Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease – Signs, Symptoms, and Remedies
GERD or Gastroesophageal reflux disease is a digestive disorder wherein the esophagus becomes inflamed or irritated because of the acid coming back from the stomach. Many people, including pregnant women suffer from acid indigestion or heartburn caused by GERD. Heartburn can be relieved through lifestyle and diet changes. Medication and surgery may be needed.
Signs and Symptoms of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease
The most common symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease is pain. Most people experience a pain at night after lying down. Others may experience the pain after eating something fatty or heavy. It’s beginning as an abdominal pain and you can feel it in the upper part of your ABS. As the acid in the stomach starts traveling up the esophagus, a burning sensation can be felt in the esophagus lining. The symptoms are quite like that of a heart attack. The GERD pain, like heart attack, is experienced in the center of the chest, and gives you tight sensation. The pain moves towards the arms and other parts.
GERD can lead to back pain. The pain that you can feel in your chest can travel towards your back and give a backache that can move from your neck to your lower back area. It is different from the normal backache as it does not give a burning sensation, but is sharp, and puts pressure on your back muscles. This pain is followed by other symptoms like sore throat, nausea, hoarseness, coughing, regurgitation, wheezing, and acid taste in the mouth and so on.
Helpful Diet and Nutrition
The amount of acid produced by your stomach depends largely on the type of food you eat. It is very important to follow the right diet if you want to get relief from gastroesophageal reflux disease.
High fatty food – Fatty and fried foods can make the LES relax, pushing more stomach acid back into the esophagus. If you eat, such foods, there will be more chances of you suffering from acid reflux problems. You need to avoid them as much as possible.
Citrus fruit and tomatoes – Highly acidic food will only make your GERD symptoms worse. If you frequently suffer from acid reflux, you should try to limit your intake of such foods.
Chocolate – Chocolate contains an ingredient known as methylxantthine that relaxes the muscles in the esophagus. It can increase reflux.
Spicy foods, onion, garlic – Tangy and spicy foods can lead to heartburn, and this includes garlic and onion.
There is no diet can help avoid GERD, but certain foods may help ease the symptoms. Let us get to know about few such foods
Probiotics and yogurt – Probiotics are good bacteria and it is found present in yogurt. Eating probiotic foods can help aid digestion and may protect you from harmful bacteria to a certain extent.
Fiber – Increased fiber intake that can protect you from various digestive problems, including GERD. So, make sure you include enough fiber in your diet.
Natural Remedies for Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease
Various natural remedies can help you get relief from the problem of GERD.
Baking Soda – A teaspoon of baking soda can help provide relief from the burning and gnawing sensation of heartburn. All you need to do is mix 1/2 – 1 teaspoon of baking soda in 1 glass of water. Stir and drink the mixture sip by sip, until you finish it completely.
Aloe Juice – Aloe helps reduce inflammation. It can help you with the heartburn. Whenever you feel your stomach is inflamed and irritated, drink 1/2 cup of Aloe Vera juice to calm it down.
Chew Gum – Chewing gum helps relieve the symptoms. So, after you have had a meal, take a sugar free gum and chew it for about 30 minutes.
Apples or bananas – Eating a ripe banana every day can help prevent the problem. You can even eat an apple few hours before bedtime to prevent or relieve discomfort.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease can indeed cause great discomfort. It will be best to avoid its occurrence by following the right diet and lifestyle. If the problem occurs, you should first try one of the natural remedies. If that does not work, make sure you visit your doctor.