Understanding Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux Disease (GORD or GERD): A Comprehensive Guide

What are the symptoms of GORD _ GERD

Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux Disease (GORD) also referred to as GERD is a prevalent condition that affects a significant portion of the population at some point in their lives. In the United Kingdom, it is estimated that GORD / GERD affects around 20% to 30% of the population at some point in their lives.

What is Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux Disease (GORD / GERD)?

GORD / GERD occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), a muscle ring at the junction between the oesophagus and the stomach, fails to close properly. This malfunction allows stomach acid and other contents to flow back or ‘reflux’ into the oesophagus, causing irritation and inflammation. Symptoms often include heartburn, regurgitation, chest pain, difficulty swallowing, and a sour taste in the mouth. Chronic GORD / GERD can lead to more severe conditions such as esophagitisBarrett’s oesophagus, and even esophageal cancer.

What are symptoms of GORD or GERD?

GORD / GERD is characterised by the backward flow of stomach contents, including acid, into the oesophagus, leading to symptoms such as heartburn, acid reflux, and discomfort. 

Causes and Risk Factors

Several factors contribute to the development of GORD / GERD. These include lifestyle choices, dietary habits, obesity, smoking, pregnancy, and certain medications. Additionally, individuals with a hiatal hernia, where part of the stomach protrudes into the diaphragm, are at an increased risk of experiencing GORD / GERD. 

Food poisoning, while primarily known for causing acute gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhoea, can also play a role in the development or exacerbation of Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux Disease (GORD / GERD). When an individual experiences food poisoning, the inflammation and irritation to the stomach and oesophagus may temporarily weaken the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), the muscle that prevents stomach contents from flowing back into the oesophagus. Furthermore, the disruption of normal gastric and digestive function during and after an episode of food poisoning may exacerbate existing GORD / GERD symptoms or contribute to their onset in susceptible individuals.

Foods That Worsen GORD or GERD Symptoms

Diet plays a crucial role in managing GORD / GERD symptoms. Certain foods and beverages can exacerbate symptoms by relaxing the LES or increasing stomach acid. These include:

  • High-fat foods
  • Spicy foods
  • Citrus fruits
  • Chocolate
  • Caffeinated beverages
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Tomato-based products

Understanding and avoiding these triggers can significantly reduce GORD / GERD symptoms and improve quality of life.

Nutritional and Lifestyle Strategies for GORD and GERD Management

Adopting healthy lifestyle and dietary habits is essential in managing GORD / GERD symptoms effectively. Key strategies include:

  • Maintain a Healthy Weight: Excess weight can put pressure on the abdomen, pushing stomach contents into the oesophagus. Losing weight can significantly reduce GORD / GERD symptoms.
  • Eat Smaller, More Frequent Meals: Large meals can increase stomach pressure. Eating smaller portions more frequently can help.
  • Elevate the Head of Your Bed: Sleeping with the head slightly elevated can prevent stomach acid from flowing back into the oesophagus.
  • Avoid Lying Down After Eating: Wait at least three hours after a meal before lying down or going to bed.
  • Quit Smoking: Smoking weakens the LES and is linked to increased GORD / GERD symptoms.
  • Limit Trigger Foods: Identify and avoid foods that worsen your symptoms.

The Role of COOL in Managing GORD or GERD Symptoms

COOL is a natural heartburn and acid reflux relief, designed to alleviate symptoms without the side effects associated with conventional medications. Its formulation harnesses the power of natural ingredients known for their soothing properties, making it an ideal choice for those seeking a gentle yet effective approach to managing GORD / GERD.

The Science Behind COOL

The efficacy of COOL in managing GORD / GERD symptoms lies in its carefully selected natural ingredients. These include:

  • Marshmallow Root Powder: This herb forms a soothing layer on the oesophagus and stomach lining, protecting against acid irritation and promoting healing.
  • Slippery Elm: This herb forms a gel-like substance that coats the oesophagus, protecting it from acid and easing discomfort.

By combining these natural ingredients, COOL offers a holistic approach to managing GORD / GERD, providing relief from heartburn and acid reflux while supporting overall digestive health.

Conclusion

Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux Disease is a complex condition that requires a comprehensive management strategy, encompassing dietary adjustments, lifestyle changes, and, when necessary, targeted interventions such as natural relief products like COOL. Understanding the underlying causes and triggers of GORD / GERD is crucial for effective management and prevention of further complications. By adopting a holistic approach that includes scientifically backed natural remedies, individuals can significantly improve their quality of life and minimise the impact of GORD / GERD on their daily activities.

Written by Marilia Chamon

Registered Nutritional Therapist and Gut Health Expert
Founder of Gutfulness Nutrition
Instagram @gutfulnessnutrition

Marilia Chamon is a registered nutritional therapist, gut health and IBS expert, and the founder of Gutfulness Nutrition. Marilia has trained on the use of the low FODMAP diet with Monash University and is certified in Applying Functional Medicine in Clinical Practice from the world renowned Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM). Marilia is also a SIBO trained practitioner. Her practice is rooted in science-based nutrition and her advice is based on the latest scientific research.