Re: Lifestyle changes to help manage Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease...

From: Rosie (
Wed Aug 8 12:41:57 2001

Helen, you always have such good information to share! I save all the things you send to my file - thanks! Rosie

>----- Original Message -----
From: "Helen Dynda" <> To: "Multiple recipients of list ADHESIONS" <> Sent: Tuesday, August 07, 2001 9:20 PM Subject: Lifestyle changes to help manage Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease...

[]> Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) -- This information is from a pamphlet from the makers of PRILOSEC:

[] According to researchers, risk factors can include:

* drinking alcohol,

* smoking cigarettes,

* being overweight,

* some forms of exercise,

* certain medications,

* stress,

* body position (such as bending over or reclining), and

* certain foods, including spicy and fatty ones.

~ ~ ~ ~

[] DIET: Foods that have been linked to GERD are:

* caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee,

* peppermint,

* chocolate,

* alcohol,

* spearmint,

* fat, and

* carbonated drinks.

~ ~ ~ ~


* Try a walk after dinner, or at least try to avoid lying down for 3-4 hours after eating;

* Avoid snacks at bedtime.

* Lying on your left side may be a better idea than lying on your right side. On the right side, the stomach lies higher than the lower esophagus, which can put pressure on the lower esophageal sphincter and cause acid to back up. Since lying flat can cause intense acid reflux,

* Raising your bed 4 to 6 inches at the head may also help keep acid from backing up.

~ ~ ~ ~


* Saliva helps neutralize acid, so chewing gum --- or anything for that matter -- 30 minutes after a meal can help avoid heartburn and may protect against damage caused by GERD. So heartburn sufferers will be getting two benefits if they choose gum over candy to freshen their breath.

* Choose a fruit-flavored gum, since peppermint can make heartburn worse.

~ ~ ~ ~


* Avoid smoking and drinking,

* lose weight if you're overweight, and

* avoid wearing clothes that are tight around the abdomen.

~ ~ ~ ~


* Antacids: help neutralize acid in the esophagus. These are normally taken several times a day or as needed and are available over the counter.

* H2 blockers: reduce the amount of acid produced by the stomach by blocking histamine, a powerful stimulant of acid secretion. These drugs are normally taken 2 or more times per day and are available in both prescription and over-the-counter dosages.

* Acid pump inhibitors: are another type of medicine that, like H2 blockers, reduce the stomach's production of acid. However, acid pump inhibitors block acid production more completely because they work right at the final step of acid production. These drugs are normally taken once a day and are available by prescription only. This is a description of how Prilosec works.

~ ~ ~ ~

* Esophageal pH testing: measures the pH ( or acid content ) in the esophagus. The doctor passes a very thin and flexible tube down the esophagus and into the stomach so that the amount of acid that comes up into the esophagus can be measured over a 24-hour period. The test compares the measurements with the symptoms the patient reports during various activities including eating, exercising, and sleeping. This way there is little doubt about the presence of GERD and the fact that the esophagus is repeatedly in contact with acid.

~ ~ ~ ~

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