GERD Awareness Week 2023

20 Nov 2023
7 mins
Table Of Content
GERD Awareness Week 2023

    Gastroesophageal reflux Disease or GERD Awareness Week, is commemorated annually on November 20-26 to create and raise public awareness about GERD. It was initially designated in November 1999 by the International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders. It also coincides with the week of Thanksgiving. The event has been added to the National Health Observances calendar in the United States to support health promotion and raise community awareness.


    Let's discuss GERD, its symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention to raise awareness.


    What Is GERD?

     GERD, or Gastroesophageal reflux disease, refers to a chronic condition in which acid and its contents from the stomach rise into the esophagus. Acid reflux occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter (valve at the esophagus end) fails to close properly when food enters your stomach. Acid backwash flows up your esophagus into your throat and mouth, leaving you with a sour taste. GERD is sometimes known as chronic acid reflux. A long duration of GERD can cause stomach cancer or esophageal cancer.


    Who Has A Higher Chance Of Having GERD?


    Anybody can get GERD. You are more likely to get GERD if you are:  

    • Overweight or obese
    • A pregnant woman
    • Smoking

    Watch Out For The Following Symptoms Of GERD


    Below are the mentioned symptoms of GERD


    • Heartburn (burning sensation in your chest after eating)
    • Regurgitation (backwash of food or sore liquid)
    • Chest or abdominal pain
    • Coughing
    • Trouble swallowing (dysphagia)
    • Laryngitis (vocal cord inflammation)
    • Vomiting
    • Sore throat and hoarseness
    • Bad breath

    10 Tips To Prevent GERD Symptoms


    GERD can be prevented by changing your diet. Here are some effective ways to prevent GERD symptoms:

    1. Be physically active and maintain a healthy weight.
    2. Eat small, frequent meals instead of consuming large meals three times daily.
    3. Reduce fat by consuming fewer full-fat dairy products like sour cream, cheese, whole milk, butter, oils, gravy or fatty meats, and other high-fat foods.
    4. Sit or stand upright while eating and for 45 to 60 minutes afterward.
    5. Wait to consume anything right before bed. Wait at least three hours before going to bed.
    6. Avoid wearing too tight clothing in the belly area because it can squeeze your stomach and force acid into the esophagus.
    7. Place wooden blocks under the bedposts to raise the bed's head by 6 to 8 inches when sleeping. Extra pillows are useless.
    8. Reduce alcohol consumption and quit smoking, as both might exacerbate reflux.
    9. Your doctor may prescribe acid-reducing medicines. Take these exactly as prescribed.
    10. Eliminate potential trigger foods like spicy and fried foods, fatty foods including dairy products, chocolates, citrus fruits, tomato sauces, and caffeinated and carbonated drinks.


    GERD Treatment

    Your physician may advise you to make lifestyle changes and take medications to manage and treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). In some situations, a physician might also recommend surgery. 

    Lifestyle changes: Your doctor might suggest you to lose weight, stop smoking and alter your food habits and diet. These lifestyle modifications may lessen your GERD symptoms. 

    Over-the-counter and prescription medications: GERD medicines are available without a prescription (over-the-counter). Consult your doctor if the symptoms do not disappear after taking OTC medications. To treat GERD, the doctor might prescribe antacids, H2 blockers, or proton pump inhibitors (PPIs). 

    Surgery and other medical procedures: If lifestyle modifications and medication don't help your GERD symptoms, or if you want to quit taking long-term GERD medications to manage symptoms, your doctor might suggest surgery. GERD surgery includes the following: 

    • Fundoplication: It is the most commonly used surgery for GERD. Many times, it causes long-term relief from GERD symptoms. This operation adds pressure to the lower esophageal sphincter and aids in preventing reflux by sewing the top of your stomach around the end of your esophagus. 
    • Bariatric surgery: If you have GERD and are obese, your physician may suggest you have weight-loss surgery, often known as bariatric surgery or gastric bypass surgery. This type of surgery can lessen your GERD symptoms and decrease weight. 
    • Endoscopy: In this procedure, your physician inserts an endoscope (little, flexible tube with a camera and light) through your mouth and esophagus. Doctors may use endoscopic techniques to apply radiofrequency radiation to the lower esophageal sphincter or sew the top of your stomach around the sphincter. But this is not a frequently used procedure.


    Awareness Is The First Step To Change

     This GERD Awareness Week 2023 creates and raises awareness among your friends and family about gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), its symptoms, prevention, and treatment. This blog informs the public on lifestyle modifications that can reduce the risk of GERD, such as eating healthy foods, keeping a healthy weight, avoiding alcohol and tobacco use, and engaging in regular exercise. It is essential to spread awareness about GERD to reduce the risk of getting this disease and enhance the quality of healthy life.   

    Written by
    Dr ArchanaBDS
    AboutMedical Content Writer
    Tags :GERD awarenessGastroesophageal reflux diseaseGERD symptomsGERD treatmentGERD medicinesPrevention of GERD symptoms