Going on an acid reflux diet is often the best strategy for improving the acidity levels in your gut and relieving your symptoms.
The acid reflux diet is designed to help improve digestive health, eliminate the symptoms of acid reflux, and boost your immune system to prevent this type of stomach disorder. The amount of acid your stomach produces is largely dependent on the foods that you eat, so shaping your diet to avoid acid-producing foods is essential. The more common name for acid reflux is heartburn, a condition in which digestive juices enter the esophagus, which can result in a burning sensation. Some of the other common symptoms of acid reflux include chest pains and trouble digesting certain foods. This diet can re-set your stomach and also establish healthy dietary habits, which will prevent these symptoms in the future.
Diet for acid reflux
When following an acid reflux diet, there are many foods that are safe to eat and can help remedy these symptoms.
Lifestyle changes to avoid acid reflux
Aside from altering your diet, there are also some lifestyle changes that can help to remedy the symptoms acid reflux, including quitting smoking, consuming less alcohol, and trying to lose weight.
Consuming alcohol beyond moderation is bad for your health in a number of ways, but when it comes to acid reflux disease, it can worsen the symptoms and bring on more frequent attacks. In other words, cut back on the booze and you’ll feel a lot better.
Wearing tight and restrictive clothing, particularly around the waist or belt areas, can make the symptoms of acid reflux worse, as your stomach will be unnaturally squeezed.
For various reasons, smoking can make it more difficult for your stomach to keep acids out of your esophagus, so making a concerted effort to quit can go a long way towards your comfort.
Extra weight means more pressure on yourstomach, which can worsen your symptoms, so try to shed some pounds.
Eating smaller meals more often will reduce the workload of your gut and help to improve your acidic balance.
Picture this, you're in a restaurant for a lunch date with your friend. It's a great place and the food is delicious. While you're having a super time, you suddenly start feeling a discomfort in your chest area, and your appetite completely goes down the drain. Chances are that you might be experiencing heartburn.
Heartburn is something which is used in both the literal and metaphorical senses. However, the discomfort it entails means that it is no joking matter and your food intake habits are probably responsible if you suffer from it!
The good thing about heartburn causing foods is that they are easily recognisable, which is quite great. But, they make up a large portion of people's normal diets, which is not as great, as they are hard to refrain from. A few common examples are listed below:
A lot of the foods, which should be avoided actually have their own health benefits. The case in point is garlic. But, a person should try to have food like cottage cheese or lean chicken, both of which do not cause any heartburn at all. Also, keeping away from food that is fried has a range of benefits from lower consumption of fat, to a reduced risk of cancer as well as a massive drop in heartburn. Deep fried foods should be avoided like the plague!
The rule of the thumb when it comes to the issue of heartburn is that if anything happens to be acidic, it is likely to cause heartburn to be aggravated. As long as a person can keep this in mind as a guiding principle, there is no way that they will be suffering from heartburn any more.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
The esophagus is the tube that carries food from the throat to the stomach. However, it is not just a simple tube. The lower esophagus has a specialized muscle around it that usually stays tightly closed, opening only to allow food and liquid into the stomach. It acts to prevent the reflux of stomach acid into the esophagus.
Symptoms occur when this specialized muscle weakens and allows stomach acid to splash up into the esophagus. These symptoms include heartburn, chest discomfort, and bitter fluid flowing up into the mouth. Chest discomfort can occur. If the stomach juice trickles into the breathing tubes, hoarseness, cough, and even shortness of breath can occur. This entire problem is called gerd (gastroesophageal reflux disease). A number of factors, including certain foods, may cause the lower esophageal muscle to relax, causing gerd.
Normally, your body would use pepsin to digest protein, but this enzyme is most effective in very acidic environments like the one found in your stomach. Those on acid reducing diets, as is often recommended for gerd patients, may find the digestion of proteins difficult, resulting in pain and reflux.
Adding pineapple and papaya to your gerd diet can help alleviate these symptoms by facilitating the breakdown of proteins.
2. Iodized salt.
Now, we have always heard that salt is bad for us and we should avoid it. Well, if you have gerd, you may have to hand over the chocolate, but you do get to sprinkle a little bit of salt on those veggies in your gerd diet.
Low iodine levels can contribute to hypothyroidism which is often associated with acid reflux. Many people today use sea salt which has not been iodized, so if this is the case, you should add some regular salt to your diet.
If you are unable to eat salt due to health issues, you should consider taking an iodine supplement. Low sodium levels have also been connected to acid reflux, so make sure you have at least a little salt in your gerd diet.
3. Omega-3 fatty acids.
This is controversial since many people say that adding omega-3s to their gerd diet significantly reduced gerd symptoms, while others claim that it actually made them worse.
