GERD, or gastroesophageal reflux disease, is a digestive condition that is caused by a loosening of the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). GERD can affect pregnant women and people over 50, but it is also common in people of all ages. In fact, millions of Americans of all ages suffer from GERD and heartburn on a daily basis.
GERD can be painful and uncomfortable, but it can be treated by changes to diet and lifestyle. Although some patients might require surgery or the use of medication, it is a treatable disorder that needn’t be suffered so commonly.
What is GERD?
GERD is technically the movement of the stomach contents backwards into the esophagus. Normally, the LES opens and closes to allow food to enter the stomach and to stop food or stomach acid from flowing back out again. If a patient’s LES is loose or doesn’t tighten properly, stomach contents can seep out of the stomach, damaging the esophagus and creating painful heartburn symptoms. Symptoms of GERD are most pronounced when lying down or immediately after eating a large meal.
What Causes GERD?
It is believed GERD can be caused by a hiatal hernia, where stomach contents move from the stomach into the esophagus through a small tear in the diaphragm. GERD is also caused by diet and lifestyle, obesity, pregnancy, smoking, and eating certain food and drink like chocolate, fried foods, coffee, and alcohol. Anything that puts pressure on the stomach or encourages the stomach to produce excess acid will possibly cause heartburn or GERD.
What Treatment is Available for GERD?
There are several ways to treat GERD and alleviate the symptoms of the condition:
Dietary changes and lifestyle changes can alleviate symptoms of GERD
Avoiding food and drink that weakens the LES is recommended
Reducing overeating and meal sizes can assist the stomach’s digestion processes and avoid the LES opening and closing persistently
Stopping smoking can help prevent loosening of the LES and treat GERD
Antacids and heartburn relief can provide temporary relief from the symptoms of GERD
Sleeping elevated can help stop gravity pulling acid into the esophagus
Powerful medication like Nexium can reduce the amount of stomach acid produced and can help heal damage done to the esophagus through acid reflux.
What Can Nexium do to Help?
Nexium is a proton pump inhibitor that blocks the enzyme that produces stomach acid, thus reducing the amount of acid your stomach releases. Using the medication over time will allow your stomach acid production to be lowered and will allow your esophagus and LES to heal and become stronger. No more discomfort and pain due to acid reflux. Nexium offers long-term and permanent relief from GERD and heartburn.
Ensure you talk to a medical professional before starting Nexium as a treatment for GERD and always research the possible side effects that come with taking this medication.
Nexium can be combined with changes in diet and lifestyle to optimise GERD treatments for many sufferers.