GERD

Living with Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

You’ve been experiencing frequent heartburn that just won’t go away, and a trip to the doctor’s office has confirmed that you have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). While relieved to finally have a diagnosis, you may also be at a loss for clues to what comes next.

GERD is caused by stomach acid backing up into your esophagus, a condition known as “acid reflux.” This acid back-up is at the root of all your discomfort, which may show up not only as heartburn but also as a burning sensation in your throat, discomfort in your chest, and a sour stomach.

Your doctor probably will prescribe a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) or an H2 antagonist, both of which are usually effective in reducing the amount of acid your stomach produces. Of course, while a prescription regimen may ease some patients’ symptoms, it may not eliminate them completely. If this is the case, you may consider also making some simple lifestyle changes that can make the difference between feeling sick and miserable or being healthy and happy.

As with many gastrointestinal disorders, one the first challenges in living with GERD is learning to adjust your diet. Foods that are highly acidic, such as tomatoes and citrus fruits, are to be avoided, as are onions, peppers, fried foods, and foods high in fat. Other foods that you should avoid or eat sparingly aren’t quite as obvious, such as dairy products, caffeinated beverages, chocolate, and alcohol. In addition to asking your doctor about how to regulate your diet, you also can find a wealth of information, both in print and online, regarding what foods are safer bets, as well as great recipes created especially for those with GERD.

While not all doctors endorse it, many GERD sufferers claim to have had considerable success combating their symptoms by taking a tablespoon of raw apple cider vinegar daily. Why this natural remedy might offer relief is not known for sure, but one theory is that the vinegar’s alkaline properties act to reduce the stomach acid. At any rate, there is little to risk and everything to gain, since a tablespoon of vinegar once a day is not likely to hurt anyone. If you have a hard time swallowing this remedy, many of its proponents suggest adding some honey to combat the bitter taste or mixing it into a glass of water.

Almost as important as what you eat is how you eat. You should adjust your eating habits so that you are eating smaller portions at each sitting, even if it means eating more frequently. It’s also a good idea to eat your last meal of the day at least three hours prior to going to sleep.

Many who are plagued by GERD struggle to get a full night’s rest due to discomfort which can keep even the most exhausted individual awake, and in turn, sap their energy for the next day. Also, to keep stomach acid from advancing up the esophagus, you might consider investing in a wedge pillow or elevating the head of your bed so that you are not lying completely flat when sleeping. Lastly, if you wear nightclothes to bed, make sure they are loose fitting, as tight clothes can aggravate reflux.

In addition to adjusting eating and sleeping habits, people who suffer from GERD should try to maintain a healthy weight, avoid smoking, and drink alcohol only in moderation (if at all). Excess weight, smoking, and drinking alcohol can all intensify the symptoms of GERD.

While there is no quick fix for GERD, with proper medication, a focused diet, and lifestyle changes, it is possible to manage the condition. People suffering from the effects of GERD should talk to their physician to best decide what nutrition and lifestyle changes can be implemented to help alleviate the discomfort of living with GERD.

 

 

shedding holiday weight

6 Tips for Shedding Holiday Weight

If you gained weight during the holidays, you’re not alone. It’s an easy thing to do with all the parties, tempting treats, and delicious meals. Here are six tips for losing weight you may have gained during the holidays.

  1. Increase your water consumption

During the holidays you may have enjoyed a lot of specialty coffee drinks as well as alcoholic drinks. While delicious and festive, they aren’t exactly low in calories. Now that the holidays are over you should make water your drink of choice. Not only is it free of calories, but water will help to keep you full and therefore consume fewer calories.

  1. Get active

Whether you had a workout routine before the holidays or not, now is the perfect time to get active. Even if you only start by going for a 30-minute walk each day, you will start to burn calories and improve your stamina and metabolism. As time goes on you may decide to start running or hitting the gym. If you had a routine prior to the holidays, pick up where you left off.

  1. Eat proper portions

During the holidays it’s not uncommon to eat more than you normally would. There are so many temptations and it’s hard to say no. Now that you’re ready to shed any weight you may have put on, it’s time to get back to eating proper portions. Make sure you fill at least half of your plate with fruits and veggies. If you decide to go for seconds, wait at least twenty minutes before doing so and drink a glass of water.

