Is There Surgery To Treat Gerd
GERD is usually controlled with medications and lifestyle changes . If these dont work, or if you cant take medications for an extended period, surgery may be a solution.
- Laparoscopic antireflux surgery is the standard surgical treatment. Its a minimally invasive procedure that fixes your acid reflux by creating a new valve mechanism at the bottom of your esophagus. The surgeon wraps the upper part of the stomach around the lower portion of the esophagus. This reinforces the lower esophageal sphincter so food wont reflux back into the esophagus.
- LINX deviceimplantation is another minimally invasive surgery. A LINX device is a ring of tiny magnets that are strong enough to keep the junction between the stomach and esophagus closed to refluxing acid but weak enough to allow food to pass through.
Gerd Diet: Foods That Help With Acid Reflux
Getting a case of acid reflux once in a while isn’t unusual, but some people suffer from burning discomfort, bloating and belching almost every time they eat. About 20% of the population has gastroesophageal reflux disease , a chronic acid reflux condition that’s diagnosed by a doctor.
Normally, the esophageal sphincter protects the esophagus from stomach acid. However, if the sphincter relaxes, food can push upward through the loosened opening and cause acid reflux.
“Diet plays a major role in controlling acid reflux symptoms and is the first line of therapy used for people with GERD,” says Ekta Gupta, M.B.B.S., M.D., gastroenterologist with Johns Hopkins Medicine.
What Does Heartburn Feel Like
Heartburn typically feels like a burning in the center of your chest, behind your breastbone. When you have heartburn, you may also feel symptoms like:
- A burning feeling in your chest that can last anywhere from a few minutes to a couple of hours.
- Pain in your chest when you bend over or lay down.
- A burning feeling in your throat.
- A hot, sour, acidic or salty taste in the back of your throat.
- Difficulty swallowing.
Recommended Reading: Can Muscle Relaxers Cause Constipation
Elevate Your Upper Body
Lying down can make heartburn worse. When it comes time for bed, adjust your sleeping surface to raise your upper body.
Lifting your head with extra pillows may not be enough. To get relief, try elevating your body from the waist up.
You can change the angle of your sleeping surface by using a wedge pillow. Or, if you have an adjustable bed, you can set it at a suitable angle.
Ginger Can Help Heartburn
If your mother gave you flat ginger ale when you had an upset stomach as a kid, it may have seemed like a treat but there was a good reason behind it. Ginger has long been known to help calm stomach troubles, including stomach bloating and acid reflux. Carbonation and added sugar aggravate the stomach though, so youre better off drinking ginger tea.
Recommended Reading: How To Use Mineral Oil For Constipation
Garlic Onions And Spicy Foods
Spicy and tangy foods, such as onions and garlic, trigger heartburn symptoms in many people.
These foods wont trigger reflux in everyone. But if you eat a lot of onions or garlic, track your meals carefully in your diary. Some of these foods, along with spicy foods, may bother you more than other foods do.
Learn What You Can Do To Get Rid Of Heartburn
Acid reflux home remedies may be as close as your kitchen. Honey, ginger, baking soda, bananas, turmeric, and apple cider vinegar are a few natural remedies that may help provide short-term relief from heartburn.
When paired with dietary changes and lifestyle changes, acid reflux home remedies may be enough to quell the burning sensation in your chest that occurs when the contents of your stomach move up into your esophagus.
This article explores acid reflux home remedies. It also explains how foods and lifestyle habits contribute to gastroesophageal reflux disease , or severe or frequent acid reflux, and how changes you can make today can reduce future episodes.
Verywell / Emily Roberts
Recommended Reading: Does Coconut Oil Help With Constipation
Treatments For A Stomach Ulcer
While this condition is certainly uncomfortable, the good news is that relief can be found through a natural approach. With simple changes to diet and lifestyle, tackle the pain and allow your body to heal from within. These changes include:
- Stopping smoking Smoking can increase your chances of experiencing this condition and can disrupt healing.
- Limit your intake of NSAIDs While these may provide relief temporarily, long-term use can increase your chances of getting this condition and they too inhibit the healing process.
