Gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD as it is commonly known as, is a serious digestive disorder. It takes place when stomach acid travels back into a person’s food pipe. Symptoms of this condition include heartburn or a burning sensation in the chest that can sometimes spread to the throat, swallowing difficulties, chest discomfort, sore throat and dry cough.
This chronic ailment can be handled aptly with 2 important steps:
1. Taking Medicines as Prescribed by the Doctor:
Once a thorough diagnosis is performed by the physician, appropriate drugs will be recommended to deal with the condition. Amongst them, Prilosec is a powerful medication that aids to treat GERD effectively. However, before you start consuming this medicine, you must understand some vital guidelines concerning the drug mentioned below:
- Reveal to the healthcare professional if you suffer from problems such as frequent chest pain, vomiting, abdominal pain, heart disease, black stools or liver ailment in order to guarantee safe treatment. Furthermore, inform the general practitioner about all sorts of drugs that you are consuming, especially Plavix, any diuretic, Valium, Antabuse, Principen, a blood thinner, Dilantin, Pletal, etc. since these might interact with Prilosec and hamper its efficacy.
- This medication is offered in tablet form of different dosage strengths. Allow the family doctor to plan an appropriate therapy program. The tablet is normally taken prior to meals. Consume Prilosec precisely as directed.
- A couple of undesirable signs such as gas, headache, stuffy nose, fever or nausea might be felt in the first few days of use. Nonetheless, these are minor side effects that subside gradually.
- Take the medicine for the entire duration as suggested. Notify the medical expert if the symptoms don’t get better or if they worsen in the course of treatment.
2. Implementing Some Lifestyle Changes:
- Be aware of foods and beverages that activate heartburn and avoid their intake. Though such triggers differ for every individual, some common ones include fried foodstuffs, mint, onion, alcohol, tomato sauce, caffeine, etc.
- Have small meals throughout the day so that you don’t overeat. Moreover, once you finish eating, you must never lie down or go to bed immediately. It’s advised that you should wait for a minimum of 3 hours. Go for a walk, read your favourite novel or listen to music.
- Being overweight can put pressure on the abdomen and result in acid reflux. Devise a suitable exercise program with the guidance of the healthcare provider to lose unwanted kilos.
- Persons who endure heartburn every night should raise the height of their bed to take the benefit of gravity in order to sleep without any trouble. You can do so by placing cement or wood blocks beneath the feet of the bed. This will elevate the height by 6-9 inches.
In addition to taking medications and lifestyle modifications, one also needs to keep in mind the risk factors that can contribute to GERD, for example asthma, diabetes, hiatal hernia, etc. If you suffer from any of these, fix them at the earliest.