Managing GERD: These Strategies Work!

By | September 26, 2023

man having a GERD attackneeding GERD managementGastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is a distressing condition characteized by the backflow of stomach acid into the esophagus, causing uncomfortable symptoms like heartburn and acid indigestion. Proper GERD management is crucial to alleviate discomfort and prevent potential complications.

Here are some good tips to manage GERD and improve your quality of life.

Dietary Adjustments: 

Making smart food choices is vital in GERD management. Avoid tigger foods like spicy, acidic or fatty meals. Gastroenterologists explain that one of the main reasons spicy foods are not recommended is that they contain capsaicin, which slows down digestion and causes food to sit in the stomach longer. The longer food sits in your stomach, the greater are the chances for heartburn.

Secondly, spicy foods can irritate the lining of the espohagus which will obviously worsen heartburn too.

Try instead for a diet rich in fruit, vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains.  Eating when you feel 80% full (as the Japanese do) is also a good habit to prevent overfilling the stomach.


GERD Management -Let Gravity Help You:

Raise the head of your bed by 6 to 8 inches ( 15 to 20cm) to discourage acid from flowing into the esophagus while you sleep. This position helps reduce nighttime heartburn and promotes better digestion.

This is also a reason why, if you’re suffering from GERD, it’s a good idea to stop eating near bedtime. Allow 2 to 3 hours before bed for any food you’ve eaten to digest before you lie down.

Regular Exercise:

When thinking about GERD management be aware of the role excess body weight plays. Carrying too much body fat puts pressure on the abdomen and invariably worsens GERD symptoms. Regular, low impact exercise is extremely helpful for maintaining a healthy weight. Incorporate low impact exercises like walking or cycling into your routine. Find an activity you enjoy and you’ll probably find it easier to stick with.

Really this is something everyone who wants good health should do.

Smoking and Alcohol Are Not Your Friends:

Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption can weaken the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), allowing acid to flow back into the  esophagus. Quit smoking and limit alcohol to minimize GERD symptoms.

Stay Hydrated:

Drink plenty of water throughout the day to help dilute stomach acid and reduce the risk of reflux. However, avoid drinking large amounts during meals to prevent overfilling the stomach.

Manage Stress:

Stress and anxiety are almost impossible to avoid for many of us, but they can trigger or worsen GERD symptoms, so actively practising stress-reducing techniques such as deep breathing, Yoga or meditation will pay huge dividends.

Prescribed Medications For GERD:

Yes there are prescribed medications for GERD management that you could explore with your healthcare professional. Ask about suitable antacids, proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) or H2 blockers. These can be helpful in reducing stomach acid production and could provide relief.

Regular Checkups:

It’s vital to  monitor your GERD symptoms and adjust your treatment plan as needed. Routine check-ups can help prevent complications and ensure you keep on top of managing the unpleasant symptoms of GERD.

Avoid Late Night Eating:

As we’ve already pointed out,  eating large meals or snacks close to bedtime is a bad idea if you have digestive issues. Allow at least 2-3 hours between your last meal and lying down  to minimize acid reflux during sleep.

Record and Monitor Your Triggers:

What makes GERD worse for you? Take note either mentally or written down, of  specific triggers that worsen your GERD. These could be particular stressful situations, certain foods or time of eating.  Being present and aware will  help you make informed decisions about your diet and lifestyle, making adjustments as needed.


The above recommendations for managing GERD are straightforward, but do require a certain commitment. The most challenging part is just getting started. After that, it shouldn’t be too long before you’ve carved out new habits  and are reaping the rewards of brimming energy that comes from a good night’s rest!

Always consult a healthcare professional for personalized advice and treatment options.