Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) occurs in the stomach when acidic hydrochloric (HCL) gas pushes upward through the alimentary tract and causes irritation of tissue of the esophagus, an eight-inch long tube connecting your throat with your stomach. Its cause is excessive secretion of HCL acid used for digesting our food through gastric glands in our stomach, while excess secretion causes this condition.
GERD refers to chronic heartburn and acid reflux symptoms that recur regularly, and sufferers may need lifestyle, medication or surgery changes as part of a solution plan. Acidic patients experience burning after eating and belching of acid can often cause discomfort in an uncomfortable situation.
Acid reflux requires lifestyle modifications in order to treat. While making some changes may help, these are unlikely to produce long-term solutions for controlling your Symptoms of Gerd. By taking an integrative approach instead, more likely can you control GERD symptoms over time.
There are simple tips that can help:
Eat Smaller Meals
Incorporating smaller meals can help the stomach to feel less fuller, produce significantly fewer stomach acids, and ultimately decrease gastric pressure. An excessively caloric meal combined with higher caloric consumption is often responsible for increased levels of acid in esophageal distention among those suffering from GERD, while an overly full stomach puts stress on its connecting valve – called lower esophageal and sphincter (LES) valve which allows more stomach acid into esophageal distention esophageal distention as well.
After you eat food, chemical signals travel from your stomach to your brain signaling that food is available and ready for consumption. When your stomach becomes full, this signals your brain with feelings of satisfaction; in other words, that you feel satisfied and full.
Signals may take as long as 15 minutes to reach the brain, which means if you eat quickly you could overfill your stomach before the signals reach their destination. By eating slowly your brain has enough time to become acquainted with your stomach and identify when you’re full.
For maximum effectiveness in slowing the pace of your eating, follow these easy guidelines:
- Consider seating yourself at a table rather than relaxing on the sofa or in your vehicle.
- Do not eat while watching television or working at your computer. This could cause overeating.
- Put down your fork and spoon after every bite.
Combine conversation and food.
If nothing else works, try eating with the hand that is not your dominant one. Even if you aren’t ambidextrous, this simple solution should help slow down the pace of your meal and bring about better digestion.
Avoid Food Before Bedtime
In cases of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), late-night snacks are not advised. As soon as you lay flat after eating, gravity pulls food items towards the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). Consumption of large quantities of food increases pressure on this structure; to minimize this risk and avoid increased pressure, drink or eat two hours prior to going to sleep (if experiencing serious GERD symptoms this might increase this period by four).
Elevate Your Head While Sleeping
Gravity can help relieve pressure on the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) and prevent empty stomach contents from flowing back up your esophagus into your esophagus. You can elevate your head in various ways.
- Add pillows to your head, preferably firmer foam pillows that won’t break.
- Arrange bricks or blocks under the legs near the head of your bed for support.
- Purchase of wedge-shaped pillows can be done both online and at mattress stores.
- Napping works similarly. Some have discovered that taking short naps in a chair may reduce heartburn more effectively than sleeping.
Avoid Trigger Foods
You are probably familiar with some of the food items that cause discomfort to your stomach. Some can trigger heartburn by increasing stomach acid production while others relax the LES, as well as others which could directly irritate its lining such as citrus fruits, spicy foods, coffee, juices or beverages. It can be challenging to pinpoint exactly which foods cause GERD symptoms if symptoms exist; to help with identification it’s recommended keeping a journal of heartburn (similar to keeping a diet diary) where you record food consumed along with levels of heartburn experienced after each bite consumed as well as everything consumed since when as soon as possible after each eating experience as this will allow.
By ranking your heartburn on a scale from one to ten – with one representing mild heartburn and 10 representing severe and debilitating episodes – it allows you to assess its severity as well as identify which foods cause it.
Use Antacids Correctly
Antacids may be useful as an acute solution, but overusing them could do more damage than good. Prolonged use could result in diarrhea, constipation that changes color of stool as well as stomach cramps and may even create kidney stones in some instances.
Avoid Tight Clothing
Clothing that sits tightly around the waist may squeeze your stomach, forcing food upwards towards the LES and leading to acid reflux – even if you don’t have GERD. Tight-fitting belts slimming undergarments yoga pants and tight pants should generally be avoided in order to reduce acid reflux symptoms; alternatively try loose fitting clothing such as shirts that can be left out tucked and suspenders instead of belts for optimal results.
Stress makes people more sensitive to symptoms of reflux disease, leading them to believe that stress is to blame. By taking several deep breaths and then relaxing for just five minutes at the start of each GERD episode, anxiety will ease as quickly as symptoms ease away.
Stress management can be used as an effective “preventative therapy”, by regularly relieving levels of tension. Some methods which could prove helpful are:
- Controlled breathing
- Guided imagery
- Progressive muscle relaxation (PMR)
Cigarettes can be the single worst thing you do if you suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Not only will cigarettes irritate the esophagus, they will also raise stomach acidity levels causing inflammation to form within the stomach lining and further worsening symptoms. Smoking leads to slower digestion processes that keep food in your stomach longer and decrease saliva production to neutralize stomach acid, ultimately diminishing saliva production for neutralizing stomach acid and contributing to long-term harm to LES quality. Quitting smoking may be challenging, but its rewards far outweigh its risks. Reducing tobacco intake not only lowers your risk of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), but it will also decrease your chance of certain forms of cancer – such as esophageal cancer.