- Reduce alcohol Reducing or cutting back on your alcohol intake will assist in the healing process.
- Reduce stress Stress too is a factor that prolongs the healing of ulcers
- Change your diet There are several foods that are naturally healing when it comes to ulcers. This may be because they assist in pain management or may suppress and inhibit the growth of the bacterium H. pylori. These foods include garlic, honey, yogurt, teas, herbs, fruits , vegetables, legumes, mastic , deglycyrrhizinated licorice, and even food items like dark chocolate, flaxseed, and black olives.
What Is Acid Reflux
A circular muscle called the lower esophageal sphincter joins your esophagus and stomach. This muscle is in charge of tightening your esophagus after food passes to the stomach. If this muscle is weak or doesnt tighten properly, the acid from your stomach can move backward into your esophagus. This is known as acid reflux.
Acid reflux can cause heartburn and other symptoms that include:
Most people can experience heartburn and acid reflux intermittently related to something they ate or habits like lying down immediately after eating. However, GERD is a chronic condition where doctors start to examine long-lasting habits and parts of a persons anatomy that could cause GERD. Examples of the causes of GERD include:
- being overweight or obese, which puts extra pressure on the stomach
- hiatal hernia, which reduces pressure in the LES
- consuming alcohol
- taking medicines known to weaken the LES, such as antihistamines, calcium channel blockers, pain-relieving medicines, sedatives, and antidepressants
Symptoms of GERD may disrupt your daily life. Fortunately, they can usually be controlled with treatment. Options include:
- diet modification
- smoking cessation
- alcohol cessation
Medications for GERD work to reduce the amount of acid in the stomach. They may not be effective for everyone. Some people need surgery to help reinforce the LES.
Read Also: Can You Squeeze A Constipated Fish
Home Remedies For Heartburn
A lot of natural remedies have been touted for heartburn or acid reflux relief. These remedies are generally not well researched and should be used with caution. Remember that even natural substances can cause negative side effects and drug interactions.
Some nutritional and herbal treatments that may stop acid reflux naturally include:
Talk to your healthcare provider before trying any natural remedies for heartburn, acid reflux, or GERD.
Can Acid Reflux Disease Be Treated With Diet And Lifestyle Changes
One of the most effective ways to treat acid reflux disease is to avoid the foods and beverages that trigger symptoms. Here are other steps you can take:
- Eat smaller meals more frequently throughout the day and modify the types of foods you are eating..
- If you’re overweight or obese, take steps to lose weight with exercise and diet changes.
- Also, ask your doctor whether any medication could be triggering your heartburn or other symptoms of acid reflux disease.
You May Like: Can You Eat Eggs When You Have Diarrhea
What To Do If Heartburn Is Severe Or Frequent
For mild, occasional heartburn, over-the-counter medications such as antacids and histamine blockers can help relieve symptoms. Always read the product label before taking an antacid or histamine blocker and never take a larger dose or take doses more frequently than directed.
If you’re experiencing heartburn frequently, consult your doctor before taking heartburn medications regularly since these drugs can interfere with many other medications and affect underlying health conditions you may have.
If you have severe heartburn, as well as if it persists or worsens after taking steps to relieve it, consult your doctor. In some cases, heartburn can be a sign of an underlying condition, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease , or possibly a side effect of a medication you’re taking.
Can Acid Reflux Disease Be Treated With Medications
In many cases, lifestyle changes combined with over-the-counter medications are all you need to control the symptoms of acid reflux disease.
Antacids, such as Alka-Seltzer, Maalox, Mylanta, Rolaids, or Riopan, can neutralize the acid from your stomach. But they may cause diarrhea or constipation, especially if you overuse them. It’s best to use antacids that contain both magnesium hydroxide and aluminum hydroxide. When combined, they may help counteract these gastrointestinal side effects.
If antacids don’t help, your doctor may try other medications. Some require a prescription. Your doctor may suggest more than one type or suggest you try a combination of medications such as these:
- Foaming agents coat your stomach to prevent reflux.
- H2 blockers decrease acid production.
- Proton pump inhibitors also reduce the amount of acid your stomach makes.
