-3 days’ hospitalization and a further period of two weeks for convalescence. Proper diet and lifestyle changes post surgery are essential to prevent recurrence of acid reflux pain.