Our patients often ask us about treatment methods for GERD (prescription, non-prescription, and natural remedies). In this article, we will talk about this topic. If at any point you have questions, please contact one of our offices in Johns Creek/Suwanee or Lawrenceville and we would be happy to help answer your questions.
What is GERD?
Acid reflux, or GERD, is the result of when the lower esophagus muscles function improperly. During improper functioning, the food and stomach acids leak back (or reflux) into the esophagus. Heartburn is oftentimes a symptoms of GERD.
Types of Treatment for Heartburn and GERD
There are several methods for treating heartburn and GERD. Our doctors will determine which method will successfully treat your symptoms. Treatment options include:
- stomach antacids (over-the-counter)
- medications (H2 blockers, proton pump inhibitors, etc)
- prescription strength antacids
Lifestyle Changes and Natural Treatments for GERD
Many people do not want to go the route of taking medications, whether or not they are prescription or over-the-counter. Some choose not to partake in those treatments, and that is okay. If you are one of these people, you will be happy to know there are natural treatments for GERD, including some lifestyle changes that should occur. These include:
- Wear loose-fitting clothing.
- Avoid heartburn triggers. If you know that you suffer from heartburn after drinking a cup of coffee, avoid drinking coffee as much as possible.
- Lose weight. This can minimize heartburn symptoms, along with other types of health problems you may be experiencing.
- Eat slowly. Don’t be in a rush when you are eating. A good trick to slow down is to put your fork down sometimes between bites.
- Do not overeat. You do not have to eat big portion sizes (skip the Big Mac or quadruple-size value meals). Instead, try eating 3-5 small meals throughout the day instead of 3 big meals.
- Do not go to bed with a full stomach. During the 2-3 hours before lying down, do not eat meals. You want to give your body a chance to digest the food. Lying down during this process may cause GERD.
- Stop smoking.
- Avoid alcohol consumption.
- Keep a diary to record when you experience heartburn. This can help you pinpoint your GERD triggers when consuming certain foods or beverages.
If you notice that your heartburn is worse when lying down, try eating earlier before bedtime, or raise the head of your bed (your head and chest should be higher than your feet). As always, drink as much water throughout the day as possible, especially if you exercise. If exercising triggers heartburn, wait approximately 2 hours after a meal before exercising.
Seeking Help from Northeast Atlanta ENT for GERD
If you have tried everything you could think of to help relieve your GERD symptoms, but cannot seem to minimize heartburn, come see us. Even if you just started experiencing heartburn or acid reflux and you do not want to try treatment on your own, come see us.
Our doctors will be more than happy to speak with you about your acid reflux symptoms. We can provide proper treatment and lifestyle suggestions to relieve your symptoms. Call us today, or contact us here at one of our two convenient locations (Johns Creek/Suwanee or Lawrenceville) to schedule your appointment, and start feeling better!