If you are suffering from GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) then it is important for you to understand some of the facts about this condition before you consider GERD treatment. The more knowledge you collect about this condition, the better your chances of managing it effectively.
How it develops
Before GERD treatment, you should understand how it develops. It occurs when your lower esophageal sphincter, the area between your esophagus and your stomach, opens inappropriately or is weakened. This is what allows acid as well as other contents of your stomach to re-enter your esophagus and causes irritation.
Heartburn is one of its most common symptoms. Some of the other frequently experienced symptoms include a sore throat, asthma, chronic cough, hoarseness, chest pain, etc.
It can also cause pain since the stomach acid is going to trigger nerves inside your esophagus. It can damage the lining of your esophagus and this will result in immense discomfort.
Who may have it?
This condition can affect anyone from adults to babies. Conditions like obesity greatly increase a person’s chances of developing GERD.
Pregnant women are at risk of developing this condition since there is an increased pressure on their stomachs while their babies grow. This only increases the chances of the contents of their stomach coming back up to the esophagus. Rising hormones at the time of pregnancy soften the lower esophageal sphincter as well which can cause acid reflux.
Eating particular foods or drinking particular beverages can cause the symptoms to be triggered.
People who have GERD should stay away from acidic food or drinks like orange or tomato juice. Spicy foods are known to trigger these symptoms as well.
There are certain medical drugs which can trigger GERD symptoms too. If you are worried that the medication you are on is worsening your symptoms, speak with your doctor to find out if that is true. If it is, try identifying alternative medications for you to consume instead.
The simplest form of GERD treatment is to make some simple lifestyle changes. These include changes to your diet, modification of particular habits and changing the way you sleep in the night. Elevating the head of your bed is a great way to ease the symptoms of GERD while you sleep.
Wearing tight-fitting clothing around your abdomen or waist like shaping undergarments only increases abdominal pressure and this is known to trigger the symptoms of GERD.
Walking is a great way to ease the symptoms of GERD especially if you walk right after your meals. Good posture is known to help with these symptoms and sitting up straight will go a long way in helping with digestion.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease or chronic acid reflux has the potential to create severe complications. The constant presence of acid in your esophagus may cause a condition known as Barrett’s esophagus or esophageal strictures, erosive esophagitis and esophageal cancer.
Seek the proper GERD treatment right away to prevent any of these adverse outcomes in the long run.