Heartburn, chest pains and difficulty in swallowing may be the result of Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), the medical name for the commonly known Acid Reflux Disease. It is a condition where mucosal damage is produced by reflux of the gastric contents in the esophagus and the symptoms may be chronic in nature. In simpler words, the liquefied matters in the stomach go back to the esophagus and the acids and pepsin in them cause the damage. Those suffering from it may not find it life threatening but the pain that accompanies the disease can attack at any time and can become unbearable at times.
One effective way to get relief from this condition is by the positional therapy. In this therapy the patient is advised to lie down one one’s left when sleeping and keep the head a little raised. For this one may need a support below the pillow to keep the bed raised on the side where one puts one’s head. This elevation should be about 6 to 8 inches so that the gastric juices do not flow upwards. Also it is advised not to eat anything immediately before going to sleep. Those suffering from acid reflux disease should have their meals at least three hours before going to bed.
Normally the medicines that are prescribed for acid reflux works on the acid itself and weakens it. So the damage to the esophagus is limited. But weak acid in the stomach might allow bacterial growth and affect the digestive on the whole. Moreover, once your stomach and digestive system gets accustomed to such weak acid then you might face bigger problems. Moreover, over the counter drugs may have severe side effects and bring in other malfunctions of the body.
Avoid those foods that can stimulate more acid production. So avoid spicy foods and those that are difficult to digest. Also keep a tab on those foods that seems to cause trouble. Avoid them whenever possible. Moreover never eat full stomach. This might keep the esophagus open while the digestive process starts and that can cause reflux. That also means that your diet should be small in serving size but at the same time provide all the required nutrients in required doses.