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Acid Reflux Tips

Abdominal Problem: Few Ways to Deal With It

Dr. Rajeev Kumar Bansal 90% (10 ratings)
DNB(Gastroenterology), Gujarat University
Gastroenterologist, Ahmedabad
Abdominal Problem: Few Ways to Deal With It

Undigested food that lurks around in the digestive tract produces a host of disorders due to intestinal distress. These disorders range from acidity to gastro-oesophageal reflux and even colon diseases like cancer, irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, gallstones, ulcers and Crohn's disease. Cramps, nausea, vomiting, loose motions, gas, and acidity are some of the most common symptoms that visit the patient as a result of such ailments. There are many ways of dealing with such intestinal distress, as follows :-

  1. Diet: Introduce plenty of fibre into your diet to aid the digestion process. This can cut the risk of many such ailments and also aid in the treatment of the same. Intestinal distress is largely caused by food that is still lurking around in the digestive tract, so it is important to clean out the digestive system with plenty of fibre and water.
  2. Nutrition for better Digestive System Health: Food that is rich in minerals, vitamins, antioxidants and iron will help in creating a stronger system that cleanses the digestive tract and helps in reducing the production of excess acid in the stomach. A balanced diet with plenty of nutrition aids digestion and makes the immunity stronger.
  3. Study your Triggers: Watch out for foods that can trigger reflux action and other acidity related issues on the intake. These can include fatty food, fried and oily food as well as extremely spicy food. Stress is also a major trigger of intestinal distress, so it would be a good idea to avoid stressful situations or take medical help to deal with them in a better manner.
  4. Medication: Antacids and other medication to prevent the onset and growth of such distress can be sought out after due consultation with a medical practitioner. Medication will help in dealing with and altering the acid level production in the stomach.
  5. Surgery: In very extreme cases like ulcers and large size gallstones, surgery may be helpful so that you avoid rupturing the stomach's lining which can lead to a serious infection or even internal bleeding.

Knowing your triggers and getting into a better routine as far as your diet goes is as important as seeing a doctor about the severity of your case when it comes to intestinal distress.

To know more, take a private consultation today!

4 people found this helpful

Heartburn - Say 'No' To These 3 Foods!

Dr. Parthasarathy G 90% (17 ratings)
MBBS, MS - General Surgery, M.Ch - Surgical Gastroenterology/G.I. Surgery, Fellowship in Hepatobiliary Surgery & Liver Transplantation, International Visiting Scholar
Gastroenterologist, Hyderabad
Heartburn - Say 'No' To These 3 Foods!

Picture this, you're in a restaurant for a lunch date with your friend. It's a great place and the food is delicious. While you're having a super time, you suddenly start feeling a discomfort in your chest area, and your appetite completely goes down the drain. Chances are that you might be experiencing heartburn.

Heartburn is something which is used in both the literal and metaphorical senses. However, the discomfort it entails means that it is no joking matter and your food intake habits are probably responsible if you suffer from it!

The good thing about heartburn causing foods is that they are easily recognisable, which is quite great. But, they make up a large portion of people's normal diets, which is not as great, as they are hard to refrain from. A few common examples are listed below:

  1. Chocolate: To start off, there is something which is surprisingly a cause for heartburn and is likely to be the cause of a lot of disappointment: chocolate. The sad thing about chocolate is that the key things it is known to cause reflux. Take, for example, cocoa; it is a prime cause for reflux. Also, the caffeine in chocolate as well as something called theobromine is the major culprits of reflux. If a person who loves chocolate seems to be suffering from reflux, he or she knows why now!
  2. Coffee: Talking about caffeine, the automatic suspect that is coffee is deeply guilty, as well! Having coffee once in a while may not cause much harm but making it a habit leads to a person setting himself or herself up for a lot of heartburn.
  3. Soda: Anything which is acidic is not good for reflux but the thing is that most sodas are very acidic! This is also the case when it comes to fruit, though fruit is generally said to be good for the body. Certain types of fruit, like citrus fruit only worsens the effects of heartburn and can cause a whole load of discomfort to the person who eats them.

