Gerd is a common disease but not fatal. Gerd symptoms can be managed by doing some lifestyle changes. Unlike other conditions concerning the gastrointestinal tract, this can be completely prevented.
What is Gerd?
GERD symptoms, or Gastroesophageal reflux disease is a digestive disorder that occurs when food from the stomach flows back to the esophagus and causes heartburn. Many people, especially pregnant women, may suffer from heartburn or acid indigestion caused by Gerd symptoms.
Lifestyle changes may help you manage your Gerd symptoms to avoid ending up in the emergency room. However, what will help one person avoid Gerd symptoms might not necessarily help another.
Here are some tips that can be helpful to reduce your symptoms frequently and can feel relieved by doing some of these lifestyle changes.
Lose weight if you are overweight
Obesity is thought to increase Gerd symptoms due to excess belly fat causing pressure on the stomach. That’s why most doctors recommend managing your weight or shaving off those extra pounds, this will help to improve your symptoms.
Avoid foods that can trigger a reflux
These are known to make reflux or Gerd symptoms worse.
Removing some food triggers from your usual meals may help control your symptoms. The effects may vary for each individual, but you may want to consider minimizing or eliminating some or all of these foods and beverages in your diet.
- Raw onion and garlic
- Fatty foods
- Spicy Foods
- Carbonated beverages
- Citrus fruits
- Caffeinated beverages
Eat smaller meals frequently
Eating large meals can cause indigestion which can put pressure on the lower esophageal sphincter, making Gerd symptoms more likely. You may want to practice a small amount but do it six times.
Chew your food to help reduce Gerd symptoms
The digestive enzymes in our saliva help break down food particles into smaller pieces. This process helps our stomach digest food much more effectively.
Drink water after meals
Water can add volume to your stomach while eating and can also make you immediately full. You may drink water 20-30 mins after eating.
Wait 2-3 hrs before going to bed
After dinner, wait at least 2 to 3 hours before lying down to avoid the food coming back from the stomach going to esophagus.
Elevate your bed
Having two pillows in the bed with your head and chest propped up could help to avoid food regurgitation.
Avoid taking medication longer than prescribed
According to research, all types of antacids or h2 blockers can only be taken up to 4-8 weeks to relieve symptoms. Taking it more than the doctor prescribed may cause side effects like osteoporosis and other health conditions.
Stop smoking to help Gerd symptoms
Smoking contributes to reflux by relaxing the LES and can increase the risk of acid surging into it. It can also damage the esophagus.
Cut back on alcohol
Same with smoking, drinking alcohol can cause the LES to relax and can damage mucosa.
Add fiber to your food
Fiber-rich foods like oats, whole grains, nuts, fruits, and vegetables can help you ease constipation, it is good to start your day with fiber. You can add it to your diet and lifestyle changes.
Stress can increase acid production in the stomach which can also lead to acid reflux. Making your brain healthy will help to heal the gut.
Basic exercises like walking or running for 20-30 minutes a day can improve your mental health and control your weight.
If you are still experiencing Gerd symptoms after trying some of tips mentioned above, it’s best to see your doctor for advice.
We have different lifestyles that we make, yet to live healthy is always our choice.