Healthy Tidbits

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Obesity & Acid Reflux

Nov 12, 2014

Acid reflux is a common complaint for many people, especially those who are suffering from obesity. Characterized by a burning sensation in the esophagus and chest known as heartburn, a sour stomach, and even vomiting, acid reflux can be very uncomfortable and when left untreated can cause serious complications including damage to the esophagus and the development of ulcers.

How does acid reflux happen?

When the valve between the esophagus and the stomach doesn’t close completely as it should, acid that typically resides in the stomach to break down our food, comes back up through the esophagus. This causes the feeling of burning. And when acid reflux occurs more than twice week this is a condition that is referred to as gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD.

Experts believe that obesity is linked to acid reflux and GERD because a larger belly worsens symptoms. Luckily, lifestyle changes can dramatically improve symptoms of acid reflux and GERD.

What can be done?

Some things that can be done include:

  • Losing weight. First and foremost, taking off the extra pounds can significantly reduce symptoms. So those who undergo weight loss surgery will often find that this is one of the pleasant side effects of their procedure.
  • Eating clean. Fried and spicy foods can often exacerbate symptoms. Eating clean and healthy can help eliminate acid reflux.
  • See a doctor. If symptoms persist and you’re not finding any relief, it’s best to see a doctor who can perhaps prescribe medication to help alleviate symptoms.

Most importantly, acid reflux is something to pay attention to; it’s your body’s way of telling you something is going on. So if you have been struggling with obesity and acid reflux is one of the symptoms of your condition, it may be time to consider weight loss surgery for overall better health.