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Can Lifting Weights Cause Acid Reflux?

Acid Reflux

Hi Dr. Bell, I’ve had acid reflux for a while now, do you think it can be caused by intra-abdominal pressure from lifting? A friend suggested that could be a cause. Regardless, do you have any suggestions to neutralize it?

Chronic acid reflux is a medical condition that needs to be diagnosed by a medical doctor. Acid-reflux disorder is a very general term for a condition where the acids in your stomach move up into your esophagus. Typical causes of this condition are a Hiatal Hernia or temporary relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter may all acid to enter the esophagus.

Symptoms of acid reflux can include dysphagia (difficulty or inability to swallow, an uncomfortable or painful burning sensation that can radiate from the chest into the neck).

Treatments: Please see your Doctor at the earliest moment possible. There have been cases where chronic acid reflux can badly damage the esophagus and lead to esophageal Cancer. Before you can get an appointment with your Doctor, Antacids can provide temporary relief, but read the directions on the Antacid label. Long-term use of Antacids can have their own harmful side-effects. Less harmful treatments that are worth a try, are to elevate your head-shoulders-upper torso at the head of your bed while you sleep at night. Sleeping level can allow acid to make its way into your esophagus, but elevating your head/upper body allows gravity to keep the acids in your stomach, right where they belong. You can purchase “Pyramid Shaped Pillows” for this precise purpose.

I also recommend you lose weight, specifically if you have accumulated some “Loosely-Packed-Muscle” in your abdominal area. Males typically begin to store fat in their abdominals as they age. You can also avoid eating at least 2 hours before you lay down to sleep at night.

Other causes can be smoking and drinking, (especially at night) as well as highly processed foods.

You need a Doctor’s advice. If this continues and you don’t treat it properly, besides the risk of esophageal cancer, you also run the risk of esophagitis (throat inflammation), acid laryngitis, or even Pulmonary Disease.

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!” – Benjamin Franklin

Do not wait until this turns into a BIG problem, see your Doctor now while it’s still a little problem.

I wish you the best of luck,

Dr. Jim Bell

CEO of the IFPA