One thing that's important to keep in mind is that you normally have a sphincter muscle, separates the swallowing tube from the stomach. Now, when this sphincter muscle is doing its job, you have much less likelihood of reflux. But suppose it relaxes or suppose it's permanently weakened. Well then you could imagine you'll get frequent heartburn or reflux. Now the next question would be, well, gee, how can I determine if I have a problem with this? Normally, if you take an antacid medication, it could be a liquid acid. It could be what we refer to as a proton pump inhibitor, provisac, or some other similar types of medication. Those medicines will block the effect of acid. So now if you reflux gastric content, you won't get that injury or inflammation or irritation from the acid. What else could you do? Well, if you elevate the head of your bed at least 30 to 45 degrees when you're reclined, this will help the reflux acid drain by gravity. If you avoid eating a large snack or meal within two hours of going to bed, that can help. What about if you consume a smaller volume of food? Well naturally a smaller volume will stimulate a smaller volume of acid, and so even if you have reflux, you'll reflux a smaller amount.
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