A lot of the foods, which should be avoided actually have their own health benefits. The case in point is garlic. But, a person should try to have food like cottage cheese or lean chicken, both of which do not cause any heartburn at all. Also, keeping away from food that is fried has a range of benefits from lower consumption of fat, to a reduced risk of cancer as well as a massive drop in heartburn. Deep fried foods should be avoided like the plague!

The rule of the thumb when it comes to the issue of heartburn is that if anything happens to be acidic, it is likely to cause heartburn to be aggravated. As long as a person can keep this in mind as a guiding principle, there is no way that they will be suffering from heartburn any more.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

3211 people found this helpful

what is acid reflux diet

Dr. A.A Khan 92% (990 ratings)
MBBS,CCA,DCA,AASECT,FPA,AAD,F.H.R.SM.I.M.S
General Physician, Gorakhpur

Going on an acid reflux diet is often the best strategy for improving the acidity levels in your gut and relieving your symptoms.

What is the acid reflux diet?

The acid reflux diet is designed to help improve digestive health, eliminate the symptoms of acid reflux, and boost your immune system to prevent this type of stomach disorder. The amount of acid your stomach produces is largely dependent on the foods that you eat, so shaping your diet to avoid acid-producing foods is essential. The more common name for acid reflux is heartburn, a condition in which digestive juices enter the esophagus, which can result in a burning sensation. Some of the other common symptoms of acid reflux include chest pains and trouble digesting certain foods. This diet can re-set your stomach and also establish healthy dietary habits, which will prevent these symptoms in the future.

Diet for acid reflux

When following an acid reflux diet, there are many foods that are safe to eat and can help remedy these symptoms.

  • ´┐╝Foods to include
  • Ginger
  • Oatmeal
  • Aloe vera juice
  • Melon
  • Chicken
  • Fish
  • Banana
  • Parsley
  • Celery
  • Avocados
  • Olive oil
  • Pears
  • Egg whites
  • Foods to avoid
  • Egg yolks
  • Bacon
  • Fatty cuts of meat
  • Sour cream
  • High-fat dairy products
  • Junk food
  • Ice cream
  • Creamy salad dressings
  • Gravy
  • Garlic and onions
  • Spicy foods
  • Chocolate
  • Caffeine
  • Citrus fruits

Lifestyle changes to avoid acid reflux

Aside from altering your diet, there are also some lifestyle changes that can help to remedy the symptoms acid reflux, including quitting smoking, consuming less alcohol, and trying to lose weight.

Alcohol

Consuming alcohol beyond moderation is bad for your health in a number of ways, but when it comes to acid reflux disease, it can worsen the symptoms and bring on more frequent attacks. In other words, cut back on the booze and you’ll feel a lot better.

Clothing choice

Wearing tight and restrictive clothing, particularly around the waist or belt areas, can make the symptoms of acid reflux worse, as your stomach will be unnaturally squeezed.

Smoking

For various reasons, smoking can make it more difficult for your stomach to keep acids out of your esophagus, so making a concerted effort to quit can go a long way towards your comfort.

Losing weight

Extra weight means more pressure on yourstomach, which can worsen your symptoms, so try to shed some pounds.

Meal structure

Eating smaller meals more often will reduce the workload of your gut and help to improve your acidic balance.

 

4 people found this helpful

Achalasia - Can Autoimmune Disorders be the Reason Behind it?

DM - Gastroenterology, MD - General Medicine, DNB (Medical), MBBS
Gastroenterologist, Delhi
Achalasia - Can Autoimmune Disorders be the Reason Behind it?

The tube that carries food to your stomach from your throat is called the oesophagus. When the muscular valve (lower oesophagus sphincter) in the oesophagus fails to relax and carry the food to the stomach, the condition is termed as achalasia.

Achalasia has a variety of causes, and can be difficult for your doctor to diagnose the exact cause. Some common causes of achalasia include:
1. Hereditary predispositions
2. Autoimmune disorders (The immune system erroneously destroys healthy cells in the body)
3. Nerve degeneration in the oesophagus
There other medical conditions that often lead to symptoms identical to achalasia, such as oesophageal cancer and Chagas’ disease (an infectious disease caused by a parasite).