Similarly, fatty fish (a high source of omega-3) is on the “avoid” list, but many gerd sufferers say that they have no problem eating salmon or tuna.
If you are able to handle omega-3s, the health and healing of the fish oil benefits are effective in boosting immunity and repairing damage. A fish oil supplement may also be taken if your body reacts better to this option.
What to avoid on a gerd diet?
Although specific foods to avoid may vary from person to person, there are a few general guidelines that may help reduce symptoms of gerd.
1. Spicy food.
Certain hot spices are known to irritate the esophagus and cause heartburn. Avoiding these may help prevent painful symptoms and reduce the risk of ulcerations.
2. Trans fats and high fat foods.
High fat foods, particularly those that contain trans fats, can cause reflux because of the large amounts of acid required to digest them. Foods with a high fat content have been linked to a decrease in les pressure and a delay in stomach emptying which can also lead to acid reflux.
As well, dangerous trans fats have been connected to esophageal disease, and since gerd can also contribute to complications with the esophagus, it is best to eliminate them from your gerd diet.
3. Very hot food and liquid.
It is best to let food and beverages cool a little before consuming since very hot substances have been linked to stomach and intestinal ulcers, which can intensify the symptoms of acid reflux.
4. Mint and chocolate.
Both peppermint and chocolate contain chemicals that can stimulate the release of stomach acids while also relaxing the smooth muscle sphincter between the stomach and esophagus, often resulting in acid reflux and heartburn.
Alcohol irritates the lining of the stomach and is actually one of the most reported causes of heartburn.
6. Your own trigger foods.
Given the complex nature of gerd, this one has to be added. I know it is repetitive, but everyone has certain foods that irritate their condition and cause severe symptoms. Make a list of these foods and avoid them in the future.
Acid Reflux and Oesophagitis Heartburn
Acid Reflux and heartburn are a very common problem faced by many of us. And so I decided to discuss in a very simplified way.
Let us understand the oesophagus and stomach first
When we eat, food passes down the gullet (oesophagus) into the stomach. Cells in the lining of the stomach make acid and other chemicals which help to digest food. Stomach cells also make mucus which protects them from damage from the acid. The cells lining the oesophagus are different and have little protection from acid.
There is a circular band of muscle (a sphincter) at the junction between the oesophagus and stomach. This relaxes to allow food down but then normally tightens up and stops food and acid leaking up (refluxing) into the oesophagus. In effect, the sphincter acts like a valve.
What are Acid reflux and oesophagitis?
Acid reflux means that some acid leaks up (refluxes) into the gullet (oesophagus).
Oesophagitis means inflammation of the lining of the oesophagus. Most cases of oesophagitis are due to reflux of stomach acid which irritates the inside lining of the oesophagus.
The lining of the oesophagus can cope with a certain amount of acid. However, it is more sensitive to acid in some people. Therefore, some people develop symptoms with only a small amount of reflux. However, some people have a lot of reflux without developing oesophagitis or symptoms.
What is Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD)
This is a general term which describes the range of situations - acid reflux, with or without oesophagitis and symptoms.
What are the symptoms of acid reflux and oesophagitis?
Heartburn: this is the main symptom. This is a burning feeling which rises from the upper tummy (abdomen) or lower chest up towards the neck. (It is confusing, as it has nothing to do with the heart!)
Other common symptoms: these include pain in the upper abdomen and chest, feeling sick, an acid taste in the mouth, bloating, belching, indigestion and a burning pain when we swallow hot drinks. Like heartburn, these symptoms tend to come and go and tend to be worse after a meal.
Some other uncommon symptoms: these may occur and if they do, can make the diagnosis difficult, as these symptoms can mimic other conditions. For example A persistent cough, particularly at night, sometimes occurs. This is due to the refluxed acid irritating the windpipe (trachea). Asthma symptoms of cough and wheeze can sometimes be due to acid leaking up (reflux).
Other mouth and throat symptoms sometimes occur, such as gum problems, bad breath, sore throat, hoarseness and a feeling of a lump in the throat.
Severe chest pain develops in some cases (and may be mistaken for a heart attack).
What causes acid reflux and whom does it affect?
The circular band of muscle (sphincter) at the bottom of the gullet (oesophagus) normally prevents acid leaking up (refux). Problems occur if the sphincter does not work very well. This is common but in most cases it is not known why it does not work so well. In some cases, the pressure in the stomach rises higher than the sphincter can withstand - for example, during pregnancy, after a large meal, or when bending forward.
