5 ways you can effectively manage your GERD symptoms

GERD, or GORD, is one of those conditions where the acronym sounds just as bad, if not worse, than the full medical name. Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease can be an uncomfortable bodily function, to say the least, as anyone who’s experienced it will know.

GERD is a condition which loosens the oesophageal sphincter, the ring of muscle around the entrance to the stomach, which then allows stomach acid to climb up your throat, giving you an unpleasant burning sensation. It’s also preventable.

If you’re looking to find a way to manage your GERD symptoms so you can get back to living your life, read on to discover the Rennie method to beating GERD.

1. LOSING WEIGHT

It’s never nice to be told to lose weight, but if you feel that your GERD is becoming unmanageable, not to mention the other health risks that come along with obesity, then losing weight could be your ticket to a more comfortable life.

Being overweight can put extra pressure on your digestive system, which can cause the valve between the stomach and the oesophagus to relax, allowing stomach acid to move upwards.

If you feel that this could apply to you, then losing weight might be a good place to start.

2. DITCH TIGHT CLOTHING

If your belt is too tight or those skinny jeans are just a little too skinny, the extra pressure can push some stomach acid into places that it shouldn’t be.

A lot of GERD symptoms are preventable and small changes like this can make all the difference. If you often find yourself with GERD symptoms, then look to relieve as much pressure as possible from your stomach in your day-to-day life.

3. KEEP YOUR HEAD UP

We don’t mean try a more positive attitude to life, although that’s never a bad thing! No, we mean physically keep your head up.

If your symptoms are cropping up when you’re trying to sleep, then you could try raising your bed slightly. If your head is higher than your stomach, the acid will have a harder job of moving up your oesophagus and giving you that horrid burning sensation.

The upper part of your body needs to be elevated, not just your head, so try propping the top legs of your bed up on some books or blocks to change the orientation of your entire body. You could also invest in a wedge pillow, which is designed to comfortably elevate the whole upper half of your body.

4. GO GLUTEN-FREE

Have you considered going gluten-free? While there is no definitive scientific consensus on the gluten-free diet, some studies have found that reducing the intake of foods containing high levels of gluten, such as rye, barley and wheat, could lead to a decrease in GERD symptoms, though this may be due to an underlying condition.

If you’ve tried everything but are still dealing with GERD, then you could remove some of the more gluten-rich foods from your diet and see if you notice any difference. 

5. WAIT BEFORE EXERCISING

If you’re trying to shift some pounds but find that your GERD is flaring up after exercise then it could have something to do with your meal timings.

Just like you shouldn’t eat three hours before bed, you should leave time between eating and exercising. It’s recommended that you wait at least two hours between a meal and engaging in physical activity, as any less means you could risk heartburn.

These are just a few key steps you can take to help reduce your GERD symptoms, and while there are many more, we believe that these should help give you the edge in your battle to relive heartburn.

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