  1. Don’t crash diet

You might be so eager to drop weight after the holidays that you skip meals and snacks altogether. This is a bad idea as your metabolism will slow down and you won’t burn calories as fast. If you don’t eat enough, you also won’t get the nutrients and fiber that also play a role in weight loss. In fact, you may even notice weight gain if you stop eating because your body will begin to store fat as it thinks it’s in starvation mode.

  1. Give away holiday leftovers

If you’re left with a lot of leftovers from the holidays, pass them on to friends and family. The best solution is to send your guests home with leftovers so they’re aren’t around to tempt you in the days to come. If you do find yourself stuck with leftovers, portion them out and freeze them to have for dinners and lunches in the future.

  1. Reduce sugar intake

Sugar causes weight gain as well as a number of other health issues including depression, high blood pressure, and it may lead to cancer. Over the holidays you probably indulged in sugary treats more than normal. Don’t go cold turkey and cut out all sugar at once. If you have a sweet tooth, this is an impossible feat anyway. Replace desserts with fruits. If you drink sodas, try to break the habit. By reducing sugar intake, you will automatically begin to lose weight.

Losing holiday weight doesn’t have to be a struggle. If you adopt healthy lifestyle habits again (or for the first time), that weight is going to fall right off.

 

Keep The Weight Off With Water

5 Tips To Keep The Weight Off With Water This Thanksgiving

For many people, Thanksgiving means time with family and friends, football, and food. Over the course of the long weekend, many people find themselves at several Thanksgiving-style dinners, which means a lot of food and the opportunity to overeat. But you don’t have to pack on the pounds this holiday season. With these 5 tips to keep the weight off this Thanksgiving, you will be in control of your eating and will be able to stay healthy while still enjoying the holiday.

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Improve Senior Health

10 Common Beverages That Can Improve Senior Health

Senior adults are always searching for ways to stay young and healthy, but they may be overlooking one of the easiest solutions of all: drinking common beverages. The health benefits of everyday drinks might surprise you, plus they could already be in your pantry or fridge. Make drinking these ten common beverages a part of your regular diet, and drink to your youth–and health.

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Weight Loss Efforts

Are You Sabotaging Your Weight-Loss Efforts?

Losing weight through dieting is not an easy endeavor. Even when you strictly follow the meal plan, sometimes you sabotage your own efforts. If you are not losing weight, and also are not cheating, then maybe you have undermined your own weight loss plan unintentionally. Here are some ways to re-start your plan in order to achieve your target weight.

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simple solutions to ease headaches

Simple Solutions to Ease Headaches

Headaches are no fun. They can make even a good day seem miserable, as every noise is amplified and simply opening your eyes can be painful. If you are stuck at work, out camping, or in some other situation where seeing a doctor and getting a prescription is out of the question, there are home remedies that you can try to ease your headache pain.

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Keep Your Cat Healthy and Happy

How to Keep Your Cat Healthy and Happy

Cats are one of the most commonly owned pets in the world. The small creatures make great companions and often require less work to care for than other popular pets, such as dogs. However, one should not take a cat’s relative independence for granted. Cats do require a certain level of care to remain happy and healthy. New cat owners may not know where to start when they first bring their new feline companion home, but with the following tips, even the most confused caretakers should be able to adequately provide for their pet’s needs.

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Improving Your Lifestyle

Essential Tips for Improving Your Lifestyle

A healthy lifestyle isn’t just about what you eat and how active you are. Health involves your mind and relationships as well. Here are five essential tips for improving your lifestyle.

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Water vs. Electrolyte

Staying Hydrated During a Workout: Water vs. Electrolyte Infused Drinks

An intense workout is a great feeling, and it’s a great thing to do for your body. However, without proper hydration, you can end up doing a lot more damage than good. The importance of staying hydrated while exercising can’t be stressed enough, but what’s the most effective way of doing that? Water has been the obvious choice for humans and most other animals, but the development of sports drinks using electrolytes suggest that they may be an even more effective way of keeping yourself hydrated.

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Lose Weight

Lose Weight Through Routines

Slimming can be an arduous process. Hunger pangs can strike at any time, and wherever you go, you’re likely to encounter mouth-watering temptations. A simple solution is to establish a routine. This may be tough going at first, but once your body has adjusted and the routine has become second nature, those challenges to your willpower will shrink to manageable levels or even disappear. As well as planning your food intake, you’ll need to make a few rules for related matters, such as meal times, grocery shopping, social life and exercise. By adjusting your lifestyle habits, you can ensure a joined-up system that works. Here are some tips for getting started.

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