Changes in Lifestyle
The biggest and the most important part of the treatment plan for all those who suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease are certain lifestyle changes. These changes usually involve certain habits which are related solely to eating. Gastroesophageal reflux disease is commonly manifested during the night much more than during the day. This is mainly due to the fact that the actual reflux occurs much easier when the person is in the lying position. In order to avoid such occurrences one needs to elevate the upper part of the body when lying in bed. A foam rubber wedge is usually considered as the best way to utilize the elevation. There are also a large number of patients who suffer from the symptoms of GERD only during the day so the above mentioned methods of elevation cannot be of any help to them. Those who do experience symptoms of GERD during the night usually also experience symptoms such as regurgitation and heartburn. It is also highly recommended to lie on the left side of the body.
There are also certain changes in the everyday diet which can be of great help for all those who suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease. It is highly recommended to eat smaller meals than usual because they cause lesser distention of the stomach. It is also not recommended to eat anything a few hours before going to sleep. There are also certain types of food items which are known for being highly efficient when it comes to reducing the pressure in the lower esophageal sphincter, so they need to be avoided as much as possible. The lower esophageal sphincter is a valve like muscle and when it does not function properly it triggers the occurrence of GERD. Food items which need to be avoided include caffeinated drinks, alcoholic beverages, peppermint and chocolate. It is also a very good idea to avoid smoking and consumption of fatty foods as much as possible because they also have a negative effect on the functioning of the lower esophageal sphincter. There are also certain foods which may aggravate the symptoms of this medical condition so they also need to be avoided as much as possible. Those include tomato juice, carbonated beverages and citrus juices. Chewing gums may be very helpful for those who suffer from GERD because they increase the rate of swallowing. Antacid medications are still the most efficient treatment method for GERD.