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GERD, or gastroesophageal reflux disease, is one of the most common chronic conditions out there, but it’s only recently that people started to realize what it is and what a GERD symptom is. Otherwise known as acid reflux disease, GERD occurs when the muscles, or sphincters, that close the lower part of your esophagus don’t work properly. Then the fluids in your stomach can leak into the esophagus and cause the acid reflux.
That burning feeling in the back of your throat-one of the clearest GERD symptom-occurs because, simply, the acidic fluids from your stomach are burning the tender lining of your esophagus. That’s the reason for GERD’s most common nickname, heartburn. The burning sensation can sometimes feel as if it’s almost happening deep in your chest cavity, near your heart.
Besides this burning sensation, other acid reflex symptoms include a diffuse pain in the chest, sore throat or hoarse voice in the morning, or a full feeling in the back of your throat. You could also suffer from a tight feeling in your throat, a problem with swallowing, a dry cough, and even bad breath.
If you listen to all those medication commercials on TV, you may be led to believe that you must buy an expensive GERD treatment to deal with acid reflux disease and its symptoms. But an acid reflux cure does not necessarily have to come from a costly prescription. You can actually eat a GERD diet to prevent the condition. Depending on your particular case of GERD, this acid reflux diet for prevention could mean that you avoid caffeinated sodas, spicy foods, chocolate and peppermint candies, overly acidic foods, and fatty and fried foods.
Part of this GERD diet could involve not only what foods to avoid, but also when to eat in general to prevent acid reflux disease. For instance, no matter what foods your acid reflux diet does and does not include, it’s important to eat your meals at least two to three hours before bedtime-at least. That’s because lying down with a full stomach can lead to more of those acidic stomach juices leaking into your esophagus.
Your GERD treatment may also involve certain lifestyle changes. Being overweight is not an acid reflux symptom, but it sure may be a major factor in the condition. So your doctor may recommend a regimen of exercise to go along with that GERD diet, to help you burn calories and melt off those extra pounds. Negative lifestyle behaviors such as smoking and drinking alcohol also can contribute to acid reflux, so you may want to consider cutting down, or quitting them altogether.
The point of all this information-GERD treatment is in your hands first and foremost. With a slight change to your eating habits and a few lifestyle changes, you could cure yourself of that painful and annoying acid reflux, and without resorting to expensive pills or gimmicky tricks.