Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) and Lifestyle Modification – Agrawal Gastrocare Center Indore
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, or GERD, is a chronic digestive disorder in which acid and bile flow back up into the esophagus from the stomach. It can cause symptoms such as heartburn, chest pain, regurgitation, sore throat, and difficulty swallowing.
GERD can lead to more serious problems if left untreated, such as narrowing of the esophagus, ulcers, and even cancer of the esophagus. Treatment includes lifestyle changes, medications, and in some cases, surgery. Lifestyle modifications such as avoiding certain foods, eating smaller meals, and avoiding lying down soon after eating can help reduce symptoms.
GERD and Lifestyle Modification
Instead of avoiding dietary triggers, our doctors may suggest the following lifestyle adjustments to help improve GERD symptoms:
- Avoid lying down for at least two hours after eating or after drinking acidic beverages such as soda or other caffeinated beverages. This can assist to keep stomach contents from spilling back into the esophagus.
- Instead of a few substantial meals, eat smaller and more frequent meals throughout the day. This aids digestion and may help prevent heartburn.
- Quit smoking. Smoking can increase stomach acid production and impair the function of the lower esophageal sphincter, the muscle that prevents acid and other stomach contents from reentering the esophagus. Smoking can also reduce the amount of saliva produced, which neutralizes the acid created by the body.
- Wear loose-fitting clothing to relieve stomach pressure, which can increase heartburn and reflux.
- Often, the very first step in minimizing GERD is to avoid foods that cause reflux. Chocolate, coffee, fried meals, peppermint, spicy foods, and carbonated beverages are common “trigger foods” that vary from person to person.
- Your doctor may instruct you to avoid any or all of these items, or to keep a food diary in order to determine which foods cause GERD symptoms.