Acid Reflux in Seniors – Symptoms, Causes and Remedies | AU Small Finance Bank
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Acid Reflux in Seniors - Symptoms, Causes, Remedies for Relief

    Your health doesn't have to become a victim of age. It can often be protected with a healthy lifestyle. Healthy living will not only keep you fit but will also make you feel cheerful and happy — both inside and out.

    Acid reflux occurs when stomach acid and food or fluids come back up into your esophagus. This digestive disorder arises when the valve between the food pipe and stomach fails to close properly after eating. It’s also called acid regurgitation or gastroesophageal reflux (GERD).

     

    Symptoms

    Acid reflux can be painful and may be triggered by certain situations. While it often feels like heartburn, other symptoms include: 
    • An unpleasant sour taste in your mouth
    • Choking when eating, or difficulty swallowing foods and liquids
    • Recurring cough or hiccups
    • Hoarse voice
    • Bad breath
    • Bloating and feeling sick
     

    Causes

    Acid reflux disease or GERD is the most common upper gastrointestinal disorder in older adults. With age, many bodily functions slow down, including the digestive tract. The muscles in the digestive tract become stiffer, weaker, and less efficient. The tissues are also more likely to become damaged because new cells aren't forming as quickly as they once did.  All these defects often lead to increased symptoms, such as acid reflux or constipation, etc.
     

    Remedies for Relief

    Acid reflux can be uncomfortable, but lifestyle changes and home remedies can help ease your symptoms without medication. Here are a few steps you can take to treat acid reflux at home.
     

    Follow an Appropriate Diet Plan

    The best way to prevent acidity is to follow an appropriate diet plan. You can incorporate these specific foods into your diet plan to manage symptoms of acid reflux.
    • Green Vegetables – Naturally low in fat and sugar, they help reduce stomach acid.
    • Ginger –  Filled with anti-inflammatory properties, this food item is a natural treatment for gastrointestinal problems
    • Oatmeal, brown rice, sweet potatoes, carrots, beets – An excellent source of fiber, these food items lower the risk of acid reflux.
    • Non-citrus fruits - Fruits, like banana, apple, melons, pears, avocado, dragon fruit, etc do not trigger acid.
    • Zucchini, celery, cucumber, lettuce, watermelon, broth-based soups – high in water content, these food items help dilute your stomach acid.
    • You can also consume herbal tea, coconut water, yogurt, or a glass of lemon water.
     

    Food Items to Avoid:

    • Eliminate oily and spicy food
    • Reduce the intake of tomatoes, onions, mint, etc
    • Avoid processed food/ junk food items like french fries, pizza, burgers, samosa, vada pav, chaat, etc
    • Avoid cola drinks, soda drinks, tea, coffee, etc
     
    Note:  You can also consult a certified dietician if you need a well-designed personalized diet plan.
     

    Things to Do:

    • Exercise regularly and maintain an appropriate weight
    • Wear loose comfortable clothes
    • Eat smaller meals at regular intervals. Do not overeat.
    • Eat slowly and chew every bite
    • Drink lots of water
    • Avoid alcohol and quit smoking
    • Eat 3-4 hours before bedtime
    • While sleeping, raise the head high will extra pillows. It won’t allow the acids to reach the lower esophagus. You can also try inserting a triangular wedge underneath your head.
    • Maintain a food journal to understand what kind of foods and beverages triggers acid reflux.
     
    Most people can manage the discomfort of acid reflux with lifestyle changes. However, some may need stronger medications or surgery to ease symptoms.
    Note: Frequent or prolonged acid reflux can lead to a more severe condition. So if you experience acid reflux for more than a few weeks - see a doctor.