If you suffer from GERD, it is really important to realize that this condition is more than just an annoyance. If you do not treat and manage GERD properly, it can lead to lasting problems, like esophageal ulcers and cancer. Your doctor will typically prescribe medications like proton pump inhibitors and antacids to manage your GERD. However, you will also need to employ some non-medical treatments to ease your symptoms and reduce the risk of long-term side effects.
If you are overweight, then you should absolutely focus on losing weight in order to manage your GERD. When you are overweight, the excess pounds can put pressure on your stomach, which encourages stomach acid to rise into your esophagus. Losing weight can be tough on your own, so consider enrolling with a personal trainer or a dietitian for some guidance. Look for someone who has experience with GERD patients, especially when it comes to a dietitian. They will be better able to recommend foods that don't cause flare-ups.
Change Your Eating Patterns
In addition to changing what you eat under the guidance of a dietitian, you will want to change the times at which you are eating. GERD symptoms tend to get worse when you eat within a few hours of bedtime. You will want to eat earlier in the day so you can eat a smaller dinner and avoid eating anything at all within two or three hours of going to bed. If you are someone who naps, make sure you don't eat for a couple of hours before your nap, too.
Eat Smaller Meals
Eating too much at once also increases your chances of developing GERD symptoms. So in addition to eating earlier in the day, you will want to eat smaller meals. Try eating a small breakfast when you first get up, another small breakfast at mid-morning, lunch, a late-afternoon snack, and an early dinner. If you feel yourself getting full at any point, then stop eating.
Stress can make GERD worse, so it's really important to work on alleviating stress if you want to keep your symptoms under control. There are endless ways to reduce your stress levels. You can try meditating, doing yoga, or taking relaxing walks. You may want to try deep breathing exercises.
Talk to your doctor to learn more about these and other GERD treatments. Every case is different, and your doctor can recommend personalized tactics for you.