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Treating Heartburn and GERD



IBD, Crohn's, UC, gas bloating, health, microbiome, gastrointestinal gi system, see your gastroenterology doctor or gastroenterologist

What is GERD?

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is present when the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) relaxes or does not close properly and stomach contents reflux into the esophagus. The LES is a ring of muscle at the bottom of the esophagus that acts like a valve between the esophagus and stomach preventing food and acid from flowing back into the esophagus.


How is GERD different from Heartburn?

GERD differentiates from heartburn in the sense that GERD is a form of acid reflux opposed to heartburn and exists in a chronic state, whereas heartburn tends to be more temporarily manifests more as a slight burning sensation in the chest or throat that is associated with regurgitation or indigestion.


IBD, Crohn's, UC, gas bloating, health, microbiome, gastrointestinal gi system, see your gastroenterology doctor or gastroenterologist
A burning sensation in the throat is a common symptom of GERD.

What are the causes of GERD and Heartburn?

The cause of heartburn is usually based upon your diet, specifically your intake of fatty or acidic foods. This means heavy consumption of spicy foods, citrus fruits, chocolates, alcohol, and other related foods. Meanwhile, GERD is primarily caused by an over-relaxing or weakened sphincter as this allows a constant acid backwash to cause inflammation. This can also be worsened by an improper diet that consists of the same foods that lead to heartburn.



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How are they treated?

Heartburn is a lot easier to treat than GERD, there are accessible over-the-counter antacids available that can treat heartburn with ease. Additionally to this general diet changes can prevent recurring heartburn and lying down while experiencing heartburn can help alleviate pain.


If you smoke, quit. Weight loss and smaller meals may help. Wear loose-fitting clothes and avoid lying down for 3 hours after a meal. Raise the head of your bed 6 to 8 inches by putting blocks of wood under the bed; extra pillows alone will not help. Depending on how severe your GERD is, treatment involves the above lifestyle changes, medications, or surgery.


Here's a video on GERD titled "Gastroesophageal Reflux (GERD): Treatments" by Cleveland Clinic


Treating GERD or recurring Heartburn is Important

Recurring Heartburn left untreated can lead to larger health issues and can develop into GERD. Some of the consequences of not treating your GERD or Heartburn are the long-term inflammation of the throat, chronic scarring, and even esophageal cancer. If you are experiencing heartburn multiple times a week talk to your doctor before making any treatment decisions.


IBD, Crohn's, UC, gas bloating, health, microbiome, gastrointestinal gi system, see your gastroenterology doctor or gastroenterologist
Always talk to your doctor first.

Personally


I eat a high fiber, mostly plant-based 🌱 diet, no red meat, drink 4 liters of water a day, exercise, and am focused on keeping nutrition simple. I am sharing what works for me and what I routinely recommend to my patients.


"Balance. Portion control. Keep nutrition simple. Eat Smart. Eat Healthy. 🌱 🌾 🌿"

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