Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease, also referred to as GORD, affects an astonishing number of individuals in the United Kingdom alone. As a matter of fact, around 10% of the UK population experiences various symptoms associated with the disease on a weekly basis, such as regurgitation, heartburn, chest pain, voice hoarseness, and the like.
If you suffer from gastro-oesophageal reflux disease, you should know that it can be managed and treated – if it is done with the right knowledge and medication. You can actually try to manage GORD on your own with the proper care and certain lifestyle changes, or you can treat the disease with medication as well.
Managing gastro-oesophageal reflux disease on your own
There are various self-care techniques for managing and dealing with gastro-oesophageal reflux disease. For instance, if you are overweight by a few stone, you can try to lose weight so your GORD symptoms can be reduced, as additional weight can exert too much pressure on your abdomen or stomach. On the heels of this, you can try eating more frequently (but smaller portions) throughout the day instead of having three big meals each day. You should also make it a point to eat supper about three to four hours prior to sleeping.
Another way to manage and treat GORD on your own is to quit smoking if you are a smoker. This is because the smoke from smoking can irritate and aggravate your digestive tract and system and result in worsened GORD symptoms. Additionally, you can try cutting back on certain foods and beverages that may exacerbate your symptoms. These include tomatoes, chocolate, other spicy and greasy foods, as well as alcohol and coffee.
Managing and treating GORD on your own can also include changing the way you sleep. For instance, try raising the upper part of your bed (where your head rests) by as much as 20 centimetres (eight inches). You can do this by using some blocks or wood and placing this underneath your mattress. Just be sure that you have a strong and sturdy bed. You do not have to use additional pillows anymore because these may also put more pressure on your tummy.
If you have tried to manage and treat your GORD on your own without any positive result, you may want to consider taking medication as well. There are various medications which you can buy over-the-counter to treat or at least lessen the symptoms of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease, and you simply have to visit your GP and ask them for recommendations.
Some over-the-counter medications that may be effective include antacids, which counterbalance the effect of the acids in the stomach. Keep in mind, though, that antacids should not be taken with other medications because they can prevent the other medications from being fully absorbed. However, you can also take alignates, which work by producing a protective cover or coating against the effects of acid in the stomach for the stomach lining and oesophagus.
On the other hand, if over-the-counter medicines do not help, you can ask your GP for a prescription of PPIs or proton pump inhibitors, or H2RA (H2-receptor antagonists). Whilst some H2-receptor antagonists may be bought over-the-counter, you should still consult with your GP regarding their suitability for you based on your overall health and other medical conditions you may have.
Another type of treatment
If you have tried everything and are still suffering from GORD which, in fact, is becoming worse, then your best recourse is to opt for anti reflux surgery. Anti reflux surgery London experts like the London Surgical Group are specialists in all types of laparoscopic surgery procedures, which also include gallstone surgery in London and other laparoscopic diagnostic tests and procedures.