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What's the Answer to Getting Rid of GERD?

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What's the Answer to Getting Rid of GERD?

Apr 15, 2024

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a more serious and chronic form of acid reflux, can become quite bothersome. Some may experience a burning sensation in their chest, and others may feel it in their throat. 

Bad breath and a bitter taste in the mouth are also symptoms. When left untreated, the acid that continuously travels up the esophagus from the stomach can damage the surrounding tissues. 

Some may even develop cavities as a result of the stomach acid corroding the tooth enamel. 

So, how can you lessen the discomfort and prevent potential complications? Our experts at Carolina Digestive Health Associates have the answers for getting rid of GERD for good. 

Keep track of your food triggers 

Some foods and drinks can relax the esophageal sphincter, the band of muscle fibers that prevents acid from climbing up the esophagus after you are done eating. The esophageal sphincter opens up when you swallow food and should close after you are done eating, but sometimes, this valve doesn’t close properly. In some people, foods and drinks are the main triggers for GERD.

The most common dietary triggers include alcohol, caffeine, spicy foods, fatty fried foods, onions, tomatoes, and citrus fruits. However, the best way to find out your triggers is by keeping a food diary in which you write what you eat and how the ingredients make you feel afterward. 

Stop wearing tight clothing

Tight pants and shirts can squeeze out the stomach contents, putting pressure on the valve and keeping the acid away from the esophagus. When under pressure, the valve may open. 

People who carry excess weight along the midsection may have extra pressure on their stomachs at all times, which can increase the risk for GERD.

Quit smoking cigarettes 

As if there aren’t enough reasons to quit smoking, smoking is also known to relax the esophageal sphincter.

Don’t lie down after eating 

Sometimes, you can use gravity to your advantage. If you stand up after eating, acid will have a harder time climbing your esophagus. 

Check with your medical provider to see if medications could be causing your symptoms 

Some medications may raise the risk of GERD. These include:

  • Hormone replacement therapy for postmenopausal women 
  • Antidepressants 
  • Anti-Inflammatories 
  • Medications that treat low bone density 

In some cases, your provider may be able to come up with alternatives to your current treatment, reducing your risk for GERD.

What to do when GERD doesn’t go away on its own 

Sometimes, lifestyle modifications are not enough, and our experts know that no matter how hard their patients try, their symptoms are too severe to be relieved without intervention. 

If you are struggling, contact us to schedule an appointment in our Belmont, Charlotte / Uptown, and Charlotte, North Carolina offices. Our experts are more than happy to examine you and create a treatment plan to ease your symptoms.