The best way to minimize and possibly avoid GERD is to eliminate or reduce the factors that are within your control. Simple changes to make to start include lifestyle choices.
Immediately after you eat something, your body produces the greatest amount of acid for digestion of that food. Anytime you lie flat stomach acids can reflux into the esophagus. To reduce GERD symptoms, avoid eating late at night or wait at least 2 hours after you eat before you lie down. By coordinating your sleep habits and eating habits, you can allow ample time for the acid and food to pass through the stomach and can minimize reflux.
To reduce GERD symptoms, avoid eating late at night or wait at least 2 hours after you eat before you lie down.
A simple maneuver to improve nighttime GERD is to elevate the head ofyour bed. You can do this simply by placing small wooden blocks or bricks under the head ofyour bed.
A simple maneuver to improve nighttime GERD is to elevate the head of your bed. You can do this simply by placing small wooden blocks or bricks under the head of your bed. You can elevate your head by using special pillows called "Wedgies," which are available at surgical supply stores. This type of pillow allows your head and chest to be elevated at an incline, which helps keep your stomach below the level of your esophagus. Another nighttime tactic to try is to sleep on your left side. This position moves the stomach below the level of the esophagus and helps bring gravity back into the equation.
Certain foods and the way you eat your meals can also exacerbate GERD. Spicy, acidic, citrus, tomato-based, fatty, and fried foods can aggravate GERD symptoms. Some of these foods promote the production of more stomach acid, whereas others delay the stomach from emptying because they require more time for digestion to complete. By avoiding these types of foods, you can decrease the likelihood of GERD.
Other types of foods, such as alcohol, chocolate, or peppermint, can also cause reflux by relaxing the LES, which lowers its pressure. Normally, the LES acts as a one-way valve that relaxes to open during a swallow but stays contracted between swallows as a barrier to reflux. Avoiding foods that relax the LES can reduce the occurrence of reflux.
Caffeinated and carbonated beverages are also known to cause problems with reflux. The carbonation and gas in them can increase the pressure in the stomach and lead to heartburn. Also, carbonated drinks are acidic and can be irritating to an inflamed esophagus. Limiting these types of beverages can improve reflux.
Being overweight and eating large meals are closely related to GERD. Both of these factors can cause increased pressure in the stomach that can lead to reflux. Extra body weight in the abdomen increases pressure on the stomach and can force acid back into the esophagus. When you eat large meals, you overfill your stomach, which not only increases pressure in the stomach but slows stomach emptying and promotes GERD. Eating smaller meals will not only help people control their weight, but also helps reduce reflux symptoms.
Other lifestyle changes that may also be beneficial include stopping smoking, losing weight, and wearing loose clothing. Smoking hinders the protective factors against reflux, for example, decreasing saliva production. Wearing loose clothing and losing weight reduce the pressure on the stomach that can cause acidic fluid to be forced back into the esophagus.
These are only a few suggestions to help you improve your symptoms of GERD. As you read through the book, you'll notice many other lifestyle changes you can make to help reduce reflux symptoms.
Over the years I have come to the realization that if I have a large, late meal, I will have acid reflux during the night. Also, a pepperoni pizza will spark an incident and a very uncomfortable evening.
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Gastroesophageal reflux disease is the medical term for what we know as acid reflux. Acid reflux occurs when the stomach releases its liquid back into the esophagus, causing inflammation and damage to the esophageal lining. The regurgitated acid most often consists of a few compoundsbr acid, bile, and pepsin.