GERD: Do You Know What You Eat?

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GERD: Do You Know What You Eat?

Do you have Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or Acid reflux? You wake in the night, your chest burning. Sometimes the pain is so intense you think it’s a heart attack. Did you know that Acid reflux occurs when there is acid backflow from the stomach into the esophagus. This happens commonly but can cause complications or troublesome symptoms, such as heartburn.

Several food-related factors may contribute to acid reflux, such as:

  • the position of your body after eating
  • the amount of food you eat during a single meal
  • the type of foods you eat

You can control each of these factors by making smart decisions about how and what you eat. Avoiding trigger foods and following other dietary tips may relieve the symptoms of GERD.

Take a look at these following foods to avoid with GERD

  • Tomatoes and Citrus Fruits/Juices – The high acid content in these foods is commonly known to exacerbate GERD. 
  • Foods High in Fat – Cheese, fries, prime rib and ice cream can cause heartburn in many GERD sufferers. That’s because fat slows down the emptying of the stomach, which puts pressure on the esophageal sphincter.
  • Coffee – This is unfortunate, for sure, but coffee works negatively in two ways. It’s been shown to decrease the tone of the lower esophageal sphincter, which invites stomach contents to come in. Caffeine also stimulates acid secretion. If you love coffee, try one with low acidity.
  • Alcohol – While alcohol is a known contributing factor to GERD, it affects everyone differently. Try limiting yourself to one drink or not drinking for two hours before bed.
  • Carbonated drinks – The carbonation in soda can cause the stomach to distend and bloat, placing extra strain on the lower esophageal sphincter.

Source: Fishertitus.org

While no proven “GERD diet” exists, the following foods may help you ease or avoid symptoms. Here’s the list of foods that you can eat:

Eating right for GERD does not have to mean cutting out all of your favorite foods. Making just a few, simple modifications to your current diet is often enough to help reduce the discomforts of GERD. The goal is to create a diet based on a healthy variety of foods that include fruits and vegetables, lean sources of protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats.

Source: AboutGERD.org

The good news: GERD is mostly preventable, if you make a few healthy lifestyle changes.

Top 9 Ways to Prevent GERD

  • Lose weight – Obesity is the leading cause of GERD. Extra stomach fat places pressure on your abdomen, pushing gastric juices up into your esophagus. 
  • Avoid foods known to cause reflux 
  • Eat smaller meals – Large meals fill the stomach and put pressure on the LES, making reflux and GERD more likely.
  • Don’t lie down after eating – Wait at least three hours before you lie down after a meal. Gravity normally helps keep acid reflux from developing.
  • Elevate your bed – Raising the head of your bed six to eight inches can help gravity keep gastric acid down in your stomach.
  • Quit smoking – Some studies have found that nicotine can relax the muscles of the LES and can also interfere with your saliva’s ability to clear acid out of the esophagus.
  • Cut back on alcohol – As with smoking, alcohol can cause the LES to relax. Alcohol can also cause the esophageal muscles to spasm.
  • Wear loose-fitting clothes – Do not wear tight clothing or belts that can constrict your stomach.
  • Try a gluten-free diet – At least one study has found that gluten, a protein found in grains like barley, rye, and wheat, may cause or exacerbate GERD symptoms. 

Diet and lifestyle changes often begin with what to avoid.

Can a massage technique help treat acid reflux?

According to a preliminary trial, massaging the connective tissue surrounding the diaphragm could significantly reduce acid reflux for people with gastroesophageal reflux disease. A group of researchers recently investigated a drug-free way to alleviate gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), or acid reflux. The scientists involved in the most recent study investigated whether a type of massage called myofascial release (MFR) might relieve the symptoms of GERD.

Source: Medical News Today

Proper treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) always begins with a visit to a healthcare professional to obtain an accurate diagnosis. It is important to recognize that chronic reflux does not get better on its own. Over-the-counter remedies may provide short-term symptom relief, but can mask an underlying disease if used long-term.

 

 

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