What to Know about GERD and EDS

Oct 24 11:28am | MeekaC | @meekaclayton | Comments (4)

GERD Symptoms You Shouldn't Ignore | Northwestern Medicine

What to Know about GERD and EDS


Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is the recurrent flow of stomach acid back into the esophagus, the tube connecting your mouth and stomach. GERD can occur often among individuals with Ehlers-Danlos syndromes (EDS). In one study, more than half of the patients with hypermobile EDS were experiencing GERD. It is believed that the connective tissue abnormalities in individuals with EDS may lead to improper functioning of the lower esophageal sphincter, which in turn causes the regurgitation of stomach acid into the esophagus. Unfortunately, given the susceptibility of the esophageal lining to stomach acid, this backflow can lead to irritation. Over time, this irritation can result in conditions such as esophagitis, esophageal stricture, Barrett's esophagus, and, in the worst cases, even esophageal cancer.


If you have experienced GERD you will notice it can cause a range of symptoms. One of the most common is a burning sensation in the chest, which can be particularly bothersome after meals, when lying down, or when bending over. Other symptoms include regurgitation, trouble swallowing, or the sensation of food becoming stuck in the throat. Stomach acid irritation can also manifest differently in different parts of the body. For instance, sometimes it can cause chronic cough, as well as hoarseness and a sore throat.


The treatment of GERD encompasses a wide range of strategies including lifestyle changes, medications, such as PPIs and H2 blockers, and surgical options. In this post, our primary focus is on lifestyle changes. Here are a few suggestions:


  1. Excess Weight. If you find yourself dealing with excess weight, shedding a few pounds can make a significant difference in alleviating your symptoms. Carrying excess weight places added pressure on your abdomen due to the surplus fat, leading to more frequent occurrences of acid reflux.
  2. Smoking is bad, and luckily not so common any more! Past studies  have indicated that smoking can exacerbate acid reflux by compromising the functionality of the esophageal sphincters. Quitting smoking not only has numerous other health benefits but can also contribute to reducing acid reflux.
  3. Diet is key. Certain dietary and beverage choices are thought to trigger acid reflux, including alcohol, coffee, tomatoes, chocolate, and fatty foods. Reducing these may be effective in mitigating your symptoms.
  4. Body Positions. It may sound surprising, but gravity can be your ally in the battle against GERD symptoms. Since reflux carries stomach acid up to your mouth, lying down right after meals can trigger your reflux symptoms. Elevating the head of your bed can help alleviate nighttime symptoms. Lastly, some patients report sleeping on the left side can decrease symptoms due to the location of the stomach.


Symptoms of GERD are unpleasant, but definitely not untreatable. We hope our suggestions help to alleviate your symptoms. Have you found any useful remedies for symptoms of GERD? Please share below!


Ozan Soyer, MD



Interested in more newsfeed posts like this? Go to the Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome blog.

Has anyone gone to Mayo Clinic to have EDS symptoms evaluated as a whole by a team of specialists? If so, how was your experience?


Has anyone gone to Mayo Clinic to have EDS symptoms evaluated as a whole by a team of specialists? If so, how was your experience?

Jump to this post

Hi @slip275, while we wait for fellow patients to share their experiences about Mayo Clinic, I thought you might appreciate these related blogs and discussions:

– EDS Clinic Updates, EDS Awareness
– The EDS Clinic at Mayo Clinic Florida
@katemschultz posted this informative message when she was preparing for her first EDS visit to Mayo in Rochester
– What to expect at Mayo Clinic, Rochester https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/what-to-expect-at-rochester

@jthigpen writes about their experience at the EDS Clinic at Mayo Clinic in Florida here: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/comment/320392/


Honestly,a whole team of specialists isn’t necessary.
It’s symptom management. A specialist might not be needed.
If specialists are required they would be consulted. 🦓❤️


LPR is also common with EDS for many reasons… mast cells, faulty upper and lower esophageal sphincters, EoE, etc

Please sign in or register to post a reply.