top of page

Acid Reflux (GER) and GERD among Millennials


Acid reflux, GER, GERD, millennials, late 20's, early 30's, ageing, gut issues, stomach related problems, bloating, gastritis, acidity
Feeling of Acid Reflux (Credit: Google)

Millennials are a group of people born between 1981 and 1996, also called Gen Y. Hence, the millennials are between the ages of 26 and 41. Now, millennials are at the peak of their personal and professional lives. They live a busy life with several commitments and responsibilities. Also, it is seen that this group is more passionate, and they are dream catchers.

Though Gen Y appears to be health conscious, their lifestyle is hectic. They miss out on meals, a well-planned diet, exercise, and a stressful life. Hence, lifestyle health issues are seen in most millennials in different scenarios.

Gastroesophageal reflux (GER), also called acid reflux, is one of the most common health issues seen among millennials. Due to hyperacidity and acid reflux, people tend to get headaches or migraines. It is seen in both in men and women.


Understand acid reflux (GER) & GERD


GER, or acid reflux, happens when contents from your gut (stomach) move back up into your gullet (also referred to as your esophagus). If you have symptoms of GER or acid reflux more than twice a week, you might have an acute condition known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

Gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD) is one of the most common diseases in Europe and the United States too and affects severely the quality of life, with common symptoms such as heartburn and acid regurgitation.

According to research done by the National Library of Medicine (USA), the prevalence of GERD in India ranges from 7.6% to 30%, with the main reason being food habits. One of their other studies also says that GERD is highly prevalent in the southern part of India. The research was done in the Trivandrum district of Kerala during 2010–2011.


Symptoms


The first symptom of GERD is acid reflux. Acid reflux causes an uncomfortable burning feeling in the chest, which can move up into your neck and throat. This feeling is often understood as heartburn.

In the case of acid reflux, you might develop a sour or bitter taste at the back of your mouth. It might also cause the regurgitation of food.


Some other common symptoms of GERD include:

  • Nausea

  • Chest pain

  • Difficulty and pain when swallowing food or liquid

  • Chronic cough

  • A hoarse voice

  • Bad breath

  • Headache


Safety measures


‘Prevention is better than cure’. To avoid having acidity, hyper acidity, acid reflux, gastritis, and the later stages of GERD, it is better to be careful in advance. Keeping your gut clean, healthy, and immunised is important to avoid these health issues.

The right diet, a disciplined routine of meals and sleep, staying stress-free, regular exercise, and the intake of probiotics are some of the essential habits to keep gut health balanced. We shall discuss probiotics in the second part of the article.


GERD treatment options


To manage and relieve symptoms of GERD, your gastroenterologist or doctor might encourage you to make certain lifestyle changes, like:

  • Maintain a moderate weight

  • Quit smoking, if you smoke

  • Avoid big, heavy meals post-sunset

  • Wait a few hours after eating to lie down

  • Have a brisk walk after meals

  • Elevate your head during sleep (by 6–8 inches)


Medication and home remedies


Your doctor or a medical practitioner for mild symptoms might also suggest taking over-the-counter (OTC) medications like those listed below. It is always advisable to consult your doctor for serious conditions.

Antacids: Antacids are commonly used for occasional and mild symptoms of acid reflux. However, if you are dependent on antacid on a regular basis, it is advisable to go for a consultation and a prescribed medication.

H2 receptor blockers: H2 blockers work to lower the amount of acid your stomach makes. Many H2 blockers are available over-the-counter.

It’s important to note that Ranitidine (Zantac) was recently recalled by the FDA Trusted Source for containing the ingredient N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), which is known to be a carcinogen.

Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs): PPIs like Prilosec are also used to lower the amount of acid your stomach makes. They tend to work better than H2 blockers; they’re more helpful when it comes to healing the esophageal lining. Generally recommended for persistent GERD.

