GERD risk factors include obesity, pregnancy, and hernias. But GERD has several potential causes, including some common medications.
We all get heartburn after eating every so often. But if you have that painful, burning sensation in your chest on a regular basis, you might have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), also called acid reflux disease.
What are GERD risk factors?
You’re at a higher risk for GERD if you:
You can aggravate GERD if you:
- eat large meals
- eat close to bedtime
- eat fatty or fried foods
- drink coffee
- drink tea
- drink alcohol
- use nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like aspirin
acid reflux irritates the lining of your esophagus. People often feel symptoms 30 minutes to 2 hours after eating.
Certain medications can cause GERD symptoms, such as:
- anticholinergics, used to treat a variety of conditions
- bronchodilators, used to treat asthma
- progestin, used in birth control or to treat abnormal menstrual bleeding
- sedatives, used to treat anxiety or insomnia
- calcium channel blockers, used to treat high blood pressure
- tricyclics, used to treat depression
- dopamine-active drugs, used to treat Parkinson’s disease
pressure on your abdomen.
adjustment is to increase your fiber intake and avoid the following foods:
- citrus fruits
- citrus juices
- tomato products
- greasy, fried foods
- carbonated beverages
- spicy foods
- garlic and onions
- full-fat dairy (including sour cream, cheese, and whole milk)
- alcoholic beverages
You can work to reduce the impact of GERD on your life by not only adjusting what you eat, but also the way you eat:
- Eat smaller, more frequent meals.
- Eat your food slowly and chew it thoroughly.
- Practice good posture. While eating, sit upright. Avoid bending over or reaching below your waist for an hour after meals.
- Avoid eating before bedtime. Wait at least three hours after eating to lie down or go to bed.
- Watch for trigger foods that appear to encourage your GERD symptoms.