Dietary and lifestyle changes, medication, and surgery are all possible remedies for GERD. In many cases, a combination of options helps people relieve symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). The treatment your doctor recommends will depend on a number of factors, such as how severe your symptoms are, when they occur, and what you have tried in the past.
An Overview of GERD RemediesSeveral remedies are available for people suffering from GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease). Your treatment will depend on:
- How severe your symptoms are
- When your symptoms occur
- How much they interfere with your life
- What you have tried in the past.
Specific remedies for GERD include:
- Diet and lifestyle changes
Diet and Lifestyle Changes as Remedies for GERDDepending on your particular situation, your GERD symptoms may improve simply by changing your diet and lifestyle. Many people find that there are several factors that make their symptoms worse, so it may take awhile to experiment and figure out exactly what you need to do to eliminate or reduce your symptoms.
For example, your doctor may suggest that you avoid certain foods that make your acid reflux worse. You might also be told to avoid eating anything close to bedtime (see GERD Diet). In some people, it helps to make lifestyle changes, such as stopping the use of tobacco products (see Smoking and GERD) or losing weight.
Your doctor may also suggest other lifestyle changes for as GERD remedies, including:
- Reducing stress. Stress can increase both how much acid your stomach produces and the amount of time it takes to empty after eating, both of which make it more likely for reflux to happen.
- Wearing loose-fitting clothing. Tight clothing can put pressure on your stomach and worsen symptoms of GERD.
- Chewing gum or sucking on lozenges to increase your saliva production, which helps to neutralize acid reflux.
- Raising the head of your bed 6 to 8 inches by putting blocks of wood under the bedposts -- just using extra pillows will not help.
While your doctor can give you some suggestions about what to try to relieve your symptoms, keep in mind that everyone is different. By paying close attention to your diet and activities for some time, you can try to figure out on your own which lifestyle changes might relieve your symptoms.