So you’ve been diagnosed with Acid Reflux – now what? What do you do for Acid Reflux?

You’ve likely been experiencing the following symptoms:

Frequent and ongoing heartburn is the most common Acid Reflux (GERD) symptom. Other symptoms include:

  • Regurgitation
  • Significant weight loss
  • Chest pain from heartburn
  • Pain and/or difficulty swallowing (mostly with solid foods or pills)
  • Coughing (especially after eating)
  • Hoarseness or wheezing (not related to illness or allergies)
  • A feeling like you have a lump in the throat
  • Continued interference with daily activities

Worsening of these symptoms over time is very common with Acid Reflux. These symptoms, if untreated, can lead to a wide range of much more serious health issues such as esophageal cancer.

What to do for Acid Reflux:

First of all work with your doctor to formulate a personal treatment plan. If you’d like to find a doctor who specializes in treating Acid Reflux, a great place to start is www.RefluxMD.com. They will help you assess the stage your reflux is at and direct you to the appropriate healthcare provider.

The first line of treatment for Acid Reflux should be simply home remedies or lifestyle changes such as sleeping with the head of your bed elevated on a gradual incline. It should be elevated 6-8 inches for optimum relief of your heartburn symptoms.  The gradual incline uses gravity to keep acid where it belongs – in your stomach.  Keeping the acid in your stomach while your sleeping is important. Lying flat allows the stomach acids to flow into your esophagus while you are sleeping (often unaware) and cause continued damage which can lead to much more serious conditions over time.  Gravity1st™ Elevated Sleep Systems mattress is an excellent option to provide comfortable head elevated sleep.

Another significant lifestyle change is to lose weight.  There are numerous studies showing the correlation between acid reflux and excess weight. Losing weight is often difficult but plays an important role in reducing symptoms.  While you are working on your new weight loss plan you can also help yourself by not wearing tight fitting close, especially around your mid section. This puts increased pressure on your Lower Esophageal Sphincter and hinders its proper function (ring of muscle that keeps acid down in your stomach and out of your esophagus).

Many people also manage or minimize their symptoms by including dietary changes, eliminating alcohol and quitting smoking into their new lifestyle.  You should keep a daily journal to find your specific triggers and eliminate those triggers as quickly as you can.

If lifestyle changes alone are not enough to control your acid reflux symptoms, speak to your healthcare provider about other treatment options, which may include medications and potential surgery.