What to Do About GERD

Acid reflux, also known as heartburn, is more medically known as GERD (Gastoesophogeal reflux disease). No matter the name, though, this condition, while not fatal, is highly unpleasant for anyone who is experiencing it. A sufferer of heartburn may soon seek relief of acid reflux symptoms, and an acid reflux diet plan and home-made acid reflux GERD treatment is very much possible. Recipes for people with acid reflux may be found online and in specialized cookbooks, and GERD symptom relief may start with visiting one’s doctor for relief of acid reflux symptoms. Such relief of acid reflux symptoms may allow for a better night’s sleep and improve the sufferer’s throat condition, too. When is it time to seek relief of acid reflux symptoms?

On Heartburn

Despite its name, heartburn is not an issue with the human heart, or even the body’s blood. Rather, heartburn is a problem with the sphincter that separates the esophagus from the stomach. Ordinarily, this valve will stay closed and only open when food (a bolus) travels down the throat and to the stomach. That is standard procedure. The problem is when that sphincter is too relaxed and opens at incorrect times, and this allows powerful stomach acid to rise up the throat. When that happens, this creates a burning sensation in the mid-chest due to the acid’s strength, damaging the esophagus and causing distinct pain. Often, this occurs at night, when a person is laying horizontally. Like a soda bottle, a horizontal person allows liquids to flow from one area to another with ease, since gravity will not keep the liquids down. Many heartburn/GERD sufferers experience this condition at night for this very reason. Today, around 44% of adult Americans have heartburn at least on a monthly basis, if not more often. What is more, around 75% of Americans who have asthma are believed to have GERD as well, and this condition affects men and women at similar rates. What can be done about this? Is relief of acid reflux symptom possible?

Relief From Heartburn

The simple answer is that yes, there are many effective ways to deal with heartburn once a person realizes that they are persistently experiencing this condition. If someone often experiences this distinctive chest burning (often at night), and the heartburn attacks are fairly regular, that person may want to consult their doctor and explain what is happening. At this point, their doctor may refer them to a specialist who will both give that patient medication and also describe some lifestyle changes that may lower the odds of heartburn attacks. When a person combines these home-grown solutions with medication, they may experience some much-desired relief of acid reflux symptoms.

To begin with, the sufferer may be advised to make some lifestyle change to reduce the odds of heartburn happening so often. The person should make sure to wear looser clothes that don’t tighten or compress the chest or stomach area, and elastic clothes may be ideal for this or clothing one size bigger. For another, the sufferer may be urged to start sleeping (and even napping) on an incline rather than lay totally flat. This ensures that gravity does its job of keeping liquids further down in the body, making it more difficult for them to come up. The patient may also be advised to abstain from smoking tobacco or drinking alcohol, as both of these habits contain ingredients that relax the body, including the stomach’s sphincter. Nicotine in particular will have that effect, and alcohol may make the stomach acid stronger. That is to be avoided.

An adjustment in diet will also help. At the very least, the sufferer may be advised to avoid spicy foods that upset the stomach, and instead eat and drink foods and beverages that are known for calming down the stomach. Carbonated beverages and onions should also be avoided. Instead, the person may try eating more bananas, apples, and even almonds to help soothe the stomach, and they may also consume ginger in tea or other foods for a similar effect. Eating oatmeal may also help, since its fibers are healthy and oats may absorbs a lot of the acids in the stomach. Potatoes, cucumbers, and cauliflower are also good options, being low in sugars.

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