Wedge pillow for acid reflux
For sufferers of acid reflux, it might seem like there’s nothing left to learn. But whether you’ve had acid reflux your whole life or you’ve just had a few episodes recently, be sure you have all the facts before you head to the prescription counter at the pharmacy. Here’s what you can learn from a wedge pillow for acid reflux.
What is happening?
Sometimes – if you eat a certain food, exhibit increased anxiety, or have certain gastrointestinal diseases. Acid from the stomach can make its way up into the esophagus, resulting in that bile-y burning in your throat. That makes it difficult to focus on anything except for that sickening feeling. After a few occurrences, it can also create an uncomfortable relationship with food. No one should have to suffer through that!
Know your vocab
Did you know that there’s different terminology depending on the persistence of your symptoms? An intermittent occurrence every once in a while can be identified as just acid reflux. However, persistent and regular acid reflux – as in more than twice a week – is identified as gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD. A wedge pillow for acid reflux can help in both cases.
Gravity is your new best friend
This is where the wedge pillow for acid reflux comes in (and saves the day!). A wedge pillow’s characteristic incline positions the head and upper torso at a higher angle than the rest of the body. When acid reflux flares up, this gentle tilt helps naturally keep stomach acid from slipping into the esophagus, as the esophagus is now higher than the stomach. If you’re lying down, the esophagus and the stomach are on the same plane and therefore more prone to leakage and subsequent discomfort.
No more pill-popping
Many doctors’ first instinct will be to prescribe some sort of medication – something like Nexium, Prilosec OTC, or Zantac. While medication may help, it shouldn’t be your front-line solution. Before committing to side effects even worse than what you’re treating (chronic liver disease? No thank you!), try sleeping on a wedge pillow nightly as a natural and side-effect-free way to help ease your symptoms. Even better, you can try it without fear of scary side effects!
If you’re starting to do your Google or Amazon search, don’t fall for a cheap-o pillow that doesn’t hold its shape. The best wedge pillows are those made from foam, especially memory foam. Think of it like an extension of your mattress. It’s supporting your upper spine, so you want something comfortable yet durable. It may feel awkward the first few days or even the first week, but adjusting to sleeping on a wedge pillow for acid reflux can really pay off in the long run.
All shapes and sizes
The good news is that wedge pillows aren’t just hunks of foam that make you sleep sitting up; there are many different shapes and sizes to help you more easily adjust, including different degrees of incline. You can also buy a wedge pillow that checks off some other boxes. A more severe slope for reading in bed, a more specific shape for ergonomic support for your neck. A collapsible pillow that travels easily, a full-length piece to act as a mattress-topper with an incline, or a pillow will a tunnel underneath for your arm while side-sleeping. Basically, you have a lot of options, and a lot of potential for the wedge pillow for acid reflux to help in more ways than one.
Pregnancy aches and pains
If you’re pregnant, even if you’ve never had acid reflux in your life, you may want to preemptively get a wedge pillow for acid reflux. Women tend to experience acid reflux during pregnancy – even those without GERD. Plus, a wedge pillow for acid reflux will offer extra support, which your spine will thank you for after standing and holding up a newly heavy belly all day! It can also prove helpful after the baby is born so that you can nurse in your own bed.
Wedge pillows aren’t some antiquated half-treatment for acid reflux. In fact, there are newer and better ones being made all the time, and they’ve been proven to work without the nasty side effects that prescriptions can induce. Now that you know more about wedge pillows and acid reflux, you may not even need the pharmacy, after all!
Feel free to have a look at our complete wedge pillow buying guide.