Other symptoms of achalasia include:

The most prominent symptom of achalasia is dysphagia, which is characterised by swallowing difficulties or sensations of food stuck in the oesophagus. Dysphagia often triggers coughing and shortness of breath or choking on food.
1. Discomfort or pain in the chest
2. Weight loss
3. Heartburn
4. Intense discomfort or pain after eating

Some of the treatments include:

Most of the methods to treat achalasia focus on the lower oesophageal sphincter (LES). The treatments used can either permanently alter the sphincter’s function, or reduce symptoms.
1. Oral medications such as calcium channel blockers or nitrates are prescribed, which can relax the LES to let food pass through with more ease. Your doctor may also treat the LES with Botox.
2. For a more permanent treatment, the sphincter can be dilated or altered. In dilation, a balloon is inserted into the oesophagus and it is inflated. This will stretch out your oesophagus to improve function.
3. To alter the oesophagus, oesophagomyotomy is performed. It is a kind of surgery where minimal incisions are made to gain access to the LES, and then it is carefully altered to improve flow of food to the stomach.

Unlike dilation, which can cause complications such as tears in the oesophagus, oesophagomyotomy has a greater success rate. However, certain complications may still arise, such as:
1. Acid reflux
2. Respiratory conditions that are caused by food entering your windpipe

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

2509 people found this helpful

Gastroesphageal Reflux Disease - How Can It Be Managed?

DM - Gastroenterology, MD - General Medicine, DNB (Medical), MBBS
Gastroenterologist, Delhi
Gastroesphageal Reflux Disease - How Can It Be Managed?

GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disease is a chronic digestive disease which occurs when the stomach acid and at times the contents in your stomach flows backwards into the food pipe. The backwash or reflux irritates the esophagus's lining and hence causes GERD. Individuals may manage GERD's discomfort by changing their lifestyle and by taking over-the-counter or OTC medications. But, certain people might also require stronger medications or surgery for reducing the symptoms.

Some of the basic signs include chest pain, burning sensation in the chest, dry cough, difficulty in swallowing, sore throat, etc. If you experience such symptoms at least twice a week or if your physician notices damage in your food pipe, then you might undergo diagnosis. Though drugs are the primary GERD treatment yet, an individual can manage it by following certain tips which may give relief.

Few ways to manage GERD- self-care tips:

  1. One of the effective ways to help yourself is by consuming smaller meals. Instead of taking three big meals regularly, you may try having smaller meals frequently and avoid stuffing.
  2. Almost all individuals tend to have dinner just half an hour before sleep, but this might affect GERD patients. It is best to eat 2 hours before going to bed as by doing so your stomach will get enough time to digest the food.
  3. Due to a hectic schedule and fast paced lifestyle, people tend to eat as quickly as possible. To manage GERD, one must eat slowly and put down the spoon or fork in between each bite.
  4. Changing the daily diet by striking off the trigger foods is beneficial in managing GERD symptoms. Though the food triggers vary from one person to another yet, it includes coffee, chocolate, peppermint, alcohol, tomato, citrus juices, onions, spicy and high- fat foods, etc.
  5. Sleeping with the head end of the bed elevated by 6 inches is a very effective way of reducing night time reflux. It is also advisable to sleep on your left side . Never sleep on the right side as this position promotes reflux. Medications to reduce acid production are the mainstay of the medical treatment.
  6. One always has to ensure that they are following the various lifestyle changes along with the medication. Other medications include pro kinetic medicines which help the stomach empty. Surgery always remains the last resort in the treatment of GERD. Endoscopy is required for the diagnosis or GERD Prior to any surgery a Manometry and 24 hr ph merry test is compulsory.

If you are suffering from GERD symptoms frequently, then you may maintain a diary for figuring out which foods are giving you trouble.

When is a surgery required?
If lifestyle changing tips and other medications fail to provide any relief, then physicians recommend undergoing surgery.

