Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) happens when stomach acid flows into one’s esophagus. This irritating and occasionally dangerous gastrointestinal disorder can affect anyone, from newborns to older adults.

You may hear the terms “heartburn” and “acid reflux” when discussing GERD. Think of these as occasional bouts of acid indigestion. Medical professionals use the term GERD for repeat, continual acid reflux issues.

The symptoms of GERD include:
• A burning sensation in the chest, like heartburn
• It usually happens after eating a meal
• Chest pain is common
• Difficulty swallowing is less common
• Vomiting
• A sensation of a lump in your throat

Over many years, it can lead to precancerous growths and might cause esophageal cancer.

The good news is that GERD can often be managed with some behavior changes. Start by viewing your family member’s diet. Avoid trigger foods that exacerbate GERD are usually acidic and spicy.

Moreover, avoid foods and drinks like:
• Chili
• Spicy curry dishes
• Hot sauce
• Greasy meat like hamburger
• Fast food
• Deep-fried foods
• Hard-hitting coffee drinks like espressos
• Dark coffees
• Acidic orange juice in the evening
• And cola

Large meals take longer to digest. That means your stomach has more time to push acid and food into your esophagus. Plus, when we eat a large meal near bedtime, a lot of material will remain undigested. This will cause GERD symptoms when we lay down in bed.

Finally, pay attention to your senior’s comments about their GERD. If they experience a flare-up after a particular meal, make a note of it.

You can learn more about senior nutrition and senior care topics on our blog. Our mission at Love Thy Neighbor Home Services is to provide the highest level of compassion, love and respect. Love Thy Neighbor Home Care Services is a comprehensive home care agency licensed by the Georgia Department of Community Health. Contact us today to see how our dedicated caregivers provide personalized care for your loved one. Call us now at 678-892-9118 and speak with us about how we can meet your needs.

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