GERD stands for gastroesophageal reflux disease.1 It is defined as the retrograde passage of gastric contents from the stomach into the esophagus. The transient relaxation of lower esophageal sphincter of the stomach that allows acid flows back up. This condition irritates the lining of esophagus, commonly causes heartburn, bad breath, regurgitation and chest pain.
GERD occurs commonly in people who are1:
The main symptom of GERD is heartburn, in which the person feels a burning sensation behind the breastbone, it gets worse when he or she tries to lie down or bend over, and especially after eating food.
One might not experience heartburn as the symptom of GERD, such as bad breath, chronic cough, difficulty or pain when swallowing, and laryngitis.
The main differences are2:
From food to lifestyle activities, there are a lot of ways to prevent GERD3.
Avoiding triggering food or drinks such as:
It tends to be high in cholesterol and fatty acids.
Might cause relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter in the stomach.
3.Calcium-rich food (Milk and cheese)
Sources of saturated fats.
Carbonated beverage, caffeine-containing beverage, acidic drink and chocolates.
A study published in Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics indicated that people who consumed food high in cholesterol and saturated fatty acid were more likely to experience GERD symptoms.4
Cutting down the abdominal weight that presses on the stomach can prevent acid from rising up into the esophagus.
Reduces abdominal pressure.
Never take heavy meals before bed. Increase the number of meals, but decrease the portion of it. Eat slowly and chew your food thoroughly before swallowing.
4.Do not lie down right after eating
Lying down with a full stomach increases the pressure on our lower esophageal sphincter (LES) that separates the stomach from the esophagus. This will cause acid to flow back easily and there you go, GERD. Wait at least two hours before you lie down after eating.
5.Raise the head of your bed
Leave it six inches higher than the foot of bed. This can be done by placing wood underneath the legs of the bed, or by putting a foam wedge under the upper half of your mattress. Lying at an incline reduces pressure on our LES.
Smoking makes it harder for our LES to function normally.
Prevention is always better than cure. Practicing good eating habits and making appropriate lifestyle changes can make your gut healthier and happier!