- Prokinetics can help strengthen the LES, empty your stomach faster, and reduce acid reflux.
Don’t combine more than one type of antacid or other medications without your doctor’s guidance.
You May Like: Is Wholemeal Bread Good For Ibs
Damage To Your Esophagus
When the acid flows back up, it enters the esophagus, a tube that connects your mouth to your stomach. This can set the stage for:
- Esophagitis: Stomach acid irritates the lining of the esophagus, causing it to swell. This inflammation is called esophagitis, which can lead to painful swallowing.
- Esophageal ulcers: GERD is the top cause of ulcers, or sores in the lining of the esophagus. Symptoms include painful swallowing, nausea, and chest pain. Your doctor will prescribe medicine to control your GERD and treat the ulcer.
- Esophageal stricture: Over time, the damage caused by stomach acid can scar the lining of the esophagus. When this scar tissue builds up, it makes the esophagus narrow. Called strictures, these narrow spots make it hard to swallow food and drinks, which can lead to weight loss and dehydration.Strictures are treated with a procedure that gently stretches your esophagus.
- BarrettÃ¢s esophagus: About 5% to 10% of people with GERD develop this condition, where stomach acid causes precancerous changes in cells.The good news is that only 1% of people with BarrettÃ¢s esophagus will get esophageal cancer. Doctors can remove the abnormal cells when they diagnose you early on. Because the condition doesnÃ¢t cause any obvious symptoms, you should see your doctor if you have GERD. They may do a procedure called an endoscopy, where a thin, flexible tube with a camera is inserted into your esophagus.
Read Also: How To Heal Venous Ulcers
How Can I Prevent Heartburn During Pregnancy
They say prevention is the best medicine, so knowing common heartburn triggers can help you keep the acid at bay.
Of course, pregnancy itself is a major trigger for heartburn. As your growing uterus puts pressure on your stomach, this pushes stomach acid up your throat.
Those lovely hormones are no help either. They tend to relax the valve between your stomach and esophagus, which makes it easier for acid to make its way upward.
While theres nothing you can do to stop this entirely, there are a few things that can help prevent heartburn from flaring up during pregnancy:
Recommended Reading: Is It Normal To Have Diarrhea
Can Bananas Relieve Heartburn
Some fruits are acidic and can trigger heartburn, but others may provide relief. Bananas are a low-acid fruit. They can help soothe your irritated esophageal lining and are high in fiber, which helps keep your digestive tract healthy. Beyond bananas, honeydew melons and cantaloupe are also good for heartburn. They contain magnesium, an ingredient in many over-the-counter heartburn medicines. Eat them on their own or add them to a smoothie.
What Is The Best Diet For Heartburn
That does not have to be true, however. Breakfast, lunch and dinner can be both enjoyable and heartburn-friendly if you know which foods to incorporate into your diet.
Heartburn can flare when your stomach produces too much gastric acid, and your food choices can directly affect this. Here are three meals that incorporate heartburn-reducing foods that your stomach will appreciate.
Oatmeal and Wheat: Try Whole Grains for Breakfast
Oatmeal has been a whole-grain breakfast favorite for generations. It is a good source of fiber, so it keeps you feeling full and promotes regularity. Oats also absorb stomach acid and reduce symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease . For something sweet, top your oatmeal with bananas, apples or pears. The fructose in these fruits is less likely to trigger acid reflux than other sugars. Of course, eating oatmeal every day could get boring, so switch things up with a warm bowl of Cream of Wheat, or some whole grain toast with peanut butter.
Avoid coffee and most teas that contain caffeine, which can cause heartburn. Instead, brew a soothing cup of ginger tea. Ginger has natural anti-inflammatory properties that will help regulate acid production.
Vegetables: Add Some Color and Nutrients to Your Lunch
Try these options for a light and tasty lunch:
- Baked potato with steamed broccoli
- Mixed green salad with fresh-cut vegetables and a light oil and vinegar dressing
- Veggie wrap or veggie quesadilla
Donât Miss: My Ulcerative Colitis Is Getting Worse
Read Also: What Does It Mean To Be Bloated
Avoid Your Trigger Foods
Often, certain foods are behind episodes of acid reflux. Identifying and avoiding those foods can reduce your symptoms.
