Heartburn Prevention 101: How To Prevent Heartburn After Bariatric Surgery

Bariatric surgery is one of the best ways for obese patients to lose a lot of weight and improve their health for a long time. However, bariatric surgery does come with side effects. One of the most notable side effects is heartburn, which can be a symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), otherwise known as acid reflux disease.

If you recently got gastric bypass or gastric sleeve surgery and you’re experiencing heartburn, just know that it’s not your fault and there are things you can do to alleviate it. In this guide, you’ll learn about how to prevent heartburn, what acid reflux foods to avoid, and how you can continue to live a healthy and happy life after bariatric surgery.

Before you continue, understand that some symptoms of heartburn are similar to symptoms of other conditions. Check out this guide on how to know if you have heartburn or something else!

What Is Heartburn Caused By?

Heartburn is caused by stomach acid going back up into the esophagus by way of the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). Occasional heartburn is normal and usually related to the meal you ate, however bariatric surgery patients can experience heartburn that they never had before.

Over time, the LES may become weak and cause stomach acid to regularly reflux up into the esophagus. This is what’s known as GERD or acid reflux disease, and this can cause your esophageal lining to wear down. This can cause more severe problems down the line.

Heartburn is only a symptom of GERD or acid reflux disease. Persistent heartburn that doesn’t seem to go away may be indicative of GERD. If you think you may have GERD, get a diagnosis from your doctor before opting for a treatment plan.

Acid Reflux Foods to Avoid to Prevent Heartburn

If you’re experiencing acid reflux or GERD symptoms such as heartburn, you’re going to want to change what you eat. Here are some foods you’ll want to avoid or reduce if you want to prevent heartburn.

  • Foods high in fat, especially deep fried foods.
  • Spicy foods.
  • Alcoholic beverages.
  • Caffeinated carbonated beverages such as cola or energy drinks.
  • Dark chocolate.

Lifestyle Changes for GERD & Preventing Heartburn

  • Don’t go to bed immediately after eating. Lying down can cause an already weakened LES to allow more stomach acid to reflux into the esophagus by way of gravity. Allow at least 2 hours to pass after eating before lying down.
  • Elevate your bed, or at least your head and upper body, while sleeping.
  • Lose excess weight. Excess weight puts pressure on the stomach, causing the LES to become weaker.

Southern Nevada Bariatrics offers gastric sleeve in Las Vegas and gastric bypass in Las VegasContact us to learn more about surgical options for weight loss surgery in Las Vegas!

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