Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a chronic medical condition that occurs when the acidic stomach contents regularly move backwards into the esophagus, irritating its delicate lining. It is a very common condition, and it is estimated that the disease affects around 20 percent of the U.S. population. Not only do patients with GERD suffer from a long list of bothersome symptoms, such as regurgitation, dry cough, and heartburn, but also, if left untreated, GERD may lead to serious complications including esophageal cancer. Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) have been routinely used to treat GERD. However, recent research suggests that PPIs may predispose individuals to alarming health conditions, such as dementia and heart attacks. In light of these findings, lifestyle modifications may be one of the best ways to safely control and manage GERD. Sleeping at an incline is one such modification. Currently, consumers with GERD have a wide variety of bed wedges and risers to choose from. Amenity Health, though, believes that their new incline wedge system, MedCline Reflux Relief System, stands apart from the crowd, addressing many of the shortcomings of other similar products.
We at Medgadget were given the opportunity to trial the MedCline Reflux Relief System and offer insights to the questions that many potential consumers likely have. I would like to note that as the reviewer, I do not have severe GERD. I do experience occasional nocturnal acid reflux, especially when going to bed too soon after having marinara pasta for dinner followed by chocolate lava cake for dessert. I have been using a traditional bed wedge to address these intermittent symptoms. But, the lack of comfort, ineffectiveness, and difficulty with sleeping on my side were all issues I had with this traditional wedge. I was curious to see how MedCline’s Reflux Relief System would compare.
What does the MedCline Reflux Relief System include?
The Reflux Relief System includes an incline wedge with a hole in the upper half to serve as an arm pocket, an insert pillow to support your head pillow, and a J-shaped body pillow. The product is composed of high quality materials with great attention to details. The positioning wedge is made of four different types of resilient, medical-grade foam and finished with a soft, memory foam topper. This design allows the wedge to support the user’s body weight while also remaining very comfortable. The J-shaped body pillow is made of shredded foam material. Therefore, it is slightly lumpy, but this allows the user to push the material around to better support the desired areas. Initially, my MedCline had a faint odor similar to ethyl alcohol, but this was not overbearing and disappeared completely after a few days. All pieces are covered with removable and machine washable velour covers. Extra covers are also available to purchase on MedCline’s website.
What is unique about the MedCline Reflux Relief System?
MedCline is the only product on the market today that creates and maintains an incline while also allowing individuals to sleep on their left side. Its positioning method and patented ergonomic design with arm pockets takes the pressure off the downside arm and shoulder and allows users to sleep on their sides while their upper half is elevated. Also, the J-shaped body pillow provides support to the head and neck, and it further reinforces the desired side sleeping position. A left side sleeping position is explicitly important for GERD patients since it places the stomach in an anatomical orientation that helps prevent acid from creeping up the esophagus. By contrast, traditional bed wedges usually make side sleeping difficult or uncomfortable and tend to sway users to sleep on their back, a position that is not ideal for GERD patients.
The unique design of the MedCline Reflux Relief System could also prove to be beneficial to women during pregnancy. More than 40 percent of pregnant women in their second and third trimester experience symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux as a result of hormonal changes and the rising pressure of the growing baby. The MedCline Reflux Relief System could offer a great, all natural treatment option for these women while also allowing them to maintain the recommended left-side sleeping position during pregnancy.
Does the MedCline Reflux Relief System effectively prevent nocturnal gastroesophageal reflux?
After using this system for a week, I would definitely say it helps limit reflux. The first night I used MedCline, I noticed a significant relief in some of my reflux symptoms, such as regurgitation and the bitter taste I sometimes experience in the back of my throat. Also, on an unrelated note, my wife says I have not snored since using MedCline. The positioning wedge elevates the upper body at a 15-20 degree angle, which positions the head about six to eight inches above the bed. Amenity Health states that this is the inclination angle they found to be the most comfortable while also being the most effective at preventing reflux. Five independent clinical studies validated the effectiveness of MedCline, and these studies indicated that MedCline outperformed similar products on the market. Thus, it backed Amenity Health’s claim that “MedCline is the most effective, natural treatment option available for nighttime acid reflux.”
How comfortable is the MedCline Reflux Relief System?
MedCline is very comfortable when compared to a few other bed wedges on the market that I tried. I appreciated having the option to sleep on my side, which is my preferred sleeping position. I also found the body pillow very comfortable, as it helped me maintain good alignment of my hips and knees while on my side. It also helped decrease the slight pressure I experienced in my lower back due to the incline of the wedge pillow. I did find myself sliding down the incline wedge the first few nights I used MedCline. I am not sure if I was subconsciously pushing myself down or not, but I found myself waking up and having to reposition myself higher up on the wedge several times as a result. Many of us change sleeping positioning throughout the night without realizing it. Because of MedCline’s design, it became more challenging to change sleeping positions. After one week this remains my biggest issue with MedCline, but I am hopeful that I will continue to get more used to it.
The incline wedge is 30 inches wide, which is half the width of a queen size bed. Nevertheless, I think MedCline is better suited for a king size bed if you share a bed with someone. The majority of people with reflux experience their symptoms during the first half of the night, so if the user wants to use it only for the first few hours of the night, he or she would have to fully wake up and intentionally move the MedCline off a queen sized bed in order to still have enough sleeping room.
MedCline is available in three different sizes to optimize comfort and effectiveness based on the customer’s height. Amenity Health states that it takes an average of 14 days to fully adjust to sleeping on the MedCline Reflux Relief System. This may take longer if the user is not a natural side sleeper. The company has many informational and instructional videos on their YouTube channel. Furthermore, a sleep specialist is available via email or phone to help consumers learn how to adjust to their new sleeping position and to answer any questions.
How much does the MedCline Reflux Relief System cost?
The MedCline Reflux Relief System is priced at $398 on MedCline’s official website and $319 on Amazon. The company is currently offering a 30 percent discount, bringing its price down to $278. MedCline also offers the Advanced Positioning Wedge, which is essentially the same as the MedCline Reflux Relief System without the J-shaped body pillow. This retails for $219.
Amenity Health is devoted to providing great customer service. Hence, it has a 100-night customer satisfaction guarantee program. Customers who are not satisfied with their purchase may return it and only pay 10 percent disposal fee.
Overall, Amenity Health has created a very high quality product in their MedCline Reflux Relief System. It effectively prevents reflux and is, in my opinion, more comfortable than the more traditional wedges on the market. However, higher quality comes with a higher price tag. New users might find it somewhat challenging to adapt to the new sleeping position used with MedCline Reflux Relief System, but once acclimated, those suffering from nocturnal reflux may finally be able to enjoy a peaceful and restful night’s sleep.