Acid reflux is directly linked to your gastrointestinal tract. It occurs when the acid from your stomach comes back up your esophagus. This can cause discomfort, and it can damage your esophagus if it happens frequently.
There are many treatments for acid reflux. They include lifestyle changes, medications, and other alternative therapies.
Probiotics are one such therapy. Probiotics are good bacteria that keep bad bacteria from growing. Bad bacteria can cause illness and unwanted symptoms.
There are many varieties of probiotics. Some are in foods like yogurt. Others are available as supplements or even topical creams.
Although they’re used to treat many gastrointestinal conditions, more research is needed to determine whether they have an effect on acid reflux symptoms.
Although you don’t need probiotics to be healthy, they do provide several benefits. They can help with digestion and protect against harmful bacteria.
They may also help:
- treat irritable bowl syndrome
- treat diarrhea
- speed up the treatment for certain intestinal infections
- prevent stomach ulcers from forming
- prevent or treat vaginal yeast infections
- prevent or treat urinary treat infections
- prevent or treat colds or flu
Probiotics can be found in dairy products, such as yogurt. They can also be taken as supplements.
More research is needed to determine whether probiotics have an effect on acid reflux.
Risks and warnings
Most people can take or consume probiotics without experiencing any adverse side effects. Some people may experience minor side effects, including mild gas and bloating.
Probiotics may not be healthy to use if you have underlying conditions. You should consult your doctor before use if you have a chronic illness or are being treated for a serious medical condition. Older adults and people with a weakened immune system should also speak with their doctor before adding probiotics to their regimen.
Because probiotics are a dietary supplement, they aren’t regulated by the U. S. Food and Drug Administration. This means that they’re not required to undergo thorough testing like drugs and other medications are. The contents of probiotic supplements can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, so use caution. Be sure to talk to your doctor about any questions or concerns you have.
You can treat acid reflux in a variety of ways. The first approach involves making changes to your lifestyle. This includes:
- losing weight
- eating smaller meals
- avoiding certain foods and beverages
- quitting smoking
- monitoring or avoiding alcohol consumption
- eating at least two hours before bedtime
- sleeping with the head of your bed elevated
- wearing loose-fitting clothing
Trigger foods for acid reflux include spicy foods, fatty foods, and fruits and vegetables high in acidity. Caffeinated beverages, such as coffee and tea, can also cause acid reflux.
You can also use over-the-counter and prescription medications to help your symptoms. This includes antacids, H2 blockers, and proton pump inhibitors. These medications can neutralize or suppress acid.
Chronic cases of acid reflux may need to be treated with surgery. This can repair the lower esophageal sphincter and prevent future damage to the esophagus.
Acid reflux is a common condition in adults. Infrequent acid reflux can be controlled with lifestyle choices and over-the-counter medications. Increasing your activity level, monitoring your alcohol consumption, and eating smaller meals may help reduce symptoms of occasional reflux.
If you decide to give probiotics a try, remember to:
- Pick up probiotic-laden foods, such as yogurt.
- Read all supplement labels, as ingredients can vary across brands.
- Discontinue use if you begin experiencing any unusual side effects.
A doctor should treat more serious cases of acid reflux. Contact your doctor if you experience frequent acid reflux or if your symptoms persist even with treatment. Your doctor can work with you to develop an appropriate treatment plan.