  • Surgery is done for strengthening lower esophageal sphincter and also for reinforcing it. The surgery for reinforcing lower esophageal sphincter is performed by surgeons laparoscopically. The surgeon inserts instruments like a tiny camera and flexible tube by making 3-4 incisions in the abdomen. This surgery for managing GERD may be quite effective.
  • Experts state that candidates who undergo GERD surgery are those who are unwilling to take GERD drugs or are not getting relief from them. While choosing a surgeon, it is better to consider one who possesses huge experience of the particular operation which you need and also with a good track record.
  • So, you must visit a doctor if you experience frequent gastroesophageal reflux disease symptoms. It won't be a good decision to take OTC medications without your doctor's recommendation if you notice arm or jaw pain along with difficulty in breathing as these are signs of heart attack. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
2533 people found this helpful

Coffee - Is It Bad For Your Digestive Health?

Dr. Atul Sharma 91% (151 ratings)
MD - Medicine, DM - Gastroenterology
Gastroenterologist, Gurgaon
Coffee - Is It Bad For Your Digestive Health?

Almost everyone knows about the tremendous benefits that coffee has to offer. Be it energizing one's self or protecting the brain from various degenerative diseases, a cup of coffee can be a solution for all. But did you know that the caffeine present in coffee can do more damage to your health than good? Yes, coffee can be beneficial only when consumed in small amounts. Overdrinking it or developing an addiction to coffee can take a toll on your gut.

Keep on reading to find out how.

  1. Coffee Increases Stomach AcidityThose who drink coffee regularly in the morning, on an empty stomach must know that more than it can energize them for the day ahead, regular cups of morning coffee actually slowly raise serious gut problems, stomach acidity being one of them. Along with various plant-based compounds present in coffee, caffeine stimulates the cells of the stomach to secrete more hydrochloric acid, which makes the stomach an ideal dwelling place for the pylori bacteria, responsible for an ulcer.
  2. Coffee May Cause Acid RefluxThe esophageal sphincter muscles between the food pipe and the stomach are responsible for allowing food into the stomach and ensuring that it stays there. However, drinking too much coffee causes the esophageal sphincter muscles to relax which leads to stomach acid building up in the food pipe. This causes severe irritation, pain or a burning sensation in the chest, known as acid reflux. If acid reflux occurs frequently, it may lead to further complications, such as ulcers, sores, etc.
  3. Makes the Food Rot in the Gut: Various research studies have shown that coffee speeds up the release of contents from the stomach even before they are digested completely. Food that is not properly digested usually ends up sitting in the gut and rotting there. This rotting food, creates a toxic environment inside the intestines which becomes ideal for the spread of bad bacteria, which causes inflammation, and damages the walls of the intestine.
  4. Disrupts the Absorption of Minerals: Coffee can also irritate your prostate gland and bladder, it sometimes even disrupts the absorption of minerals like magnesium, which affects the digestive system of the body, slowing it down. Magnesium being the most crucial mineral for regulating healthy and normal bowel movement, one can very well imagine how badly the digestion process will be affected if the absorption of magnesium gets hampered. Plus, by moving the bowels even before water and other essential nutrients are absorbed, coffee may cause malnourishment and dehydration.

So next time you boast about your habit of drinking coffee whenever possible, think twice. No matter how healthy something is, having too much of it can cause damage to health and so does excessive consumption of coffee.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

3259 people found this helpful

How To Get Quick Relief From Heartburn?

Dr. Rajiva Gupta 92% (3747 ratings)
MBBS, MD - Internal Medicine, Post Graduate Program in Diabetology
General Physician, Delhi
How To Get Quick Relief From Heartburn?

Heartburn is the name given to that burning sensation in your chest or throat that happens when acid rises up from your stomach into your mouth. Heartburn is a common symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD, also called acid reflux.

The commonest heartburn trigger is your diet. Spicy, heavy food causes acid reflux. Coffee, soda, tomatoes, alcohol and chocolate are culprits too. Obesity, smoking and medications for hypertension and cancer are the causes of heartburn too.

