Gastroesophageal reflux disease is a condition in which the acid from the stomach goes back into the esophagus. Since the stomach acid is very strong, the backing up leaves a burning sensation in its wake.
GERD also causes coughing, and may even affect the voice, if severe. It also leads to intense discomfort as well.
There are many reasons why you may have GERD, from poor lifestyle practices to medication to problems like H Pylori.
Good news is, GERD can be managed with the help of the Best Medical Specialist in Islamabad and by making a few lifestyle changes. Things you should not be doing include:
Cut back on some foods
When you eat too much spicy food, you increase the chances of heartburn, as they stimulate the greater production of acid. Hence, cut back on spicy food.
Similarly, foods like cheese, chocolate, soda, caffeine, and those that are very greasy, or are fried also lead to greater stomach acid production, hence increasing the chances for GERD.
Therefore, you need to cut back on them.
Your eating habits need to be reformed when you are diagnosed with GERD. One important change is your mealtime; make sure not to eat too close to bedtime, as when you lay down, you increase the chances for the acid backing up.
Moreover, take bigger meals during the day when you are bound to be more active. As the night approaches, take simpler and smaller meals.
Likewise, do not eat very quickly. It increases the burden on the digestive system, which then increases the probability of heartburn. Hence, eat slowly. Take a small bite and chew slowly.
When you eat out, you need to exercise similar caution. It is harder to control factors in such cases since you do not know what ingredients go in a recipe, however, you should ask the staff for information about food. Even if the portion size is big, you need to take a small meal.
Lying down after eating
When you are upright, gravity helps you in keeping the food down in the stomach. When you lay down, the backing up of the food increases, exacerbating GERD. Hence, it is important that you do not lie down immediately after eating.
Overeating is a big no
You might not be able to resist your favorite dish, however, with GERD, you need to have some self-control. When you overeat, you fill your stomach to the brim and consequently expand.
It then leads to increased pressure on the sphincter, thereby creating conditions that lead to the backing up of the food. Thus, heartburn sets in. Instead of eating one big meal, split it into portions. Eat smaller meals.
Your sleeping posture also has a lot to do with GERD. When you lay down flat, you increase the pressure on the esophageal sphincter, that then increases the heart burn. Instead, sleep in a reclined position. Place more pillows so that your throat is above your thorax and stomach. It allows for the gravity to keep the acid down in your stomach.
Wearing tight clothes is also a big no when it comes to GERD. When the clothes are too tight around the abdomen, the pressure on the sphincter and the stomach increases, that then leads to feelings of heart burn. Hence, wear loose and comfortable clothing.
Stress leads to very many problems around the body, and one such issue that it exacerbates GERD. Therefore, it is important that you take steps to moderate your stress levels. You can try deep breathing and different relaxation techniques to improve stress levels.
Similarly, yoga, meditation and mindfulness are also good for improving stress levels, thereby helping with the management of symptoms of stress.
You should also get help from medical experts like those at Khatoon Hospital for help with stress management.