Gastroesophageal Reflux disease (GERD) is commonly referred to as Acid Reflux. The gastroesophageal reflux is ordinarily a normal physiologic function that may occur as often as once an hour. The transformation of this otherwise normal function into a chronic condition, bringing discomfort of varying degrees, has been associated with a number of factors rather than a single cause. The symptoms of Acid Reflux are often specific to the particular patient, and vary from patient to patient. Factors identified as contributing to Acid Reflux include the caustic stomach secretions that are refluxed and the resulting breakdown of the natural defense mechanism of the esophagus.

Stomach secretions are naturally at a lower pH value than the environment within the esophagus. When these more acidic substances are not rapidly cleared from the esophagus, there is a breakdown of esophageal tissue. This acidic gastric material has been identified as the primary agent in the development of Acid Reflux. Duration of exposure is a key factor in the development of symptoms.

There are multiple factors identified with increased acidic secretions. Dietary considerations including type of food eaten, food combinations, excessive fat intake, overeating at a single meal, smoking and alcohol consumption have been investigated and have shown a relationship to the onset of symptoms of Acid Reflux.

Treatment is as varied as the condition and its severity. From life style changes, to pharmacologic therapy, to surgery. The primary goal of treatment is to significantly reduce the exposure of the esophagus to refluxate. Such treatment is to result in reduced symptoms, a healed esophagus, and the maintenance of remission. Lifestyle modifications have been identified as key components in the management of Acid Reflux. Such modifications include dietary changes, reduction in smoking and alcohol consumption and elevating the head of the bed.

For a significant number of Acid Reflux patients, the duration and frequency of reflux reaction is directly influenced by posture. Studies that have used distal pH monitoring have found that elevation of the head of the bed six inches or more results in the reduction of the number of reflux episodes and improves the time of acid clearance from the esophagus. In normal functioning, physiologic reflux occurs more commonly while upright rather than in a supine (lying on the back) position. However, it is in the supine position that those who have Acid Reflux have the most reflux episodes. To assure the ultimate position of comfort in the supine position an adjustable bed is a most worthy life style investment.

electric adjustable bed or an 8" Natural Latex Bed Wedge affords the flexibility and consistency needed to maintain the recommended elevated position for the relief of Acid Reflux. An adjustable bed, by positioning the head higher, has been shown to reduce the episodes of gastric juices from rising up into the esophagus, thereby reducing the discomfort of Acid Reflux. Even during momentary wakefulness, the remote control feature of an electric adjustable bed will allow you to make instant adjustments to bring comfort and a more restful and symptom free sleep. A significant and cost effective investment in a treatment program addressing Acid Reflux should include an adjustable bed with all its beneficial features.