Making lifestyle changes can increase the quality of living daily life with GERD. Here are a few tips to helping you manage your GERD symptoms.
Certain foods are known to set off GERD symptoms. Some people experience symptoms when they eat foods that are fried or have a high fat content. Other foods that are associated with GERD are chocolate, onions, mint, and tomato sauce. Cola drinks, orange juice, alcohol, and caffeinated beverages can also be triggers. You may want to keep a food journal to help you identify what foods cause you trouble.
Lying down after a meal can provoke heartburn, so you will experience fewer GERD symptoms if you plan your day accordingly. Instead of eating a large evening meal or having a bedtime snack, concentrate your eating early in the day. Make lunch your main meal, and have just a small dinner. After eating, remain sitting or standing. Stay relaxed, though, since too much physical activity after a meal can be problematic for GERD sufferers. Do not lie down or go to bed for at least three hours.
When you do retire for the night, arrange your bed in a way that will help you fight GERD episodes all night long. The idea is to elevate the top half of your body. You can do this by lifting the head of your bed six to nine inches off of the ground with blocks or other supports. You can also use bed wedges that are designed to adjust your position as you sleep.
Keeping pressure off of your abdomen can help relieve GERD symptoms. Gradually losing weight can help alleviate this pressure. Wearing loose clothing that won't cut into your stomach area can help, too.
You might be tempted to use cough drops or hard candies to relieve a GERD-associated cough or sore throat. Unfortunately, these may make symptoms worse. Making lifestyle changes to relieve GERD symptoms is a better way to deal with throat problems.
If you are a smoker, this may be exacerbating your symptoms. Talk to your doctor about quitting smoking.