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Getting Rid of Acid Reflux

Gastroesophageal reflux disorder or GERD is a condition wherein the stomach acid frequently flows back into the esophagus causing irritation to its lining. The lower esophageal sphincter, or the muscle that controls the passage between the esophagus and stomach, doesn’t close completely, leading to the back flow of stomach acid and food up into the esophagus.

The most common symptom of GERD is heartburn or a burning sensation in the area of the upper abdomen and chest. At times, reflux may also lead to difficulty in swallowing, cough, lump in your throat, sore throat, hoarseness, and worsening of asthma.

If you are affected by GERD, here are some lifestyle changes that may help reduce the frequency of acid reflux:

1. Eat slowly and chew food thoroughly. A full stomach increases the risk for reflux.

2. Avoid foods that trigger reflux such as mint, tomatoes, onions, garlic, spicy meals, chocolate and fatty foods.

3. Avoid coffee, tea, alcohol and carbonated beverages and drinks that may trigger reflux.

4. Stay up after eating. Don’t lie down after a meal. Take your meals three hours before going to bed.

5. Avoid vigorous exercise for a couple of hours after eating especially if it involves bending over.

6. Sleep on an incline or elevate the head of your bed; ideally, your head should be 6 to 8 inches higher than your feet.

7. Quit smoking. Nicotine may relax the lower esophageal sphincter and reduces the ability of the sphincter to function properly.

8. Lose weight. Excess weight puts pressure on your abdomen and loosens the lower esophageal sphincter causing acid to reflux into your esophagus.

9. Avoid tight-fitting clothes that put pressure on your abdomen and the lower sphincter of the esophagus.

You may also need medications to control reflux along with lifestyle changes.

Consult your doctor for proper advice and ask for appropriate medications such as antacids or acid pump inhibitors that reduce acid production like pantoprazole or omeprazole.

Reference: 

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/gerd/symptoms-causes/syc-20361940

https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/acid-reflux-ger-gerd-adults

Ways to Prevent and Control Migraine Headache

Migraine headache is a common condition characterized by headaches with severe throbbing pain or a pulsing sensation, usually on one side of the head. The headache is also often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and extreme sensitivity to light and sound. The attacks can last for hours to days, and the pain can be so severe and may interfere with your daily activities. Aside from drug therapy, prevention of triggers is important to control painful attacks.

Preventing migraine  

Some people can prevent migraines simply by avoiding the following triggers:

• Changing weather: rising humidity, heat
• Lack of sleep or oversleeping
• Fatigue
• Emotional stress
• Sensory triggers: bright or flickering lights, loud noises, strong smells
• Monosodium glutamate (MSG) in food
• Dietary triggers such as missing a meal, alcohol, chocolate, nitrates in cured meats and fish, aged cheese, and an increase or decrease in caffeine.

Several studies have also documented the role of B vitamins in preventing and alleviating pain in migraine attacks. Some researchers found that taking higher doses of Vitamin B6 and Vitamin B9 (folic acid) reduced headache frequency, severity, and duration. 

Also, if you spot a migraine in its very earliest stages, you may be able to control it with over-the-counter pain relievers.

If your headache persists, you need to consult your physician for prescription drugs that are needed. Always work with your doctor to find the appropriate treatment that works best for you.

References:

https://www.health.harvard.edu/pain/headache-when-to-worry-what-to-do

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/migraine-headache/symptoms-causes/syc-20360201

Liampas IN, Siokas V, Aloizou AM, Tsouris Z, Dastamani M, Aslanidou P, Brotis A, Dardiotis E. Pyridoxine, folate and cobalamin for migraine: A systematic review. Acta Neurol Scand. 2020 Aug;142(2):108-120. doi: 10.1111/ane.13251. Epub 2020 Apr 30. PMID: 32279306. 

D’Onofrio F, Raimo S, Spitaleri D, Casucci G, Bussone G. Usefulness of nutraceuticals in migraine prophylaxis. Neurol Sci. 2017 May;38(Suppl 1):117-120. doi: 10.1007/s10072-017-2901-1. PMID: 28527067.

5 Ways to Manage Arthritis

Arthritis is a common painful disorder that affects your joints, making it difficult to move or stay active. There are many types of arthritis. Each type causes different symptoms and may need different treatments. While arthritis usually affects older adults, it can develop in both men and women as well as children of any age.

There’s still no definite cure for arthritis, but there are ways that can help you manage the condition.

Here are simple ways to reduce the symptoms so you can pursue the activities that are important to you.

1. Stay as active as your health allows. Being physically active can reduce pain and can improve function, mood, and quality of life for adults with arthritis.

2. Manage weight. Losing weight reduces stress on joints.

3. Keep your joints moving. Do daily, gentle stretches that move your joints through their full range of motion.

4. Quit smoking. Smoking causes stress on connective tissues, which can increase pain.

5. Talk to your doctor. It’s important to get an accurate diagnosis as soon as possible so you can start treatment and prevent the disease from getting worse.

Depending on the assessment of your doctor, medications such as NSAIDs and paracetamol may be considered to help relieve pain.

There are also medications that combine paracetamol with B complex to address the neurologic mechanisms of the pain to further support pain relief.

Reference: 

5 Ways to Manage Arthritis, CDC

Arthritis Pain: Do’s and Don’ts, Mayo Clinic