Fletcher Allen, a Vermont university hospital and medical center, serves all of
Vermont and the northern New York region. Located in Burlington, Fletcher Allen is a regional, academic healthcare center and teaching hospital in alliance with the University of Vermont.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
What it is
When stomach acid backs up into your esophagus, it can cause a burning sensation known as heartburn. If symptoms occur several days a week, you may have Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, (GERD) - also known as acid reflux disease. This chronic condition can irritate the lining of your esophagus.
Heartburn and acid regurgitation (may cause a sour or bitter taste), persistent cough, snoring, and breathlessness.
Who gets it
One-third of the population in the U.S.
Acid reflux can be treated by simple lifestyle changes:
- Eat smaller, more frequent meals - large meals expand your stomach and increase pressure on the esophagus.
- Limit intake of such acid-stimulating foods as orange juice, and fatty foods like french fries and ice cream.
- Don't lie down for about two hours after you eat -gravity helps digestion
- Elevate the head of your bed a few inches while you sleep.
- Maintain a reasonable weight.
- Don't smoke.
- Do not drink alcohol.
- Relax! Stress can trigger symptoms.
- Over-the-counter and prescription medications can also help.