Gastroesophageal reflux and body position

| Comments (1) | Biology
Interesting fact: there's a significant amount of evidence that sleeping on the left hand side as opposed to the right hand side significantly reduce GERD. For instance: Khoury et al. (1999(:
METHODS: Ten patients, three female and seven male (mean age 47.6 yr, range 30-67 yr) with abnormal recumbent esophageal pH <4 on 24-h pH-metry participated. A standardized high fat dinner (6 PM) and a bedtime snack (10 PM) were administered to all patients. GER during spontaneous sleep positions was assessed with a single channel pH probe placed 5 cm above the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) and with a position sensor taped to the sternum. Data were recorded with a portable digital data logger (Microdigitrapper-S, Synectics Medical) and analyzed for recumbent percent time pH <4 and esophageal acid clearance time in each of four sleeping positions. Time elapsed between change in sleeping position and GER episodes was also calculated.

See also Katz et al. (1994), van Herwaarden et al. (2000). The mechanism doesn't appear to be entirely clear, however.


That's very interesting... I had noticed the same thing myself before I got my wedge pillow, but didn't know whether it my imagination. I always figured it had something to do with the shape of the stomach and its positioning relative to the esophagus.

And I'll repeat my earlier advice that getting a decent wedge pillow led to a significant increase in my quality of life -- you can get them off Amazon (in addition to several other online merchants). [I've tried several; some are too steep to sleep on comfortably, while others are too shallow to have much effect. I've found the one sold by Medslant to be a good balance.]

Leave a comment