Acid reflux is a condition that approximately 7 million people in the U.S. experience. Sixty percent of the adult population is affected by GERD  every year. For many people, heartburn, acid indigestion, and chronic coughing and belching after eating, all symptoms associated with GERD, are a daily battle. The good news is that you don’t have to live with the discomfort.

While GERD, or gastroesophageal reflux disease, is a mild condition that causes discomfort, it develops into more serious diseases. So it is important to treat this condition in its early stages.

There are many ways to treat GERD. Most of these treatments are very simple, but you will have to make several adjustments to your lifestyle.

  • Eat smaller, frequent meals
  • Wait 3 hours after eating before lying down
  • Avoid exercise immediately after eating
  • Lose excess weight
  • Avoid alcohol & coffee
  • Stop smoking

Eating smaller-portioned meals, or eating four to five small meals rather than larger ones will help treat GERD. Additionally, waiting a few hours after eating before lying down, gives your food time to digest properly and acid levels will decrease.

Furthermore, avoiding smoking is crucial when treating acid reflux. Nicotine weakens the muscle that controls the opening between your esophagus and your stomach. If it is closed, it keeps the acid in your stomach and prevents it from going back up.

Other Ways to Treat GERD Include:

  • Raise the head of your bed 5-6 inches
  • Avoid spicy, acidic foods, including tomato-based foods, citric foods, and fruit juices
  • Try avoiding chocolate, mint, and peppermint
  • Try avoiding fried or greasy foods
  • Over-the-counter medicine

Raising the head of your bed is a common and effective way of treatment. Raising your head to a level that is higher than your feet doesn’t allow acid to back up.

If you are taking antacids three or more times per week, contact your physician. Excessive use of such medications that are designed for temporary relief suggests you may be suffering from an underlying issue. Simple procedures , like an upper endoscopy, will allow your gastroenterologist to get a clear picture of what is going on inside your body and prescribe a comprehensive treatment plan.

If you think you’re experiencing symptoms of GERD or acid reflux please contact a GI expert of SAGA .