5 Ways to Prevent Acid Reflux After 50

5 Ways to Prevent Acid Reflux After 50

Bothered by acid reflux as years pass by? You’re far from alone. 

An estimated 40% of people in the United States experience acid reflux on occasion. Of those, up to 20% experience it at least once per week. And while the bothersome symptoms that result can affect most anyone, they’re especially noticeable from age 50 on.

Dr. Sreelatha Reddy and the team at Houston Gastrointestinal & Liver Clinic, P.A. in Sugar Land, Texas, are pleased to diagnose and treat acid reflux to help you regain ease and wellness. 

Take a few minutes to learn more about acid reflux, including ways to lower your odds of experiencing it after age 50.

Why acid reflux happens

Acid reflux happens when the muscle at the lower part of your esophagus relaxes at an inopportune time, allowing stomach acid to rise back up into your throat. 

As a result, you can experience a range of symptoms, such as heartburn, the backwash of sour liquid or food after eating, and difficulty swallowing. When you experience frequent acid reflux, it’s known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). 

Reasons acid reflux and GERD are more likely after age 50 include:

Lifestyle factors, such as smoking and drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, may contribute as well. You may also be more prone to frequent acid reflux if you have a family history of GERD. 

How to prevent acid reflux after 50

Thankfully, there’s a lot you can do to lower your chances of frequent or severe acid reflux as you age. Consider these five lifestyle measures:

  1. Elevate the head of your bed 6-9 inches to prevent nighttime symptoms
  2. Avoid lying down after meals
  3. Gradually lose excess weight
  4. Avoid food triggers, such as alcohol, caffeine, chocolate, fatty foods, and peppermint
  5. Chew your food slowly, setting your utensils down between bites

Additional steps worth considering include avoiding or stopping smoking and eating your last meal at least three hours before bed.

If you continue to struggle with acid reflux regardless of preventive steps, or if your symptoms are frequent and severe, Dr. Reddy can recommend a personalized treatment plan. 

Lifestyle changes paired with medication, for example, may keep your symptoms at bay. If your symptoms linger, you may be a candidate for surgery.

To learn more about acid reflux after 50 or to get the care you need, call Houston Gastrointestinal & Liver Clinic, P.A. or request your appointment online today.

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