Have you heard about GERD? It is a medical condition that gives a bad taste in the mouth to those who are the victims. It is actually an acronym that stands for Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease and afflicts millions of men and women around the country. This disease sends stomach acids back to the esophagus, causing heartburn and many other symptoms that are characteristic of GERD. It is also referred to as acid reflux because f the fact that indeed acids from the stomach rise up to reach esophagus. This disease is also indicative f the fact that the muscles around the lower part of the esophagus have become weak and they cannot prevent acids from rising in the esophagus. Coping with GERD often means controlling the symptoms of this disease as one cannot hop too make the muscles on esophagus strong again without undergoing surgery.
GERD is because of weak muscles on esophagus and not because of stomach acids
It is natural for the stomach to start producing hydrochloric acid to prepare itself for the digestion of all the food items that an individual eats during a meal. Therefore, it is not this acid that is the problem or the cause of heartburn experienced in GERD. It is the leakage of this acid because of malfunctioning of the valve made by a group of muscles that become weak. Heartburn is often accompanied by a discomfort in the throat and a bad taste in the mouth. There are also additional symptoms of belching, coughing, and wheezing to add to the embarrassment of the victim, especially when he is in the company of others.
There are many medications to help one cope with GERD
Living or coping with GERD is not that difficult a thing to achieve if you do not believe in all the myths and misconceptions that have become associated with this medical condition. It is very much possible to keep the heartburn down to a minimum provided you can keep a control over what you eat and you are also willing to make a few lifestyle changes. There are lots of medications for the treatment of GERD available in the market. There are the typical antacids that are available as over the counter drugs while there are also H-2-receptor blockers that work to reduce the production of acid inside your stomach. Of course the medication you take depends upon the severity of your condition and your liking. Finally, one has the option of undergoing surgery to rectify the problem of weak muscles on the lower part of the esophagus. However, this is the last recourse to the problem of GERD and most people learn to keep their symptoms down to a minimum by taking a healthy diet and by changing their lifestyle.
Avoid eating food items that trigger symptoms of GERD
As you learn to live with GERD, you know the food items that tend to trigger the onset of heartburn and other symptoms causing discomfort and embarrassment. You can make a diary and list the food items that make your GERD worse to beware of them and avoid them in parties and other social functions. Also, you must give up alcoholic beverages, smoking, and fatty and spicy foods and stick to a bland diet if you want to prevent symptoms of GERD. The real danger with GERD is that with passage of time, the refluxed acid tends to corrode the lining of the esophagus. This can make swallowing food items difficult for the patient. This is the reason why one needs to prevent outbreak of heartburn every now and then.
As far as lifestyle changes that can reduce the incidence of heartburn are concerned, one must reduce his weight if he is obese. Overweight people put a lot of pressure on their abdomen that is a factor in development of GERD. One should also indulge in exercises on a daily basis as it not only loosens muscles but also releases good hormones. One should also learn techniques to cope with high stress levels as these stress levels have been found to be directly linked with heartburn and GERD.
As eating too much food during a meal requires the stomach to produce large quantities of acid for digestion, it is a good idea for people suffering from GERD to eat little quantities of food in every meal though they can increase the number of meals in a day. Lesser quantity of acid produced in the stomach means it has lesser chances of rising up in the esophagus. One should also eat sitting in an upright position to make sure that acid produced inside the stomach remains there only.
It is possible to cope with GERD in such a way that you live a normal and healthy life provided you are willing to adopt a healthy diet and a healthy lifestyle.