Certain people are more susceptible to heartburn. Sportspeople experience heartburn more, usually because exercise is a big trigger. It does so by putting increased pressure on the abdomen, which can increase the risk of acid reflux.

What can you do when heartburn strikes?

  1. Wear Loose Clothes- Heartburn happens when stomach contents go back into the food pipe where the stomach acid burns tissue. If tight clothes constrict your abdomen, you can experience more heartburn. To get immediate relief, you can just loosen the belt of your trousers.

  2. Proper Posture- Sitting up or standing straight can control heartburn. A slumped body posture can compress the internal organs including the stomach. An immediate quick fix is to lengthen your spine by gently moving your head towards the ceiling.

  3. Eat Less- Overeating can cause the door between the stomach and food pipe to open, allowing contents to flow back and cause heartburn.

  4. Quick Home Remedies-

    • Drink teaspoonful of baking soda mixed into a glass of water whenever you suffer from heartburn. This is a home remedy that works.

    • Raise your body, if you’re lying down and experience heartburn. Use a pillow to elevate your body waist-up. This will get rid of heartburn fast.

    • Chewing gum can neutralise stomach acid. This is because gum increases saliva which clears off acid in the gut.

  5. Avoid Cigarette Smoke- Smoking, both active and passive are harmful, if you suffer from heartburn.

  6. Over-the-counter Medications- Antacids, H2 blockers, and proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are all effective in treating heartburn. PPIs work by blocking acid production, H2 blockers reduce the amount of acid in your stomach and antacids neutralise stomach acid.

  7. Melatonin- A common sleep–inducing supplement is being investigated as a heartburn remedy.

Always remember to check with your doctor before taking any herbal remedy or supplement for heartburn. This is because supplements can have side effects or can interact with medications you may already be taking.

Common tips to prevent heartburn are to eat at least three hours before bedtime, avoid lying down immediately after eating and staying away from fatty and spicy foods. Maintaining a healthy weight is also key to preventing heartburn. It also helps if you do mild exercise regularly.  

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

3433 people found this helpful

Do You Think It Is Wise To Stand While Drinking Milk?

Dr. Swapnil Prabhakar Shinde 92% (393 ratings)
Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS), MD - Ayurveda
Ayurveda, Jalgaon
Do You Think It Is Wise To Stand While Drinking Milk?

Milk and health always go hand - in - hand and both have always been an important part of life. Yesterday, that is 26 November being the National Milk Day of India, let us understand how drinking milk in a particular position can be positive or negative for your health and well-being. 

Have you heard of a controversy over, whether to stand while drinking milk or sit? There are some scientific reasons, according to which, drinking milk in a sitting position is better and healthier than drinking it while standing. According to Ayurveda, milk is considered to be a vital and precious food item, hence, you must ensure that you are drinking milk in the right posture.

You should sit while drinking milk
Scientifically, drinking milk while standing causes the fluid to hit the lower part of your esophagus. Over time, this may result in the dilation or relaxation of the sphincter which connects the stomach to the esophagus. This may lead to a health condition known as GERD or Gastroesophageal reflux disease.

From Ayurvedic point of view, drinking milk or any fluid in a standing position is forbidden and advised against. Many scholars suggest that this norm exists because of health reasons. Moreover, drinking milk in a standing position may cause another issue. If you gulp down half a liter of milk, it goes into your stomach. The stomach’s capacity is between 900 to 1500 millimeters and on the consumption of the milk, it gets half full all of a sudden. This may cause the stomach to pulsate because of the volume of milk and it will also distend the stomach capacity because of weight. This can cause colic shock resulting in intense abdominal pain. When you sit down and drink milk, sip by sip, the stomach will not distend because of the support it gets from the stomach cavity, which is, in turn, is supported by your thighs.

But why should you drink milk at all?

