Everyone knows GERD. They may have heard that GERD is a disease but they might not know that GERD is caused easily by their behaviors. Luckily, you have found this article providing knowledge about GERD.
First of all, you should know that when people get GERD, they might have these symptoms:
- Burning sensation in the epigastric region
- Burning sensation might spread up to the chest or neck and cause burping or sour and bitter taste in the mouth.
- Burning sensation in the upper chest or heartburn
- Lump in the neck
- Chest pain
These symptoms happen because of acid reflux. That is, the acid flows up to the esophagus easily due to the malfunction of the lower esophageal sphincter — loosens abnormally. It, therefore, is called Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease or GERD.
Causes of GERD
So what is the behavior causing that undesirable process — GERD? Here are the risky behaviors:
- Eat spicy food or high fat diet or difficult digesting food
- Big amount of dinner
- Late night meals
- Lie down immediately after eating
- Often drinking tea, coffee, liquor, and soft drinks
Definitely, GERD relates to eating behaviors. If you do not want to suffer from GERD symptoms, you can prevent it by improving your habits. However, for the people who now suffer from GERD, changing lifestyle is an initial treatment.
Treatment and Prevention for GERD
Here are GERD preventions and treatments:
- Avoid spicy food, high fat diet and difficult digesting food
- Avoid late night meals
- Eat small amount of food per meal, especially dinner
- Do not lie down or go to bed immediately after eating (waiting at least 3 hours)
- Reduce weight to decrease pressure in the abdomen
- Do not wear too tight clothes or belt, especially around the waist
- Do not use the high-bolster sleep method which might increase the pressure in the abdomen
- Raise the head of bed at least 6 inches and use leg support (for the patients who have symptoms at night.
- Avoid smoking
- Avoid drinking tea, coffee, liquor, and soft drinks
What if Behavior Change is Not Effective?
Note that those are simply habits of avoiding GERD. You should know that if these initial behavior changes are not effective, medication must be considered. However, GERD is a chronic disease. The medication should be taken regularly as prescribed by the doctor along with the initial appropriate behaviors. If the medication is not effective as expected, the surgical treatment might be considered. GERD might cause the flowing of acid into the respiratory system. Although this complication is difficult to happen and the GERD is usually mild, all of GERD symptoms should not be ignored. GERD are able to be stopped by yourself.