Gastroesophageal reflux disease, also know as GERD, occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), a muscle at the end of the esophagus doesn't close properly. This causes stomach acid used for digestion to back up, or reflux into the lower esophagus. When stomach acid comes in contact with the lining of the esophagus, it can cause heartburn, among other symptoms. More than 60 million Americans experience heartburn or GERD symptoms at least once a month. To help treat and prevent GERD, take action by following these simple steps.
Both alcohol and caffeinated beverages can increase acid production in the stomach. Limit yourself to 1-2 cups of coffee or tea a day, and if you do drink alcohol, drink in moderation – that’s 2 drinks a day for men and 1 for women. If you suffer from chronic GERD, you may want to cut out these beverages all together.
Drink plenty of water – at least 6-8 cups a day – to help neutralize and rinse out stomach acid that has refluxed into the esophagus.