Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) happens when stomach acid flows back into the tube connecting your mouth and stomach known as the oesophagus. This acid reflux can irritate the delicate oesophagus lining.
Many individuals experience this acid reflux from time to time. GERD is mild acid reflux that occurs at least twice a week, or moderate to severe acid reflux that occurs at least once a week.
Most people can manage the discomfort of GERD by making lifestyle changes and over-the-counter medications. But some people with GERD might require stronger medications or surgery to ease symptoms. Here, we have jotted down 7 ways for you to prevent GERD:
- Maintain a healthy weight: Overweight is the leading cause of GERD. Extra stomach fat places pressure on the abdomen, pushing gastric juices up into the oesophagus. Start doing light physical exercises like yoga, aerobics, riding a bike, outdoor games like basketball, etc.
- Eat mindfully: Eat six smaller meals each day instead of three larger ones. This will help to keep the stomach not too full and will also help prevent excessive production of stomach acid. Three smaller meals and three snacks can also help to prevent acid reflux.
- Prefer loose clothing: Don’t wear belts, slenderizing undergarments, or clothes that are too tight-fitting around the waist. These items can squeeze the stomach, force food up against the lower oesophageal sphincter (LES), and cause reflux and heartburn.
- Restrict foods known to cause acid reflux: Spicy foods, deep-fried foods, caffeinated beverages, carbonated drinks, coffee, acidic foods (like tomato, oranges) should be consumed in very restricted amounts if you are at great risk of GERD to avoid acid reflux caused by these food items.
- Avoid sleeping immediately after your meals: Wait at least three hours before you lie down after a meal. Gravity generally helps in preventing acid reflux. When you eat a meal and then go for a nap, you are taking gravity out of the equation. As a result, acid more easily presses against the lower oesophageal sphincter and flows into the oesophagus.
- Sleep on an inclined surface: Your head should be 6 to 8 inches higher than your feet. You can do this by using ‘extra-tall’ bed risers on the legs supporting the head of your bed or try using a foam wedge support for your upper body. Don’t create a wedge by stacking pillows. They won’t provide the uniform support that you need.
- If you smoke, quit: The nicotine from smoking relaxes the valve between the oesophagus and stomach. This can allow stomach acid and juices, the chemicals that break down food in the stomach, to (reflux) into the oesophagus, which causes heartburn.
Over to you:
Abide by these above-written ways to prevent GERD and do not forget to share it with your friends and family.