Acid reflux, or that feeling of burning in the chest, is very common. We usually pop one of those over-the-counter pills or drinks and call it a day. However, if you have been experiencing this for more than twice a week, then it is time to take a closer look.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a chronic version of acid reflux. This happens when the stomach acid frequently flows back into the oesophagus. It irritates the lining of the oesophagus and can cause discomfort. Though it is not a life-threatening disease, it can still lead to a few complications like narrowing of the oesophagus, esophageal ulcer and Barrett’s oesophagus. But worry not, there are a few lifestyle factors that can help prevent gastroesophageal reflux disease.
Apply these following changes to your life starting now.
- Avoid Foods that Cause Acid Reflux: Since certain foods can cause acid reflux, the first thing to do is keep your diet in check. Trigger foods differ from person to person but most often include chocolate, spicy foods, fatty food, mint, coffee and carbonated beverages, to name a few. Understanding which food causes acid reflux will save you all the trouble.
- Eat Smaller Meals: The best way to deal with GERD symptoms is to break down your meals. Instead of having two large meals, you can make them into 4 small meals. This will help the digestion process and put less pressure on the LES (lower esophageal sphincter). This way, GERD or acid reflux is less likely to occur.
- Avoid Lying Down Soon After Eating: After a meal or after having carbonated drinks, don’t lie down immediately. Lying down soon after a meal will cause the stomach acid to rise and cause discomfort. Wait for at least 2-3 hours before lying down after a meal.
- Quit Smoking: Some studies have found that nicotine relaxes the LES muscles and reduces your saliva to clear out the acid from your oesophagus. It increases the production of stomach acid. If you are diagnosed with GERD, it is advisable to quit smoking.
- Lose Weight: Did you know excess weight is the leading cause of GERD? The excess stomach fat presses against the abdomen, which pushes the gastric juices up into your oesophagus. So if you have excess fat around your midsection, consider working out and having a calorie deficit diet.
While these 5 lifestyle changes can surely help prevent gastroesophageal reflux disease, severe cases of GERD may require medical attention and professional gastroesophageal reflux treatment. SMILES Gastroenterology has specialist doctors on board that will offer you the best gastroesophageal reflux treatment. We also have state-of-the-art technology and comprehensive care. Contact us today!