Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is defined as the reflux of the gastroduodenal contents into the esophagus, larynx or lungs with or without resultant oesophageal inflammation. In other words, the stomach acid and/or bile flows, in the reverse direction, into the esophagus causing heartburn.
Here are 10 effective tips for treatment of GERD or heartburn:
- Avoid foods that increase GERD symptoms as chocolate, peppermint, citrus, onions, spicy foods and fatty foods.
- Avoid alcohol and caffeine.
- Eat small meals.
- Avoid lying down soon after meals. Try to give a 2 hour period between the meal and lying down.
- Maintain a healthy weight. If you are obese, work to slowly lose weight.
- Avoid tight-fitting clothing as this can increase the abdominal pressure and can increase heartburn symptoms.
- Avoid stooping and bending.
- Elevate the head of the bed so that your head is slightly higher than the level of your body.
- Avoid drugs that can increase GERD symptoms as calcium channel blockers, beta blockers, theophylline, alpha-adrenergic agonists.
- If you are a smoker, try to quit smoking. Smoking decreases the ability of the lower esophageal sphincter to function properly.