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Lifestyle Changes to Improve GERD Symptoms

By: Anapol Weiss

Many people experience occasional heartburn and acid reflux, but these conditions are a chronic problem for some. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a chronic digestive disease involving the flow of stomach acid into the esophagus, which irritates and damages the esophagus lining.

Most people can manage discomfort related to GERD with lifestyle changes and over-the-counter medication. Mayo Clinic offers a few tips including:

  • Maintaining a healthy weight, as excess pounds put pressure on your abdomen and can push acid into your esophagus

  • Avoiding tight clothing, which can also put pressure on your abdomen and the lower esophageal sphincter

  • Eating less to avoid overeating

  • Waiting at three hours after eating before lying down or going to bed

  • Quitting smoking, as smoking decreases the function of the lower esophageal sphincter

  • Elevating the head of your bed to help reduce reflux while you sleep

  • Avoiding foods and drinks that trigger heartburn such as fatty foods, tomato sauce, alcohol, chocolate, mint, garlic, onion and caffeine

Warning for Those who Take Proton Pump Inhibitors

A popular class of stomach acid drugs called proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) – including Nexium, Prilosec and Prevacid – has been associated with an increased risk of chronic kidney disease (CKD), according to two population-based analyses published in JAMA Internal Medicine in January 2016. PPI drugs are used by millions of people to treat GERD as well as stomach ulcers and other conditions.

People who took PPI drugs over an extended period of time and were diagnosed with CKD likely have questions about who is legally responsible and if there is possible compensation for related expenses and financial and personal losses. We can help. Contact our firm for assistance.

This information is not to replace medical advice given by a physician. Patients should always speak with their health care provider before making decisions about their health.