If you often experience heartburn, sore throat, and nausea, you could be suffering from Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease otherwise known as GERD. It’s a chronic disease in which the liquid from the stomach regurgitates back up into the esophagus. The regurgitated liquid contains acid and pepsin produced by the stomach. It can be painful, embarrassing and very uncomfortable. Some of the other symptoms may include asthma, hoarseness, dry throat, laryngitis, feeling of having a lump caught in your throat, trouble swallowing, feeling bloated, burping, hiccups, vomiting, earaches and bad breath.
The most common triggers for GERD are
- Poor diet – greasy, fried and/or spicy foods
- Citrus fruits
- Garlic and onions
- Drinking alcohol
- Eating late at night / too close to bedtime
- Drinking too much coffee and/or other drinks containing caffeine
Suggested lifestyle changes for dealing with GERD
- Choose salads, green leafy vegetables along with other vegetables, because they are naturally low in fat and sugar and help reduce stomach acid.
- Eat lean meats and fish broiled, poach, grilled or baked. Select egg whites only over whole eggs as the yolk may trigger symptoms.
- Cook and prepare foods with good fats such as olive oil, avocado, nuts, etc.
- Eat non-citrus fruits such as apples, pears, melons, bananas, etc.
- Whole grain bread and cereals. Oatmeal, for example, can absorb acid in the stomach and reduce symptoms.
- Drink lots of water. Eliminate caffeinated drinks and liquor. Choose for example ginger tea instead.
- Eliminate hot peppers and other hot spicy spices.
- Use ginger as it has natural anti-inflammatory properties, a natural treatment for heartburn and other gastro issues. You can add grated or sliced ginger root to recipes or smoothies, or drink ginger tea to ease symptoms.
- Eat at least 2-3 hours before bedtime.
- Raise the head of your bed 4 to 6 inches to reduce reflux symptoms while sleeping.
- Quit smoking or significantly reduce the amount you smoke, seek professional help with cessation if necessary.
- Eat smaller meals, don’t overindulge at one sitting. Losing some weight may also help with reducing some of the symptoms.
- Take antacids and other medications that reduce acid production.
- If you chew gum, make sure it isn’t peppermint or spearmint flavored.
An ENT doctor who specializes in ears, nose and throat issues can provide you with an accurate diagnosis, recommend medications to relieve your symptoms and offer other valuable advice on how to control this condition. It’s important to be properly evaluated, to be sure that the symptoms you are suffering from are not related to another condition or disease.
Dr. Gaylor and his team of specialists at Cedar Crest Ear, Nose, and Throat Services have been successfully treating GERD, acid reflux, allergy and swallowing disorder sufferers, in the Lehigh Valley, for years.
1251 S. Cedar Crest Blvd., Suite. 110
Allentown, PA 18103
Serving Allentown, Bethlehem, Easton & the greater
Lehigh Valley, PA Area