What You Might Not Know About GERD
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), also known as acid reflux, is common but can be very uncomfortable, especially when it happens frequently. The chronic irritation that happens when your digestive acid gets into your esophagus is not something to live with. Fortunately, medical professionals like the Charlotte GERD specialists got you covered. With an accurate diagnosis, you will not only overcome the symptoms but learn ways to prevent the condition in the future. GERD is one of the most preventable conditions with the right information. Here are some interesting facts you need to know about the condition to help you understand the situation better.
GERD Can be a Gateway for other Conditions
It would help if you did not take acid reflux as something that can go away on its own. Please seek expert help even if the condition occurs once in a while. Leaving the condition unmanaged or poorly managed can pave the way for severe complications. You can endure severe inflammation of your vocal cords, lungs, esophagus, throat, and stomach. Also, untreated GERD increases your chances of esophageal cancer.
You can experience acid reflux in two different ways. You might complain of heartburn, and you will be enduring heartburn reflux. You can also complain of frequent throat clearing, chronic cough, or hoarseness, wherein you will endure throat burn reflux. The most common situation is heartburn reflux, called gastroesophageal reflux disease. Throat burn reflux occurs without heartburn and is commonly referred to as laryngopharyngeal reflux.
Avoiding Acidic Foods Can Help
It is necessary to avoid certain acidic foods if you tend to experience acid reflux. Alcohol, chocolate, caffeine, garlic, onion, tomato, and mint are common acidic foods associated with GERD and should be avoided. Also, raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and honey are acidic but are considered healthy and can contribute to acid reflux. However, healthy acidic foods can be neutralized to control their acidity.
A Low Acid Diet Can Minimize Your Symptoms
Eating a low-acid diet can help you minimize the inflammation from acid reflux. Ensure you incorporate high-fiber foods in your diet and balance carbohydrates, fats, and proteins in your diet. Such a diet comes with additional benefits like weight management, noting that being overweight or obese is one of the major risk factors for GERD. Additionally, ensure you eat your meals in smaller portions and avoid lying down immediately after eating. Such dietary changes can help you minimize your chances of suffering acid reflux.
Some Medications can Increase Your Chances of Developing GERD.
It is essential to review your medications if you experience acid reflux often. Some medications can interfere with digestion, relax your LES, or further irritate your esophagus. Talk to your doctor if you are taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, some asthma medications like albuterol, calcium channel blockers, sedatives, and painkillers. Also, tell your doctor if you are taking iron tablets, potassium, or some antibiotics. Your doctor can help you switch to other medications with similar treatment effects but not similar side effects. Remember never to stop taking prescriptions without your doctor’s approval.
Acid reflux can be devastating, limiting the quality of your life. Remember, it is one of the most preventable health conditions with the right advice. Reach out to the Carolina Digestive Health Associates, PA, for help.