, or GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) is a very common condition. However, longstanding untreated reflux can lead to serious complications and therefore it is important to discuss with your primary care doctor
the possible necessity of medication to treat your reflux. With or without medication, there are numerous other non-pharmacological therapies that will likely give you some relief from your symptoms. The first is diet. There are many foods and liquids that can exacerbate the symptoms of reflux and should be avoided. Some of the more common offenders include chocolate, peppermint, fried and fatty foods, tomatoes, citrus, alcohol and caffeine. Secondly, do not smoke as this can greatly worsen your symptoms. Obesity can also worsen reflux symptoms so weight loss can also help if this applies to your situation. It is also important to not wear tight fitting waistbands as this can apply pressure to your abdomen and the sphincter that leads to the esophagus. Another easy remedy is to not lie down immediately after eating. Try to stay upright for at least 30 minutes after a meal. It can also be helpful to prop yourself up on pillows at nighttime so that you are at more of a 45 degree angle. Stress can also make symptoms of reflux worse so you could try some relaxation techniques such as meditation.