What is GERD?
GERD stands for gastroesophageal reflux disease which is: "s a digestive disorder that affects the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), the ring of muscle between the esophagus and stomach...gastroesophageal reflux is the return of the stomach's contents back up into the esophagus (1)". Some individuals with GERD are thought to also suffer from something called hiatal hernia which is: "...when your stomach bulges up into your chest through an opening in your diaphragm, the muscle that separates the two areas (2)".
What are the common symptoms?
- chest pain
- feeling like food is coming back up
- acid or bitter taste in the mouth
What triggers GERD?
There are quite a few things that may trigger someone's GERD. These include (3):
- tight-fitting clothing
- heartburn in pregnancy
- gut health issues
- certain foods
- certain drugs like NSAIDs
What should you do if you have GERD?
This will depend on the individual, but some things may include (1,3):
- Avoid known food triggers
- Avoid peppermint, chocolate, caffeine, alcohol
- Avoid large portions
- Don't eat two-three hours before bed
- Medication may be prescribed by your medical professional
- Drink lots of water
- Stop smoking
- Consider supplementations with specific vitamins, minerals and herbs
Please note that the long-term use of antacids can result in other health issues. Always consult a health care practitioner when taking these or following any type of protocol.
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- Lipski, Elizabeth. (2011). Digestive Wellness: 4th Edition. McGraw Hill.