In Ayurveda, milk is a highly beneficial food, having several benefits, such as 

  1. Milk can help in balancing Vata and Pitta dosha in body.
  2. According to Ayurveda, milk is considered to be the most calming and nourishing food. 
  3. It is a natural food for you, which you have been accustomed to right from birth. 
  4. Milk is an aphrodisiac and helps in vitalizing the reproductive system, improving your sex drive and quality of sperms in men.
  5. When you want to lose weight, fat and obesity, it is a perfect food for satisfying hunger and thirst.
  6. Milk causes a sense of soothing and satisfaction in many different types of illnesses and diseases. 
  7. Milk is essential for your mind, for children and is also used for treating depression.

Although many people argue that there is no scientific reason associated with sitting and drinking milk to be safe, it has been scientifically proven that it is better to eat or drink anything while sitting, instead of standing.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

9992 people found this helpful

8 Causes Of Chest Pain You Should Know!

Dr. Prabir Ganguly 91% (42 ratings)
Bachelor in Homoeopathic Medicine & Surgery (BHMS)
Homeopath, Dhanbad
8 Causes Of Chest Pain You Should Know!

Chest pain may be caused by multiple problems within the body and while being a problem in itself, may also be a symptom of a bigger underlying problem. Chest pain may be caused by anything from simple chest congestion due to a cold to something far more serious such as the onset of a heart attack. While it is important that life style changes be made to prevent major issues, homeopathy can provide relief for many symptoms till extensive medical steps are taken to correct the problem.

Some causes of chest pain
1. Angina
2. Onset of a heart attack
3. Atherosclerosis
4. Weakness of the arteries
5. Weakness of the heart muscle
6. Palpitations
7. Bradycardia
8. Chest congestion or cold

Symptoms associated with chest pain

  1. Stable angina – Vice like constriction or choking, pain may be spread to right or left arm or both, dyspnoea before pain.
  2. Unstable angina – Chest pain occurs at rest.
  3. Pericarditis Pain radiates to the left side of the shoulder which gets worse by lying in a flat position.
  4. PneumothoraxSevere chest pain along with shortness of breath, cyanosis, restlessness and collapse.
  5. Pneumonia Sharp pain which, gets worse by taking deep breath and coughing.
  6. Pulmonary embolism Short rapid breathing, sharp pain in middle of the chest that is worse by deep breathing.
  7. Gastroesophagial reflux disease – Difficult painful swallowing, pain in the middle of chest which, extends to neck, back and shoulders.
  8. Myocardial – Vomiting, dyspnoea features of shock, profuse sweating, fever, low blood pressure, pulse small rapid and irregular

Homeopathic remedies for various kinds of chest pain

Homeopathy is one of the most popular holistic systems of medicine. The selection of remedy is based upon the theory of individualization and symptoms similarity. This is the only way through which a state of complete health can be regained by removing all the sign and symptoms from which a patient is suffering.

The aim of homeopathy is not only to treat chest pain, but to address its underlying cause and individual susceptibility of the patient. For this patient’s current symptoms, past medical history and family history are taken into account. There are many homeopathic remedies which cover the symptoms of chest pain and can be selected on the basis of cause, location, sensation, modalities and extension of the pain. For individualized remedy selection and treatment of chest pain, the patient should consult a qualified homeopathic doctor in person. In medical emergencies like myocardial infarction and pulmonary embolism, immediate hospitalization is usually required. Some important remedies are given below for the treatment of chest pain:

  • Arnica mont. – Chest pain with sore and bruised feeling.
  • Ranunculus b. – Good remedy for intercostal rheumatism, sharp stitching pain in the chest along with dyspnoea.
  • Kali carb. – Stitching pain in the chest,  which gets worse between 2-3 A.M
  • Actea racemosa. – Pain worse on the right side.
  • Bryonia – Chest pain is of stitching, burning and stabbing in nature, is worse by motion and better by rest and pressure. Thirst for large quantities of water and dryness of mucous membranes often accompanies.
  • Rumex c. – Sharp stitching pain through the left lung, often with cough.
  • Stannum – Knife like stitches, worse on bending forward and left side.
  • PhosphorusViolent tickling cough, chest pain due to tuberculosis of lungs or pneumonia along with oppression of the chest.
  • Aconite – Chest pain due to pneumonia of first stage along with anxiety and restlessness.
  • Robinia – Burning pain behind sternum due to hyperacidity.
  • Strophanthus – Chest pain is of stitching and twitching in nature and often of cardiac origin.
  • Digitalis - Digitalis is known chiefly for its action on the heart, and it is rare that a patient suffering from an affection of that organ does not get Digitalis in some form.
  • Cactus - Perhaps the most important remedy in heart affections,from the homoeopathist’s standpoint, is Cactus. 
  • Lachesis - Lachesis is the best natural Homeopathic medicine when episodes of fainting occur along with Palpitations during menopause. The women needing Lachesis have an aversion to wear any tight clothing. 
7 people found this helpful

