GERD cough, or gastroesophageal reflux disease cough, is a type of chronic cough caused by acid reflux. The symptoms of GERD cough include experiencing persistent coughing, sore throat, hoarseness, and a sour taste in the mouth. GERD cough can disrupt sleep, work, and social life. Finding a solution to alleviate GERD cough is crucial. In this article, we’re going to explore how to stop GERD cough instantly by modifying our lifestyle, diet, and using over-the-counter medications or natural remedies.
II. Lifestyle Changes to Combat GERD Cough
One of the simplest ways to alleviate GERD cough is to make lifestyle changes. One of the most significant contributors to GERD cough is being overweight. Those who lose a few pounds may notice that their GERD cough is reduced. Additionally, avoiding smoking, cutting down on alcohol consumption, and eating smaller, frequent meals can also help. Making these changes may seem daunting, but we can break them down and start incorporating them into our daily routine.
III. Avoiding Trigger Foods
Identifying and avoiding trigger foods can do a lot to help minimize GERD cough. Certain foods and drinks can trigger GERD cough, by increasing stomach acid production, relaxing the muscles between the stomach and the esophagus, or irritating the esophagus lining. Common culprits include acidic items like oranges and tomatoes, spicy foods, chocolate, caffeine, and fatty foods. Avoiding trigger foods can be tricky, but we can start by checking food labels, keeping a food diary, and modifying our diet to prevent GERD cough.
IV. Chewing Gum
Chewing gum can be a surprising ally against GERD cough. When we chew gum, we stimulate the saliva production in our mouth. Saliva helps neutralize stomach acid by washing away the fluid that collects in the esophagus. Additionally, ongoing gum chewing can help to maintain healthy oral hygiene. However, not all gums are created equal. The best chewy helpers are sugar-free and ideally contain bicarbonate, which can help neutralize stomach acid and reduce symptoms.
V. Drinking Natural Remedies
Several natural remedies may help alleviate GERD cough and avoid the side effects of medications. For example, chamomile tea can have a calming effect that may help reduce inflammation and ease GERD cough. Ginger tea can help reduce nausea and relieve inflammation in the esophagus caused by GERD. Fennel tea may help alleviate GERD cough in the short term. Aloe vera juice also has anti-inflammatory properties and can help reduce GERD cough. Slippery elm tea is a natural remedy that forms a protective layer in the throat and stomach, helping to prevent GERD cough. Apple cider vinegar is one more option. It’s believed to stimulate the production of digestive enzymes, and in some cases, neutralize stomach acid. When preparing and consuming natural remedies, pay attention to dosage and contraindications, especially if pregnant, have high blood pressure or diabetes.
VI. Over-The-Counter Medications
Over-the-counter medications such as antacids and acid reducers can provide quick relief if used appropriately. If GERD cough is very bothersome, we may need to resort to over-the-counter medication. Antacids work by neutralizing stomach acid, and acid reducers like ranitidine, famotidine, and cimetidine block the acid production. Some antacids contain magnesium, which can cause diarrhea or stimulate bowel movements. Others contain aluminum, which can cause constipation. It’s important to read the labels and take into account possible interactions between medications.
VII. Avoid Lying Down
Lying down flat can aggravate GERD cough. To prevent GERD cough before bedtime, avoid eating a big meal or anything that can trigger acid reflux a few hours before sleeping. Avoid naps after a meal, as well. If GERD cough mostly bothers us at night, we might want to raise the head of our bed by 4-6 inches, or sleep with a wedge-shaped pillow. When the head is elevated, gravity helps keep acid in the stomach, reducing GERD cough symptoms.
GERD cough can be a severe and persistent issue, but there are numerous remedies that can help alleviate the symptoms relatively quickly. We’ve discussed a range of treatments, from simple lifestyle changes to over-the-counter medications and natural remedies. It’s important to work with a healthcare professional to determine the best course of treatment. Finally, we encourage readers to try the tips to alleviate their GERD cough.