How to Avoid an Acid Reflux Sore Throat

Maintaining a straight posture while sitting can prevent an acid reflux sore throat.
Maintaining a straight posture while sitting can prevent an acid reflux sore throat. (Image: Pixland/Pixland/Getty Images)

If you suffer from acid reflux, there is a big chance that you are also experiencing a sore throat. (See Reference 1, 2 and 3; Resource 3) Also known as reflux laryngitis, the sore throat is an associated symptom of acid reflux that occurs when the stomach acid moves up your throat and into the larynx. If left untreated, it can lead to asthma, sinusitis and granulomas or growths on the vocal cords. (See Reference 1 and Resource 2) To avoid the sore throat, you must first treat your acid reflux with preventive medication, lifestyle and dietary adjustments. (See References 1, 2 and 4; Resources 2 and 4)

Dietary Recommendations

Spicy and fried foods increase stomach acidity and aggravate your reflux and sore throat symptoms. You should avoid these foods along with mint, citrus, onions, tomatoes and chocolate; caffeine, alcohol and carbonated drinks. Include low-fat, high-protein and carbohydrate foods in your diet. Make it a habit to drink plenty of water, consume warm liquid broths, caffeine-free teas and cold treats like ice pops to soothe your sore throat and keep it moist.

Food Habits

You should avoid having large meals at dinnertime or snacking close to bedtime. Instead, consume your last meal of the day at least three hours before going to bed. This will keep your stomach relatively empty when you lie down to sleep and prevent the contents from backing up into your throat and larynx and causing an acid reflux sore throat. Avoid overeating by reducing the portion size of your food and consuming four to five small meals a day, instead of three large ones.

Lifestyle Changes

If you have irritants lying around in your home, such as strong-smelling cleaning products, get rid of them because they can lead to a sore throat and aggravate it. Fit a humidifier in your room to eliminate dry air that contributes to a sore throat. Avoid wearing tight-fitting clothes and belts, or sitting in a hunched posture, becasue you are inadvertently putting extra pressure on your stomach and worsening your reflux.


Antacids neutralize your stomach acids and provide immediate relief from acid reflux. Purchase them over-the-counter in liquid or tablet form. Antacids are most effective if you take them at least 30 minutes after your meal or at bedtime. Because certain antacids contain magnesium and aluminum salts that cause side effects such as diarrhea and constipation, consult your doctor prior to taking them. Moreover, don't take magnesium and aluminum antacids if you suffer from kidney disease.

Tips & Warnings

  • Keep track of how often you are having acid reflux sore throat problems. Research suggests that having 2 or more episodes a week require you to be under a doctor's care.
  • Talk with your doctor about GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease) to determine if this is something you both should consider in your case.
  • Seek immediate medical attention if you begin to spit up blood or your acid reflux sore throat pain persists.

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