Gastro esophageal reflux disease is a chronic disorder of the digestive system where food, fluids, and stomach juices return back to the esophagus from the stomach. It can occur to people of any age, though it is most common in infants. This can cause irritation to the…
Heartburn is a common symptom for GERD. Other symptoms may occur less frequently though indicative of GERD including: acid regurgitation, excess saliva, chronic sore throat, chest pain, gum inflammation, chronic sore throat and chest pain. Harsh stomach acids can damage the esophageal lining. Reflux risk factors include alcohol use, pregnancy, obesity and smoking. Reflux and heartburn are worsened by pregnancy. Asthmatic people have higher risks of developing GERD. Flare-ups of asthma cause the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) to relax, therefore allowing the backflow of stomach contents into the esophagus. Asthma medications worsen reflux symptoms (Joel & Ritcher, 2014). Acid reflux may also make the symptoms of asthma worsen through irritating the lungs and the airways, leading to more serious asthma.
However, the following is a patient education plan that focuses on conservation measures in treating GERD. Decreasing the portion size at mealtime may be helpful in controlling symptoms. Taking meals 2-3 hours prior to bedtime may aid in lessening reflux through decreasing stomach acid and emptying it partially. Additionally, being overweight is often associated with worse symptoms of GERD. Overweight patients should find relief in losing some of their weight (Gary, 2008). Moderate exercise is considered to improve GERD symptoms, but vigorous exercises may worsen the symptoms.
Moreover, when sleeping, the patient is advised to elevate the head of the bed at least 6-8 inches, or to sleep on a wedge-shaped bed that is specially designed. This reduces heartburn by allowing gravity minimize stomach contents reflux into the esophagus. It is advisable that the patient does not use a pillow to prop him/her up; this only adds pressure on the stomach, worsening the situation. Cigarette smoking and taking and alcohol usually weakens the LES. Symptoms of GERD may be reduced by halting smoking and stopping alcohol taking behavior. Along with diet and lifestyle ...
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