Heartburn is characterized by a burning sensation in the throat and chest. It is usually experienced after eating a heavy meal or lying down immediately after finishing your food. This causes the food along with the gastric acids from the stomach to move up to the esophagus.
Although not a serious medical ailment, acid reflux causes pain along with discomfort and can have long term side effects if symptoms are ignored. Occasional incidences of heartburn are common among people of all age groups but frequent occurrence of the burning sensation must be addressed in a timely manner.
In this blog, we are here to share some home remedies and precautionary tips that will help you prevent the GERD (Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease) symptoms. These are all extremely simple steps and easy to follow tips for you to lead a healthier life, read till the end to make the most of this blog post.
Easy Tips to Prevent GERD
GERD is not dangerous but causes extreme discomfort. The following steps are sure to offer some relief to all patients complaining of the burning sensation in the throat and chest:
- Lose Weight – Obesity is the leading cause of GERD. Excessive stomach fat places undue pressure on the abdomen and forces the gastric juices to move up into the esophagus. Losing weight is most likely to help you get relief from the acid reflux symptoms.
- Avoid Fatty Foods – If you experience heartburn and are at a high risk of GERD, you must avoid eating certain food items such as fatty foods, spicy foods, acidic foods namely tomatoes and citrus, onions, chocolates, mint, coffee, and carbonated beverages.
- Portion Control – Large meals can put additional pressure on the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) which increases the chances of heartburn. Always eat small meals at frequent intervals instead of eating one large meal. This allows food to easily move down from the stomach and get digested sooner.
- Quit Smoking – Medical studies have concluded that nicotine relaxes the LES muscles and makes it easier for stomach acids to move up the esophagus. It can also interfere with the saliva and reduce its ability to clear acids out of the esophagus. It is thus advised for people at high risk of GERD to give up on smoking.
- Cut Down on Alcohol Consumption – Much like smoking, alcohol also causes the LES to relax which in turn fails to prevent the upward movement of stomach acids. If you experience frequent incidences of heartburn, you must avoid consuming alcohol so as to prevent GERD.
- Don’t Lie Down After Eating – Gravity plays a major role in keeping stomach acids in the stomach itself and preventing them from moving up the esophagus. It is thus advised for people who are at a high risk of GERD to wait for at least three hours before lying down or going to bed after eating a meal.
- Elevate Your Bed – If you want gravity to work in your favour and restrict the gastric juices from moving up from the stomach even when you are lying down, elevate the head of your bed by 6 to 8 inches. Alternatively, you can also use wedge-shaped support or some extra pillows below your head.
- Wear Loose-Fitting Clothes – Tight clothes or belts can constraint the stomach and also cause excessive pressure on the abdomen. It is best to wear loose-fitting clothes to reduce the likelihood of occasional incidences of acid reflux to lead to GERD.
- Review Medications – Certain medications are known to interfere with the digestive system and/or relax the LES, thus increasing the risk of GERD. If you begin to notice any early signs of heartburn, ensure to ask your doctor to check if your current medicines may be causing the burning sensation in the throat and chest.
It is vital to note that although all the above measures prevent GERD, not one solution works for all. What may offer relief from the acid reflux symptoms to a patient is not necessary to also help the others as well.
Acid reflux does not require emergency medical aid. The good news is that unlike most other disorders of the digestive system, GERD can be easily controlled at home by religiously following the above-mentioned simple tips and tricks.
If you still fail to see improvement in your symptoms of heartburn, you must seek immediate medical assistance to prevent the condition from getting worse. Delay or lack in the treatment for heartburn or GERD can permanently damage the esophageal lining and lead to a number of other medical disorders including throat cancer.
Do not wait, visit your gastroenterologist before it’s too late! If you are looking for the best gastroenterologist in Bangalore for the treatment of GERD, look no further and simply reach out to Dr. Srikanth Gadiyaram who has more than two decades of medical experience and is a highly acclaimed laparoscopic surgeon in Bangalore.
He excels in the laparoscopic anti-reflux surgery which is the world-renowned treatment for chronic heartburn or GERD. In this painless and minimally invasive treatment procedure, the upper portion of the stomach is wrapped around the lower portion of the esophagus.
It is a brief procedure and the patient is discharged within a day or two. There are only minimal post-operative measures that you must take care of. Patients are taken off any oral medications for GERD and can continue to enjoy their meals just like before in a few days after the procedure.
Dr. Srikanth Gadiyaram practices at Sahasra Hospitals which is the centre of excellence for gastroenterology in Bangalore. It is a modern healthcare institute and has all the latest medical equipment to offer the best-in-class medical aid to one and all. They have also tied-up with all national insurance agencies and offer round-the-clock assistance for Mediclaim approvals.
Get rid of your GERD symptoms and experience relief from the pain and the burning sensation in the chest and throat, schedule your appointment with Dr. Srikanth Gadiyaram today!