In healthy infants, treatment is usually not needed. Adults can clear up symptoms and manage the condition by steering clear of fatty, spicy or acidic foods or by eating smaller meals. If you are a smoker, quitting can provide significant relief against reflux like symptoms.
There are over-the-counter medications available to aid in curing heartburn like symptoms. Acid-reducing agents called antacids and anti-secretory drugs such as H2 blockers and proton pump inhibitors can assist in blocking symptoms and include:
- Cimetidine (Tagamet)
- Famotidine (Pepcid AC)
- Nizatidine (Axid)
- Ranitidine (Zantac)
- Esomeprazole (Nexium)
- Lansoprazole (Prevacid)
- Omeprazole (Prilosec, Zegerid)
- Pantoprazole (Protonix)
- Rabeprazole (Aciphex)
Foods that contribute to acid reflux symptoms and should be avoided include: citrus fruits, chocolate, caffeinated beverages and alcohol, fried foods, garlic, onions, mint flavorings, spicy or fatty foods and tomato based foods such as spaghetti sauce, salsa, chili and pizza.
Maintaining a healthy weight and avoiding alcohol can also help. Try not to lie down for three hours after each meal and raise the head of your bed six to eight inches to aid in the progression of digestion.
If your condition progresses in severity and becomes GERD or Barrett’s Esophagus, you may need to consult your doctor about surgical or endoscopic procedures as treatment options. These options involve the removal of esophagus tissue in order to undamaged tissue to grow back and take its place.