Home remedies for GERD


Most of us prefer to start with home remedies to treat heartburn. Certain home remedies may help a little when it comes to occasional bouts of acid reflux. If it's GERD, it is a chronic one, and self-diagnosing and self-medicating are not recommended.

Chronic health issues can sometimes be eased by lifestyle changes, but they also typically need medical intervention.

A few home remedies available are:

  • Baking soda and water solution. Baking soda is alkaline, has the ability to neutralise acidity, and is mostly safe to consume in small doses.

  • Chewing gum. Because saliva is slightly alkaline, stimulating it by chewing gum after eating may help neutralise the acidity in your mouth and throat. However, it doesn’t have any supporting research.

  • Ginger. Ginger is a common home remedy for issues like nausea and a sour stomach. It should be taken in small quantities and not on a regular basis. Trusted sources claim that heartburn is also a symptom of taking too much ginger.

  • Drinking cold milk. Due to its natural alkalinity, milk is another home remedy that’s often touted as a way to ease heartburn symptoms. It's soothing initially; however, the fat and protein it contains can ultimately make heartburn symptoms worse in severe conditions once the milk is digested.

  • Probiotics are nothing but good, live bacteria or yeast that help your body stay healthy and work well. Probiotics work wonders for your digestive system. These good bacteria fight back against bad bacteria and keep your organs clean and hygienic. They are your microbiome.

They are generally found in the gut, mouth, vagina, urinary tract, skin, and lungs Hence, we understand how these good bacteria are essential for our whole body and not just one organ. Some of the conditions that might be helped by increasing the amount of probiotics in your body through food or supplements include diarrhoea, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), gum disease, lactose intolerance, etc.

The best type of probiotic?

Though there are many types of good bacteria, the main and better types are;

  • Lactobacillus.

  • Bifidobacterium.

  • Saccharomyces boulardii

How to increase Probiotic in the body?


You can get probiotics from food and supplements. Both are good and equally beneficial. Since our diet plan is not efficient enough to get us enough probiotics that our body requires, supplements come in handy here.

You can enhance the amount of good microbes and bacteria in your body through foods, drinks, and supplements.

Food

You may already have certain foods in your daily diet that contain probiotics. Fermented foods (yoghurt and pickles, for example) are home to a host of good bacteria. There are also fermented drinks like kombucha (fermented tea) or kefir (fermented dairy drink) that introduce extra probiotics.


You need to check the food label for "live and active cultures" to determine its ability to be a probiotic. A few suggestions for some of the probiotic-rich foods you can add to your diet are:

  • Yoghurt.

  • Buttermilk.

  • Sourdough bread.

  • Cottage cheese.

  • Kombucha.

  • Tempeh.

  • Fermented pickles.

  • Fermented sauerkraut.

  • Miso soup.

However, you can’t focus on specific foods only for probiotics. Your body also needs other nutrients to function properly. Hence, the key is having a balanced and healthy diet.


How do you take Probiotic Supplements


Apart from food, you can add probiotics to your routine through supplements (dietary). These aren’t drugs or medicines, so they do not need to be approved by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) and be available as OTC. You may also seek the guidance of your dietitian or physician for a major diet change in crucial cases.

Because microbes used as probiotics already exist naturally in your body, probiotic foods and supplements are generally considered safe. There are several ways you can take a probiotic supplement. They come in a variety of forms, including in food, drinks, capsules/pills, powders and in liquid form.

How WonderPro can be helpful in Acid Reflux


Acid reflux is directly linked to your gastrointestinal tract. Probiotics are one such therapy. Probiotics are good bacteria that keep bad bacteria from growing. Bad bacteria can cause illness and unwanted symptoms.

WonderPro is a super probiotic in powdered form. It contains 5 billion good bacteria per gram. It's tested and evaluated by DIPAS, the Department of Defence Research and Development in the Ministry of Defence of the Government of India (DRDO), charged with the military's research and development. Its sugar- and dairy-free features make it unique in the market for OTC probiotic supplements.




bottom of page