You might notice that certain foods or beverages bother you. Other times, it may not be obvious. A food and symptom diary can help you identify trigger foods.
Common food triggers include:
What About Coffee For Heartburn
Get ready for some bad news: For many people, a morning cup of coffee is a strong heartburn trigger. While theres no hard medical research that coffee causes heartburn, theres enough anecdotal evidence that its best to steer clear if you cant identify the source of your discomfort. Or cut it out for a day or two to see how your body reacts. If eliminating coffee eases your symptoms, caffeine may be a trigger. Try decaf instead or one of these caffeine alternatives.
You May Like: What Probiotics Does Yogurt Have
Is It Just Heartburn Or Gerd
Frequent heartburn can be a major issue. If you experience heartburn two or more times a week, you may have gastroesophageal reflux disease .
In this chronic condition, frequent exposure to stomach acid irritates and damages the esophagus. Over time, that can lead to problems such as difficulty swallowing. An estimated 40 percent of Americans report symptoms of GERD – but the condition can significantly improve with lifestyle changes.
If you’ve tried home remedies and lifestyle adjustments and still have frequent heartburn, consult with your family doctor or a gastroenterologist. There are multiple treatments that can help, including medications and minimally invasive surgery for acid reflux.
When To See Your Gp
See your GP if:
- lifestyle changes and pharmacy medicines are not helping
- you have heartburn most days for 3 weeks or more
- you have other symptoms, like food getting stuck in your throat, often being sick or losing weight for no reason
Your GP can provide stronger treatments and help rule out more serious causes.
Don’t Miss: How To Tell If Your Fat Or Bloated
Can Acid Reflux Cause Nerve Pain
Acid reflux symptoms can be typical or atypical in nature. Tingling limbs and nerve pain are considered rare and atypical acid reflux symptoms.
Dr. Mark Babyatsky, a former department chairman at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, explained that inflammation from acid reflux can reach the lungs and trigger pneumonia.
As a result, the diaphragm can become inflamed, affecting the phrenic nerve, which is a nerve connecting the neck, lung, heart, and diaphragm. In this scenario, a patient can feel referred pain in the limbs, specifically the arms and shoulders.
Alternatively, nerve-related issues may be caused by pre-existing neuropathic conditions, leading to acid reflux. An example of this is gastroparesis. Gastroparesis is a form of diabetic peripheral neuropathy characterized by slow digestion. This leads to bloating, heartburn, and vomiting of undigested food.
If youre experiencing acid reflux symptoms with nerve pain, theres a high chance that your nerve pain is not reflux-related, especially if you are experiencing temporary reflux. Get in touch with a medical professional to find a separate diagnosis concerning your nerve pain.
Recommended Reading: How To Slim Your Stomach In 3 Days
Is Acid Reflux Disease Ever Treated With Surgery
If medications don’t completely resolve your symptoms of acid reflux disease and the symptoms are severely interfering with your life, your doctor could recommend surgery. There are two types of surgical treatment used to relieve symptoms of GERD if daily use of medication isn’t effective.
The most recently approved procedure involves surgically placing a ring known as a LINX device around the outside of the lower end of the esophagus, the tube that connects the mouth to the stomach. The ring consists of magnetic titanium beads held together by titanium wires. The device helps reflux by preventing stomach contents from backing up into the esophagus. In one study, patients were able to stop taking medicine or cut down the amount they took. You shouldn’t get the LINX device if you’re allergic to certain metals, and once you have a LINX device you shouldn’t get any type of MRI test.
Another surgical procedure called a fundoplication can help prevent further acid reflux. It creates an artificial valve using the top of your stomach. The procedure involves wrapping the upper part of the stomach around the LES to strengthen it, prevent acid reflux, and repair a hiatal hernia. Surgeons perform this procedure through either an open incision in the abdomen or chest or with a lighted tube inserted through a tiny incision in the abdomen.
These procedures are done only as a last resort for treating acid reflux disease after medical treatment has proven to be inadequate.
You May Like: Can Sugar Make You Constipated