How to manage chronic reflux disease

Everyone is familiar with occasional acid regurgitation or heartburn. As unpleasant as such a physical reaction may be, it is quickly over and forgotten. Until next time. Triggers for stomach burns and acid regurgitation are often spicy foods, alcohol consumption, coffee, carbonated drinks or even citrus fruits. Especially when it becomes chronic, we speak of chronic reflux disease (GERD= gastro-esophageal reflux disease).

Many doctors then advise drug treatment or controversial dietary measures. The swiss1chirurgie clinic then follows a more holistic approach that considers cause, effect, appearance and comprehensive treatment options as a whole.

Medicinal approaches and dietary measures for belching and stomach burns

These are often the remedies of choice when acid regurgitation and heartburn are to be countered. At least in the first approach, acid blockers are often recommended, some of which are available without prescription. If no sustainable success is achieved here, it is not uncommon for additional so-called diet measures to be discussed, which are then recommended as the next remedy of choice.

In patients with mild to moderate symptoms, “dietary measures” are recommended instead of acid blockers or as an adjunct to drug therapy, which can be something like the following:

  1. Avoiding the following “reflux-producing foods”:
  • Onion and garlic
  • Tomato, Cucumber, Paprika
  • Fried food, Spicy food
  • Alcoholic beverages, especially white wine, prosecco, champagne
  • Chocolate
  • Coffee
  • Carbonated drinks
  • Citrus fruits
  1. Adaptation of eating habits in case of reflux:
  • Early dinner
  • Do not overeat, smaller portions
  • No smoking
  • Sit straight after a meal
  • Do not eat directly before going to bed

However, such dietary measures are always accompanied by restrictions in lifestyle habits and thus also in the individual’s quality of life. And not always with the hoped-for success. After all, it is not only diet and certain lifestyle habits alone that promote belching and heartburn, but often also organic constellations that cannot simply be eliminated with diets and/or medication.

What works well for some people does not lead to any changes for others and in the worst case only prolongs the history of suffering with the corresponding limitations. This becomes clear when significant complaints still occur despite acid blockers and dietary measures. These manifest themselves, for example, in chronic cough, voice changes, tooth erosions, nocturnal acid attacks and similar unpleasant phenomena.

Surgical intervention can help with reflux

Those who cannot get chronic problems with heartburn and belching under control will quickly despair of medication and diets. Then the path usually leads to the gastroenterologist, who looks for organic causes for the complaints by means of a gastroscopy.

In the same context, we recommend going to the swiss1chirurgie clinic of Bern Visceral Surgery Steffen AG. Here, expert surgeons are available for consultation and can also provide long-term help if the symptoms are suitable.

Reflux surgery is then often recommended, which involves a minimally invasive procedure. Usually, such a procedure takes between 30 and 60 minutes and involves a stay of one to two days in hospital. As a result of the small operation, patients are usually completely symptom-free. And ideally without any medication or diets that restrict the quality of life.

A visit to the swiss1chirurgie clinic of Berner Viszeralchirurgie Steffen AG can therefore be very worthwhile in the case of reflux and is a very good alternative to chronic complaints of stomach burns or acid regurgitation. The specialised surgeons in the swiss1chirurgie clinic will be happy to tell you in a personal consultation what can be done in a specific individual case.