GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disease is a condition where the acid from the stomach gets regurgitated back into the esophagus. This breaks the unilateral movement inside the food pipe and acid contents come in contact with the places where it shouldn’t be since those areas aren’t equipped with to tolerate highly acidic environment. This in return causes many disruptions in the esophagus and thus symptoms such as chest pain, heartburn, difficulty in swallowing, coughing, Acid Reflux Nausea starts to appear.
GERD treatment progression
GERD is generally treated in three different stages. These stages depend upon the severity of the situation. If the discomfort coming from the GERD is mild, then just by simply changing the lifestyle could give a permanent solution. But if the solution is severe, then medication must be taken. In extreme cases where GERD is progressed further, then surgery is the viable option which could be beneficial for the patient.
• Lifestyle changes
In many cases, changing the lifestyle could help in improving the situation. By stopping to drink alcohol and smoking could help in lowering the frequency of heartburn episodes. Moreover, losing weight, altering eating and going to bed in time have shown to be very effective in the battle against GERD. Even if it does persist, if it is mild in nature, then over the counter medicine could remove the discomfort. Altering the diet goes a long way. RefluxMD has Acid Reflux Recipes which may help you in trying out such different recipes.
Even after changing lifestyle, if the problem still persists, then medication must be taken. These medications include H2 blockers and proton pump inhibitors excluding the antacids. The H2 blockers reduce the secretion of the acids and proton pump inhibitors block the acid production to a certain extent so that there is less acid in the stomach which could reflux back into the esophagus.
If none of the above works, then surgery is an option. The surgical procedure is very effective for those people whose body doesn’t respond to the traditional remedies. The laparoscopic anti-reflux surgery has the benefits of shorter hospital stay and reduced pain in the post-operative period. The surgery involves various procedures to create an additional valve which will prevent the regurgitation of the acids and thus will prevent the GERD. This procedure is very effective and is regarded safe since laparoscopic surgeries are generally safer than other types.
But the surgery should be the last option after trying out other methods to lower the intensity of GERD.
Maintaining a healthy weight is very essential to prevent GERD. As the additional muscles and fats could pressure the contents inside the stomach back into the esophagus, hence losing weight can actually improve the situation.
Elevating the head of the bed can also lower the intensity of heartburn and GERD. There is a special type of beds which could be elevated, and this can prevent the regurgitation of the acids.
Avoiding foods and drinks that can trigger reflux is also important. You should avoid eating mint, alcohol, garlic, and chocolate if you are suffering from GERD.