“It’s just heartburn.”
If you suffer from GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease), those are the last words you want to hear.
This chronic digestive disorder can be exceedingly frustrating for people who suffer from it. Constant chest pain. Constant meal planning. What to eat; what not to eat. Worry about the drugs you’re taking—the long-term impact, the side effects, the digestive upsets they can cause.
Sleep issues. Fatigue from sleep issues.
And then there are the well-intentioned friends or family members who say, well, at least you don’t have a terminal disease!
As if that’s helpful….
So what can you do to lessen the symptoms—for yourself or someone you love?
A study published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology offers these three suggestions to improve symptoms:
- Lose weight. This is strongly recommended if your Body Mass Index (BMI) is over 25, or if you have recently gained weight.
- Avoid late-evening meals. Particularly avoid eating meals with high fat content within two to three hours of lying down.
- Cut down the carbs. Another study indicated that obese people with GERD may resolve their symptoms by eating a very low-carbohydrate diet.
While the American Journal of Gastroenterology study showed that stopping smoking and giving up alcohol didn’t improve GERD symptoms, I strongly suggest that you stop smoking for many health reasons—and monitor your alcohol consumption to see if you notice an impact on your GERD.
What about giving up chocolate, caffeine, spicy foods, citrus and carbonated beverages? The study recommends “selective elimination.” In other words, experiment with your diet to identify the culprits. If you notice your GERD symptoms improve, then by all means avoid those that trigger discomfort.
There are many natural products to control G.E.R.D., also.
Beyond these steps, I’d also recommend addressing the stressors in your life by changing your beliefs, thought processes and developing a stronger trust in the cycles of life and happiness. Contact me if you would like to learn more about that or other remedies and recommendations to control or eliminate GERD. Email me or give me a call at 319-631-0824 to set up an appointment.