Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a digestive disorder that causes stomach acid to flow back up into the esophagus. SOURCES: American College of Gastroenterology, “What Everyone Should Know About Gastrointestinal Disorders in Women.” American College of Gastroenterology Consumer Health Guides. WebMD Medical Reference in collaboration with The Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland Clinic Consult Newsletter : “Extinguishing Heartburn.” Shekhar Challa, MD, president of Kansas Medical Clinic, author, Spurn the Burn: Treat The Heat. Elaine Magee, MPH, RD, author, Tell Me What To Eat If I Have Acid Reflux. WebMD Medical News. High-Fiber Diet May Halt Heartburn.
Eliminating known GERD triggers from your diet can help improve your symptoms. Avoiding eating late meals, elevating the head of the bed, ensuring you do not eat while lying down, or not lying down for up to 3 hours after eating can also be helpful. If you are overweight, weight loss is recommended. Avoid smoking tobacco or drinking click for info alcohol, as they both reduce lower esophageal sphincter pressure and can worsen GERD symptoms. Certain over-the-counter medications, such as antacids, histamine 2 receptor antagonists, and proton pump inhibitors can also help with resolution of symptoms. Talk to your healthcare provider about which medications are best for you.
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The prolonged acid reflux associated with GERD can cause inflammation in the esophagus, leading to a condition called esophagitis Esophagitis may make it difficult or painful to swallow. When left untreated, GERD can also damage your esophageal lining and cause esophageal ulcers and irritation. This may result in bleeding, narrowing of the esophagus, or Barrett’s esophagus , a condition in which the cells lining your esophagus change to ones resembling your intestine. It can be associated with esophageal cancer.