The feeling of heartburn you get after you eat at night or when you go to bed, and that is caused by gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), can improve when you change your habits.
Adviser: Maria Fernanda Vargas, pharmacology specialist
Caused by unhealthy habits
Some of the factors that can affect the onset of this disease include eating large portions, high-fat foods, spicy foods, citrus fruits, drinking too much alcohol or coffee, using tight clothing or wearing tight belts, taking certain medications (especially anti-inflammatories), having a hiatal hernia and being pregnant. Other conditions can also be a cause, however, such as: obesity, cardiovascular disease, thyroid conditions, irritable bowel syndrome, peptic ulcer, gallbladder disease, sinusitis and some mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety.
- 12% of the population in Colombia suffers from GERD, according to the Colombian Gastroenterology Association.
In addition to a proper diagnosis and treatment, some simple habits that can help manage and prevent this condition from developing include not going bed on a full stomach, eating four to five small meals a day, not smoking, keeping a list of foods that may cause heartburn in order to reduce your consumption of them and having an exercise routine to prevent becoming overweight.
- 2 or more days a week, in extreme cases, is how often a person may experience heartburn or regurgitation.
Some of the different signs, irritations and complications of acid reflux include a burning sensation that rises from your stomach to your pharynx (heartburn), regurgitation (the act of expelling undigested food through the mouth without vomiting), nausea, discomfort or pain at the stomach’s opening, and difficulty sleeping as a result of these symptoms. If not treated on time, these symptoms can affect the quality of a person’s life.