GERD, Part 1

To a busy New Yorker GERD (Gastro Esophageal Reflux) is a huge nuisance.  Williamsburg, Westchester, Bay Ridge, Tribeca and every other borough suffers from what we call "the acid reflux".   Usually descried as an unpleasant burning in the lower and mid-chest, GERD afflicts males and as well as females, young as well as old.

As the name of the condition suggests, GERD simply means that the gastric juices that are supposed to rest in the stomach often reflux back into the esophagus, sometimes as high as the upper portion of the esophagus and the throat.

Going out to dinner with drinks is a part of many New Yorker's routine,-  after all - we make up the city that socializes into the late hours of the evening.  As a result, when we are ready to enjoy a good night's sleep, GERD keeps us up.  And what is worse, in the morning, many of us experience the bitterness in the throat to a point where we may feel nausea while brushing our teeth.

It is virtually impossible to predict who would be afflicted by GERD and who would not be.  What we do know is that certain groups of food increase the symptoms of GERD. For example, fried tomatoes or fried onions or citrus or alcohol tend to increase the symptoms of GERD.  To decrease the lousy sensation of reflux, it is recommended avoid these food groups.  In addition, it helps to wait for 2-3 hours prior to lying down after the food intake.  This way, the gravity would allow the food to remain below the esophagus while it is being processed in the stomach.

---Veronika Dubrovskaya, MD

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