Don't Neglect Mammograms out of Fear

Lifestyle Changes That Can Help Get GERD Under Control

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is one of the most problematic medical conditions to haunt mankind on a regular basis. Essentially, GERD is a digestive disorder. Stomach acid backs up into the esophagus with little or no provocation, so even avoiding spicy food doesn't help.

Left untreated, GERD is not just uncomfortable or painful — it can have devastating health consequences. At best, it can leave you with esophageal ulcers (which are incredibly painful), esophageal spasms, scarring on your esophagus, and it can even lead to changes in the cell of the esophageal lining that can lead to cancer.

However, you are not without recourse when it comes to defeating GERD. Here are some of the things you need to do in order to gain control over your capricious stomach again:

1. See a doctor.

A gastroenterologist is the right type of doctor to treat your GERD. He or she can determine exactly what is causing the problem, evaluate the severity of your condition, and determine if medicinal or (possibly) surgical treatment is best. That's always the first step to handling GERD.

2. Change your bed.

If you have GERD, it may be time to invest in one of those beds that you've seen around that can be elevated at the head and feet, similar to a hospital bed. When you're more or less horizontal (or, at least, sleeping in an inclined position), that weak valve at the bottom of your esophagus has the assistance of gravity to keep the stomach acid in place.

If you can't afford a new bed right away, try elevating the top of your bed with blocks, boards, or by using foam inserts under your pillows. Even sleeping in a reclining chair might be a viable option.

3. Get some exercise.

How can exercise possibly help your GERD? It's simple! Mild exercise (like a walk around the block or taking the dog out for a stroll) will stimulate digestion. That will help reduce the amount of time that food sits in your stomach and lower the amount of acid that your body produces.

4. Drop a couple of vices.

Smoking is bad for you, and there's no question that it also aggravates GERD. The smoke irritates your esophagus and can actually increase the production of acid in your stomach. If you want to live without the chronic pain of GERD, it's time to kick the cigarettes to the curb.

Similarly, alcohol is another vice that can aggravate your stomach. If you must indulge, try to go with mixed drinks that are more ginger ale than alcohol. Ginger ale is a natural stomach soother and can help keep acid under control.

Ultimately, you can beat GERD -- but it may take a combination of lifestyle changes and help from your doctor to make it happen! Visit a website like in order to learn more.