If you experience heartburn more than a few times per week and small lifestyle changes and over-the-counter medications don’t help, it’s time to see your doctor. You may need stronger prescription medications or surgery. Doctors usually start with a combination of treatments. These include antacids and histamine receptor antagonists. If symptoms persist, they may also prescribe long-term PPIs and pH monitoring.
Insufficient sleep is a known risk factor for GERD. This is because night-time acid reflux disrupts sleep, which worsens GERD. In addition, sleeping in a reclining position makes reflux more likely. For this reason, it’s a good idea to avoid lying down right after eating. Many people who suffer from GERD also struggle with sleep problems, including obstructive sleep apnea. This condition causes shallow breathing or pauses in the breath, which lasts for a few seconds or minutes.
In some cases, GERD treatment can improve sleep. Several lifestyle changes and medications can help reduce symptoms. Raising the head of the bed 6 inches can significantly enhance the quality of sleep by reducing the chance that stomach acid will reflux into the throat during the night. That is why it is best to consult experts in GERD treatment Denver to be guided on the right medication for your concerns.
When GERD symptoms flare up, they can be frustrating and disrupt your quality of life. Thankfully, many ways exist to control your symptoms and improve your health.
In addition to diet alterations and medications, stress management techniques are crucial for managing your GERD. These are simple, non-invasive tools that can make a big difference.
When stressed, your body produces more stomach acid and becomes more sensitive to its effects. This can aggravate GERD symptoms and lead to more serious mouth, throat, or lung complications. Stress reduction techniques like deep breathing and mindfulness meditation can help. They are also safe to use during pregnancy and breastfeeding. These methods reduce chronic inflammation and prevent cardiovascular disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes.
Boosts Immune System
The esophagus is an understudied immunological organ. It is exposed to the same microorganisms and food antigens as the stomach and small intestine, yet its immune responses differ from those of the rest of the gastrointestinal tract. GERD can cause inflammation and scarring of the esophageal lining (esophagitis) and other complications, such as a peptic stricture or Barrett’s esophagus. In addition, symptomatic patients are at increased risk of esophagus cancer. Some studies suggest that proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) reduce esophageal mucosal inflammation and fibrosis by reducing these inflammatory cytokines. However, the underlying mechanisms still need to be fully understood.
Boosts Brain Health
Millions of people suffer from GERD. Symptomatic treatment with acid suppression medication, such as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), has helped improve their quality of life. Medications help reduce the amount of acid that refluxes into the esophagus, alleviate symptoms, and heal irritation. Several medications can help, including over-the-counter and prescription options. Medications can also treat the cause of GERD, such as a large hiatal hernia or poor LES tone, often the root of the problem. Surgery can also be considered for patients with refractory GERD.