Tuesday, November 17, 2015

What is GERD? And How You Can Prevent It

There are hundreds of Americans who suffer from GERD each day. Some of who might not even know what it is that they're dealing with. GERD, which stands for gastro esophageal reflux disease, and takes place when stomach acid and digesting foods are not properly held in place by the lower esophageal sphincter (or LES). It's a trait that can lead to heartburn, acid reflux/indigestion, or even a stomachache. Oftentimes symptoms can depend on outside factors, such as what one ate, their position at the time, or their weight. 

Many suffer only after eating spicy food, when lying down after eating, or when pregnant. While others can feel the side effects even when eating mild, well-timed meals. 

So what gives? Like most illnesses, GERD is also affected by genes. Genetics can affect how severely your symptoms are felt, as well as how easily you're able to do away with them. 

Anyone suffering from GERD should talk to a doctor about a specific plan of action. Then, with doctor approval, can start working on reducing side effects from home. This can be done by losing weight, exercising, avoiding spicy or heavy foods, and eating at least three hours before bedtime. You should also avoid lying down, or even reclining too far, right after a meal. Sleeping on an inclined pillow and avoiding alcohol can also help keep GERD symptoms at bay. 

However, if you're still suffering from esophagus pain and discomfort, it might be time to have a second conversation with your doctor. In severe cases, medicines or even surgeries can work to eliminate GERD. They can also help point you in the right direction as to what lifestyle adjustments will work best with your GERD attacks. 

If you suffer from GERD, consider implementing some of these changes today. Or schedule an appointment with your doctor to learn more.