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease - How Best Can You Manage It?

Dr. Ajay Choksey 91% (145 ratings)
MD-General Medicine, D.M, Gastroenterology & Hepatology
Gastroenterologist, Ahmedabad
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease - How Best Can You Manage It?

GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disease is a chronic digestive disease which occurs when the stomach acid and at times the contents in your stomach flows backwards into the food pipe. The backwash or reflux irritates the esophagus's lining and hence causes GERD. Individuals may manage GERD's discomfort by changing their lifestyle and by taking over-the-counter or OTC medications. But, certain people might also require stronger medications or surgery for reducing the symptoms.

Some of the basic signs include chest pain, burning sensation in the chest, dry cough, difficulty in swallowing, sore throat, etc. If you experience such symptoms at least twice a week or if your physician notices damage in your food pipe, then you might undergo diagnosis. Though drugs are the primary GERD treatment yet, an individual can manage it by following certain tips which may give relief.

Few ways to manage GERD- self-care tips:

  1. One of the effective ways to help yourself is by consuming smaller meals. Instead of taking three big meals regularly, you may try having smaller meals frequently and avoid stuffing.
  2. Almost all individuals tend to have dinner just half an hour before sleep, but this might affect GERD patients. It is best to eat 2 hours before going to bed as by doing so your stomach will get enough time to digest the food.
  3. Due to a hectic schedule and fast paced lifestyle, people tend to eat as quickly as possible. To manage GERD, one must eat slowly and put down the spoon or fork in between each bite.
  4. Changing the daily diet by striking off the trigger foods is beneficial in managing GERD symptoms. Though the food triggers vary from one person to another yet, it includes coffee, chocolate, peppermint, alcohol, tomato, citrus juices, onions, spicy and high- fat foods, etc.
  5. Sleeping with the head end of the bed elevated by 6 inches is a very effective way of reducing night time reflux. It is also advisable to sleep on your left side . Never sleep on the right side as this position promotes reflux. Medications to reduce acid production are the mainstay of the medical treatment.
  6. One always has to ensure that they are following the various lifestyle changes along with the medication. Other medications include pro kinetic medicines which help the stomach empty. Surgery always remains the last resort in the treatment of GERD. Endoscopy is required for the diagnosis or GERD Prior to any surgery a Manometry and 24 hr ph merry test is compulsory.

If you are suffering from GERD symptoms frequently, then you may maintain a diary for figuring out which foods are giving you trouble.

When is a surgery required?
If lifestyle changing tips and other medications fail to provide any relief, then physicians recommend undergoing surgery.

  • Surgery is done for strengthening lower esophageal sphincter and also for reinforcing it. The surgery for reinforcing lower esophageal sphincter is performed by surgeons laparoscopically. The surgeon inserts instruments like a tiny camera and flexible tube by making 3-4 incisions in the abdomen. This surgery for managing GERD may be quite effective.
  • Experts state that candidates who undergo GERD surgery are those who are unwilling to take GERD drugs or are not getting relief from them. While choosing a surgeon, it is better to consider one who possesses huge experience of the particular operation which you need and also with a good track record.
  • So, you must visit a doctor if you experience frequent gastroesophageal reflux disease symptoms. It won't be a good decision to take OTC medications without your doctor's recommendation if you notice arm or jaw pain along with difficulty in breathing as these are signs of heart attack.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

1847 people found this helpful
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