Diabetes reflux is just another symptom that individuals must endure. When a person eats, the food travels from the mouth to the stomach via the esophagus. Enzymes in the esophagus are highly acidic in order to break down the food so that nutrients may be absorbed and waste can be excreted. A valve found inside the esophagus, called the lower esophageal sphincter controls the regulation of food from the mouth into the stomach and then acting like a valve, closes to prevent food from returning to the esophagus and mouth.

This process is how a normal digestive tract handles the passage of food. For diabetics, however, when diabetic neuropathy, which is nerve damage, occurs, the sphincter and esophagus become damaged. They are then unable to stop the backup of food in the wrong direction and the food coming back causes pain and burning sensations.Diabetes acid reflux can also occur when a person is sleeping or lying down as the sphincter is in a horizontal position and allows for an easy backup of food and acid.


Diabetes and Acid Reflux – Symptoms


Symptoms of diabetes and reflux include a burning sensation in the esophagus, stomach, and mouth due to the high acid content. The acid may also cause scar tissue to form on the esophagus, which over time can cause serious health issues such as difficulty breathing, wheezing, laryngitis, and even esophageal cancer. Smaller problems that may cause discomfort and embarrassment are chronic belching, bad breath, and a smoker’s type cough.


Diabetes and Acid Reflux– Prevention & Treatment


Diabetes and acid reflux are two conditions that do not have to coincide with massive symptoms if a few minor actions are performed. One way that all diabetic patients should follow is to maintain a very healthy diet that will stabilize their blood sugar levels I order to reduce the amount of nerve damage that is caused by diabetic episodes. Individuals who are overweight or obese should try to shed excess weight. In addition, individuals should avoid foods that will encourage the production of acid and reflux, such as caffeine, spicy foods, chocolate, fat, onions, and garlic. Eating smaller portions of food throughout the day versus three large meals will help maintain normal levels of blood glucose levels and will help to prevent the sphincter from allowing foods to back into the esophagus.

After eating, an individual should avoid lying down or going to sleep for at least three hours as the position can assist the back flow of food.  Some people may find relief by lying in an upright position or elevating the head of their bed approximately nine inches to stay somewhat vertical. A person can achieve these results by using a special pillow, propping up several pillows, sleeping in a reclining bed, or raising the head of their bed using casters.

Other than diet and sleep patterns, refraining for alcohol and tobacco use will greatly improve the acid reflux experienced with diabetes. For short-term relief, diabetics may find that over the counter medications such as Rolaids, Tums, or Pepto-Bismol are quick to relief the burning sensations. A doctor’sconsultation may be needed to determine if the patient would do well with a prescription for daily oral medication that will prevent the inflammatory effects of diabetes reflux, such as Histamine-2 blockers or proton pump inhibitors. As always, natural methods should be tried first and everything a diabetic tries should be with the approval of their doctor.


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