You are caring for a 47-year-old female patient diagnosed with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). She has been advised daily intake of a proton pump inhibitor. She still has some occasional breakthrough symptoms, especially when she is lying down at night.
Develop a patient education plan that focuses on conservative measures in the treatment of GERD. What are some of the things that she can do to alleviate her symptoms?
Gastrointestinal reflux disorder (GERD) involves a situation where the food materials within stomach seep out back to the food pipe from the stomach. The main cause of this disease is when the muscles in the food pipe called the lower esophageal sphincter do not work properly by preventing backward movement of food. According to (Nocon, Labenz, & Willich, 2006)The common symptoms of the disease are heartburn but other symptoms may involve nausea after eating, dry cough, hoarseness, sore throat and regurgitation. Factors exacerbating GERD comprise hiatal hernia, obesity, consumption of alcohol and pregnancy in female.
Obesity is one of the risk factors for GERD hence if the patient has extra weight it will be advisable for her to lose weight through healthy measures. Work out and a balanced diet is significant in losing weight. It is better that the patient avoid foods that trigger the disease such as acidic fruits, spicy and more fatty foods. The patient can incorporate exercises that can be done when sitting during times when she feels weak. The patient is encouraged to eat food such as skimmed milk, non-caffeineted beverages, and vegetables, except tomatoes, low fat meats, boiled eggs and low-sugar foods. (New York Times, 2014).
Smoking is a risk factor for GERD and the patient is encouraged to avoid smoking at all capacities. Tobacco use is associated with inhibition of saliva-making process and stimulation of acid build up in the stomach. In cases of symptoms at night, it is important to modify sleeping behavior to avoid the symptoms. The end of the bed needs some elevation to make the shoulders and head in a lessened position that encourages a relaxing sleep. She needs to avoid any snacks before sleep and stay upright before going to bed. She should try sleeping from the left side as this prevents exerting pressure to the stomach (New York Times, 2014).
Readjusting the time for meals through eating little sizes is imperative. Rather than having three meals in a day this can be divided into, six meals as this reduces pressure within the stomach hence reducing GERD effects. Supper needs to be taken approximately three hours ahead of going to bed to avoid buildup of acids in the stomach. The patient should avoid any tight clothes around the abdomen and only take non-steroidal drugs under prescription. Finally, the patient needs strictly to adhere to the proton pump inhibitor that she has been prescribed to help alleviate the recurrence of symptoms (New York Times, 2014).
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