Treatments for GERD – 5 Ways To Reduce Symptoms of GERD
For people who suffer with GERD, the painful symptoms can leave you restless at night trying to find relief. If you have been fighting the heartburn symptoms by day or night, there are several treatments for GERD options available. Listed are 5 treatments for GERD. It is always best to start with the least invasive, because relief may be a few simple steps away.
1) Change The Way You Sleep
Simple lifestyle changes may offer relief. Most GERD occurs at night, because when lying down the force of gravity does not help in pulling the reflux acid down. The simplest way to do this is to elevate the body when sleeping. There are two ways to accomplish this. Simply elevating the head will not help, so you will need more than an extra pillow. You can raise the head of the bed on blocks, or sleep with a wedge. You may also experience relief when lying on the left side instead of the right.
2) Vary Your Eating Habits
Simple solutions are sometimes the best. By varying your eating habits, you could see a reduction in your symptoms associated with GERD. Simply eating smaller meals may help alleviate symptoms, since the stomach will not be as distended. Certain foods have a propensity to cause problems. Some of these include chocolate, peppermint, alcohol, and caffeine. Other things that may make it worse are spicy and acidic foods.
Some believe that chewing gum may neutralize acid before it gets to the stomach. While not completely agreed upon on how effective gum chewing is, it is worthy of a try to chew some after a meal.
3) Use Antacids
Antacids continue to be a primary course for treatments for GERD. While the effects of antacids are not long lived, they work by neutralizing stomach acids. Once neutralized, there are no acids to reflux. The most effective way to take antacids is about one hour after a meal, or shortly before symptoms begin.
Depending on whether the antacids are aluminum containing or magnesium containing, there is a chance that the taker will experience constipation or diarrhea. This can be helped by alternating the types of antacids.
4) Take Over The Counter Medicines
Medicine has come out with new treatments for GERD as well. Histamine antagonists such as Tagamet work by stimulating acid production in the stomach. The histamines will bind to the receptors forcing the cells to produce acids. This method works best 30 minutes before meals because, at this point, the H2 antagonist will be at peak production.
Proton Pump Inhibitors are a new type of drug designed for acid related diseases. Prilosec, the most well known brand, uses this by blocking the secretion of acids into the stomach. This also works at protecting the esophagus from acids, allowing inflamed areas to heal. Both of these treatments for GERD started as prescription only, but are now available over the counter.
For more extreme cases, when GERD cannot be helped with over the counter treatments for GERD, the patient may have to consider surgery. Surgery works by widening the esophagus. This is done through laparoscopy surgery through the abdomen, and the results are very good at treating symptoms in up to 80% of patients. Endoscopic treatment is a second option that can be performed without hospitalization. The long-term results are still not well known.
For those suffering from GERD, there is no reason to live with the pain and discomfort. Starting with minor changes, and working to more aggressive treatments for GERD, there is relief in sight. Work with your doctor to find the treatment right for you.
Dianna Yvonne Smith is a consultant and expert in several areas of internet marketing. She has published articles and e-books in the family, home, fitness, business and cooking categories. To learn much more about Acid Reflux GERD, visit http://www.AcidRefluxExplained.com
Article Source: Treatments for GERD – 5 Ways To Reduce Symptoms of GERD