Acid reflux, also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), can occur in athletes just like it can occur in anyone else. In fact, physical activity and certain types of exercise, such as running and high-impact sports, can sometimes trigger symptoms of acid reflux.
The reason for this is that exercise can increase pressure in the abdominal cavity and cause the contents of the stomach to be pushed up into the esophagus, causing acid reflux. Additionally, some athletes may eat a high-fat diet, consume large amounts of food or liquids before exercising, or drink alcohol, all of which can also contribute to acid reflux symptoms.
To help manage acid reflux symptoms in athletes, it is important to make lifestyle changes, such as avoiding food and drink that can trigger symptoms, eating smaller, more frequent meals, and avoiding meals close to bedtime. Additionally, it is important to wear loose-fitting clothing during exercise and to avoid high-impact activities if they trigger symptoms.
If lifestyle changes are not enough to manage acid reflux symptoms in athletes, it may be necessary to use medications such as antacids, H2 receptor blockers, or proton pump inhibitors to help reduce symptoms.
It is important for athletes with acid reflux to work with their healthcare provider to determine the best course of treatment for their specific needs. With proper management, athletes with acid reflux can continue to participate in physical activity and sports while controlling their symptoms.