Along with medications, dietary and lifestyle changes are also recommended for people with GERD.
The following points are recommended for the management of heartburn /GERD-
a) Find out the triggers that cause the reflux and work towards eliminating it
b) Avoid reflux causing foods such as
• Fried, fatty foods
• spicy / hot food
• mint, garlic, onions
• tomato and citrus based foods
c) Avoid smoking as smoking inhibits saliva production which is a natural defense against reflux
d) Avoid alcohol consumption as alcohol increases acidity
e) Certain vegetables like brussel sprouts, cauliflower and cabbage may increase the risk of GERD. Milk -based products too can cause acid reflux in some.
f) If obese, reduce weight. Obesity can increase abdominal pressure and push the contents of the stomach into the esophagus.
g) Engage in moderate exercises
h) Eat smaller meals, as large meals tend to expand the stomach and exert pressure on the esophageal sphincter.
i) Wear loose - fitting clothes
j) Do not sleep or lie down for three hours after a meal. k) While resting, keep the head of the bed raised
GERD can turn out to be a ‘silent killer’ if there is a delay in the diagnosis and treatment. So if you are suffering from persistent heartburn, kindly consult the doctor and get treated at the earliest.