Acid Reflux: 3 Tips to Overcoming GERD
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a condition that affects 1 in 14 adults. Unfortunately, most people assume that because acid reflux is so common, medical assistance is unnecessary. The truth, however, is that acid reflux, which is left untreated over an extended period of time, can potentially lead to irreparable damage to the esophagus and ultimately esophageal cancer. The following tips will help alleviate your acid reflux symptoms and treat existing damage.
1. Lifestyle Changes:
One of that best ways to combat chronic acid reflux is to make some moderate changes in lifestyle habits. Maintaining an upright posture during and after eating, raising the head of your bed 6-8 inches, and waiting 2-3 hours after eating before lying down should help alleviate your acid reflux symptoms.
Although frequent exercise is a necessary component to any healthy lifestyle, you will want to avoid exercising within 1-2 hours of eating. Your abdominal muscles contract when you exercise, which can force food to travel back up into the esophagus.
Everyone experiences stress from time to time, but prolonged episodes of stress can have damaging health consequences. Try to minimize stress, which can exacerbate acid reflux symptoms. Some useful techniques include deep breathing, mediation, or cognitive therapy to help alleviate stressful emotions.
The food you eat has a profound effect on GERD symptoms and frequency. Avoid spicy foods, fried foods, caffeine, large meals (or make lunch your biggest meal of the day), acidic foods and juices, alcohol, coffee, and peppermint. Everyone’s acid reflux is different, so make a special note of foods that intensify your symptoms and try to avoid those foods in the future.
Maintaining a healthy weight will also help alleviate your acid reflux, not to mention its countless other health benefits. Acid reflux is triggered by excess fat in the abdomen, which places added pressure on the stomach. For this reason, it is imperative for acid reflux patients to try and maintain a healthy weight.
The lining of the esophagus is not equipped to handle the acidity of stomach fluids. Prolonged exposure to such fluids can cause esophageal tissue to erode away, leading to serious damage and possible esophageal cancer. Treatment of damaged esophageal tissue can only be achieved through the use of medications prescribed by a doctor, or even esophageal surgery.
Please beware that common antacids only temporarily relieve the symptoms of GERD. In order to properly treat the damaged tissue, it is imperative that you schedule an appointment with a gastroenterologist for proper acid reflux treatment and diagnosis.
Acid reflux can be uncomfortable, and ultimately life-threatening if left untreated. If you believe that you might have GERD, please contact Bay Area Gastroenterology Clinic at 281-480-6264 to schedule an appointment.
For more information, please contact:
Bay Area Gastroenterology P. A.
1015 Medical Center
Webster, Texas 77598
f: 281-480-4046 Methodist St. John
2060 Space Park Drive
Nassau Bay, TX 77058
f: 281-339-7623 Memorial Southeast
11920 Astoria Boulevard
Houston, TX 77089
f: 281-484-0740 Pearland Office
10905 Memorial Herman Drive
Pearland, Texas 77548