Acid Reflux Disease, or GERD, is a common disease which affects approximately 5-7% of the population. It occurs when acid from the stomach backs up into the esophagus, a long, thin, muscular tube, which connects the mouth and the stomach. This often causes a constant burning sensation behind the breastbone, which is commonly known as heartburn. Long-term or persistent heartburn should be evaluated by a doctor, as heartburn can imitate the symptoms of heart disease.
Once you have been properly diagnosed as having Acid Reflux Disease, there are a variety of treatment options available to you. Many doctors recommend over the counter medications, developed to reduce stomach acid, such as antacids or prokinetic agents. Some patients who are unable to control their symptoms with non-prescription medication may either choose prescription antacids or surgery, or opt for a combination of the two.
There are other options available, however, to help you manage your symptoms. Many patients are able to control their disease by simply by making lifestyle changes. Here are a few tips, to get you started.
Probably the most important lifestyle change that you could make to help you manage your GERD symptoms is the simplest- avoid the foods and drinks that make you uncomfortable! While this may sound like common sense, many sufferers find it difficult to make dietary changes. Try replacing fatty, deep-fried foods with healthier options, such as tasty summer salads and steamed vegetables. You should also try to limit your intake of caffeinated beverages, as caffeine is a known contributor to GERD, so opt for decaf teas and coffees instead.
Stress reduction is also key to the management of acid reflux disease. The body manufactures more stomach acid when under stress, so it is important to learn to relax. Meditation is a very useful tool for effectively reducing stress levels, so incorporating one or two short meditation sessions into each day can help you to relax. Likewise, yoga is also recommended as being an effective way to manage stress, so try to find a class near you.
By incorporating simple changes into your life, you can not only better manage your GERD symptoms, but also enhance the overall quality of your life.
Carl Spanier is the founder of Acid Reflux Causes a website that allows consumers to quickly and easily get acid reflux information.