Minimizing Complications of Long-Term GERD

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) can cause its sufferer to experience heartburn, dry cough, lump in the throat sensation, and even a sour taste in the mouth. But in addition to these annoying symptoms, Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) can cause damage to the lining of the esophagus, which may lead to serious complications, like Barrett’s Esophagus, Esophageal Cancer, Laryngeal Cancer, Erosive Esophagitis, and Esophageal Strictures. Complications can be minimized or prevented by following the below five guidelines as recommended by your Atlanta, GA physician.

  1. Make lifestyle changes – Many people can reduce the occurrence and severity of acid reflux symptoms by avoiding triggers. Lifestyle changes such as eating smaller, more frequent meals and avoiding lying down after eating may help to prevent long term complications of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD).
  2. Watch the foods you eat - Some foods may be more prone to aggravate your symptoms; avoid foods and beverages such as alcohol, caffeine, spicy foods, and carbonated beverages as they are typical acid reflux triggers for many people. Keep track of “your” symptom triggers, and avoid them as you move forward.
  3. Prevent heartburn before it starts – Heartburn is easier to prevent than get rid of once it has started. Tips to prevent heartburn before it starts include wearing loose fitting clothing, not smoking, and losing excess weight. Reduced episodes of acid reflux will help minimize damage and long term complications of GERD.
  4. Prevent nighttime heartburn – Nighttime heartburn can be especially damaging to the esophageal lining. Recommendations to reduce nighttime acid reflux include avoiding late night meals, elevating your bed at the head, and waiting at least two to three hours before lying down.
  5. Take medications as prescribed. Work with your Atlanta doctor to determine which medications work best in reducing your acid reflux symptoms, and take them regularly and as prescribed.

 

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