Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) also know as acid reflux is a chronic disease that causes burning pain in the throat and chest or commonly known as heartburn. This happens when the contents in your stomach travels back to the esophagus. The malfunction of the muscle at the bottom of the esophagus is one of the reasons why acid reflux occurs. Frequent heartburn is the main symptom of GERD and this condition can be really disturbing so it is important to know how to put an end to acid reflux to free yourself from painful heartburn and other symptoms.
Chronic GERD if left untreated may cause serious complications like inflammation or bleeding of the esophagus. You need to see your doctor if you are experiencing frequent GERD and heartburn. Here are some helpful tips if you want to put an end to acid reflux.
Medications. Your doctor may prescribe medicines to relieve acid reflux and heartburn symptoms. Antacids are the common medication to stop GERD but medications could have side effects like diarrhea or constipation so be sure to talk to your doctor about it. Your doctor may also prescribe H2RAs or Histamine type 2 receptor antagonists and PPI or proton pump inhibitors. Some medicines maybe taken only as needed but there are prescribed medicines that should be taken everyday for weeks or it may last for years. Follow your doctor’s advice if you want to put an end to your acid reflux.
Lifestyle change. Although you are taking medicines, you also have to evaluate if your current lifestyle is helping your health or making your condition worse. Most of the time we are unhealthy or we become sick because of the unhealthy practices we have. A lifestyle change is necessary if you want to put an end to acid reflux. Stop smoking and drinking alcohol. Lose weight if you are on the heavy side. Eat small frequent meals and chew your food slowly and thoroughly. Do not go to bed 3 hours after meal or as much as possible take small walks after eating to stimulate your digestive system but avoid exercise after meals. Avoid wearing tight clothes instead wear lose-fitting clothes. Elevate your head when you sleep but this cannot be accomplished by just using extra pillows, you need to elevate the head of your bed by placing 6-8 inches wood blocks under your bed posts.
Diet modification. If you have GERD, diet modification is important if you want to put an end to acid reflux. There are foods that aggravate GERD so you must avoid them. Common foods that worsen the symptoms of GERD include chocolates, citrus fruits, spicy foods, garlic, onions, fatty foods, caffeine, alcoholic drinks, soft drinks, junk foods, processed foods and tomato-based foods like spaghetti, ketchup, pizza and sauces. Taking away those foods on your diet maybe difficult in the beginning but if you really want to put an end to acid reflux and avoid frequent heartburn, modifying your diet is very important.
Medical procedures. When medicines and lifestyle change failed to manage GERD, surgery is the last option to put an end to acid reflux. A standard surgical procedure for GERD is fundoplication. The surgical procedure can also be done with the use of laparoscope, a tiny tube with camera that is inserted through a small incision in the abdomen. Recovery time is less for surgery with laparoscope than a surgery with large cut on the abdomen. Although not a surgery, endoscopic treatment is another medical procedure to put an end to acid reflux. With endoscopic treatments, no incision or cuts are made in the abdomen but an instrument called endoscope is inserted through the mouth down to the esophagus to perform the treatment.
As we all know any surgery has side effects so surgery should be the last option. It is important to explore all possible solutions before making a decision to go under the knife.