A couple of years ago, I was babysitting a family friend's children when we decided to order pizza (I had permission- don't worry!). The next morning, my stomach was hurting like crazy. It was nothing like I had felt before. So Mom rushed me to the emergency room, where they did tests and everything. The diagnosis? I had GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux disease). They had prescribed me Nexium, but the side effects were too bad that I had to stop taking it. But I kept to a diet and I was able to deal with the symptoms as they arose.What was my secret?
- Diets are very important when it comes to GERD. Some foods can be triggers for some while it wouldn't cause problems for others. It is important to figure out what your food triggers are. Eating more of it won't get your body used to it. In fact, it can make it worse.
- Exercise can help you digest your food better. Just don't eat and exercise. That could cause major heartburn. If you do eat and exercise, be sure that it is a low-intensity workout.
- Eat smaller meals and don't eat close to bedtime. My cutoff time for eating (even snacks) is 6pm. Anytime after that, I end up with indigestion.
- Keep antiacids handy. You won't find the brand Maalox on store shelves, but a generic form of it works just as well. Keep in mind that the liquid version works a lot better than the chewables.
- Reduce your weight as much as possible.
- Don't get too hot. For some reason, most people with GERD get heartburn easily when they get too hot.
Yes, the way I eat has drastically changed. I don't think of it as a hindrance. It has allowed me to think healthier and therefore, I make better food choices. Luckily, I prefer Subway over pizza most of the time!
Do you suffer from GERD? How do you deal with it?