Gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a serious condition which if left untreated can cause serious complications. It is seen that the content of the stomach is backed up into the esophagus and cause wear down of the esophageal lining overtime. It is also referred as heartburn, acid reflux and pyrosis.
Complications caused by GERD
The lining of the stomach is resistant to the acid produced for the digestion of food. However, the lining of the esophagus is sensitive to acid. Sometime, acid backs up to the mouth and causes damage to the structures along the way up. Some of the complications caused by GERD include:
- Barrett’s esophagus
- Narrowing of the esophagus
- Damage to the throat, teeth, and airways
- Erosive esophagitis
What are symptoms of GERD?
Heartburn is the most common symptom of this disease. It is a sharp burning pain experienced in the middle chest, which can extend up to the neck or back. Heartburn is felt more commonly after a meal. Some other symptoms related to GERD are
- Chronic dry cough
- Sudden increase of saliva
- Bad breath
- Chest pain or discomfort
Eat Slowly: It is highly recommended to take smaller bites and chew them thoroughly. The main cause of heartburn is eating too quickly. You must try to take small bite and eat them slowly to avoid filling up your stomach fast by swallowing air.
Avoid Overeating: The symptoms of acid reflux worsen with larger meals. It is noticed that symptoms like gas, indigestion and heartburn start after consuming a heavy meal. Therefore, one can try several small meals instead of three large meals to get some relief from heartburn.
Don’t consume foods that cause heartburn: Oily foods, spicy food, citrus fruit, salsa, coffee, sodas and many such food items can cause heartburn. Instead, one should include eggs, fish, peas, green beans, bananas, apples and cabbage in your diet.
Medication: There are many prescription medicines such as Nexium and other over the counter drugs available in the markets that are useful for controlling symptoms of GERD.
By changing your eating habits and what you eat, you can get some relief from heartburn. Try to follow these tips and keep a check on acid problems from occurring.