What are the causes of Heartburn and what are the Treatment options
Most people have heartburn at some time, perhaps after a large meal. However, about 1 adult in 3 has some heartburn every few days, and nearly 1 adult in 10 has heartburn at least once a day. In many cases it is mild and soon passes. However, it is quite common for symptoms to be frequent or severe enough to affect the quality of life. Regular heartburn is more common in smokers, pregnant women, heavy drinkers, those who are overweight and those aged between 35 and 64 years.
What tests can be done to arrive at the diagnosis?
Tests are not usually necessary if you have typical symptoms. Many people experiencing acid leaking up (refluxing) into the gullet (oesophagus) are diagnosed with 'presumed acid reflux'. In this situation, they have typical symptoms and the symptoms are eased by treatment. Tests may be advised if symptoms are severe, or do not improve with treatment, or are not typical of GORD.
Gastroscopy (endoscopy) is the common test. A thin, flexible telescope is passed down the oesophagus into the stomach. This allows a doctor to look inside. With inflammation of the lining of the oesophagus (oesophagitis), the lower part of the oesophagus looks red and inflamed. However, if it looks normal it does not rule out acid reflux. Some people are very sensitive to small amounts of acid and can have symptoms with little or no inflammation to see. Two terms that are often used after an endoscopy are:
Oesophagitis. This term is used when the oesophagus can be seen to be inflamed.
What can be done to relieve with symptoms?
The following are commonly advised. However, there has been little research to prove how well these lifestyle changes help to ease reflux:
Smoking. The chemicals from cigarettes relax the circular band of muscle (sphincter) at the bottom of the gullet (oesophagus) and make acid leaking up (refluxing) more likely. Symptoms may ease if you are a smoker and stop smoking.Some foods and drinks may make reflux worse in some people. It is thought that some foods may relax the sphincter and allow more acid to rfleux. It is difcult to be certain how much foods contribute. Let common sense be your guide. If it seems that a food is causing symptoms then try avoiding it for a while to see if symptoms improve. Foods and drinks that have been suspected of making symptoms worse in some people include peppermint, tomatoes, chocolates, hot drinks, coffee and alcoholic drinks. Also, avoiding large-volume meals may help.
There are some medicines which can make symptoms worse. They may irritate the oesophagus or relax the sphincter muscle and make acid reflux more likely. The most common culprits are anti-inflammatory painkillers (such as ibuprofen or aspirin). Others include diazepam, theophylline, calcium-channel blockers (such as nifedipine) and nitrates. But this is not a complete list.
Weight. If you are overweight it puts extra pressure on the stomach and encourages acid reflux. Losing some weight may ease the symptoms.
Posture. Lying down or bending forward a lot during the day encourages reflux. Sitting hunched or wearing tight belts may put extra pressure on the stomach, which may make any reflux worse.
Bedtime. If symptoms recur most nights, the following may help: Go to bed with an empty, dry stomach. To do this, don't eat in the last three hours before bedtime and don't drink in the last two hours before bedtime.
If you are able, try raising the head of the bed by 10-20 cm (for example, putting two normal sized pillows under your head. This helps gravity to keep acid from refluxing into the oesophagus.
What are the treatments for acid reflux and oesophagitis?
Antacids are alkaline liquids or tablets that reduce the amount of acid. A dose usually gives quick relief. There are many brands which you can buy. You can also obtain some on prescription. You can use antacids 'as required' for mild or infrequent bouts of heartburn.
If you have symptoms frequently then see a doctor. An acid-suppressing medicine will usually be advised. Two groups of acid-suppressing medicines are available - proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) and histamine receptor blockers (H2 blockers). They work in different ways but both reduce (suppress) the amount of acid that the stomach makes. PPIs include omeprazole, lansoprazole, pantoprazole, rabeprazole and esomeprazole. H2 blockers include cimetidine, famotidine, nizatidine and ranitidine.
In general, a PPI is used first, as these medicines tend to work better than H2 blockers. A common initial plan is to take a full-dose course of a PPI for a month or so. This often settles symptoms down and allows any inflammation in the gullet (oesophagus) to clear. After this, all that you may need is to go back to antacids 'as required' or to take a short course of an acid-suppressing medicine 'as required.
However, some people need long-term daily acid-suppressing treatment. Without medication, their symptoms return quickly. Long-term treatment with an acid-suppressing medicine is thought to be safe and side-effects are uncommon. The aim is to take a full-dose course for a month or so to settle symptoms. After this, it is common to 'step down' the dose to the lowest dose that prevents symptoms. However, the maximum full dose taken each day is needed by some people.
If you have any question you can write down to me.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is a form of digestive disorder, which affects the lower oesophageal sphincters or the muscle ring present between the stomach and the food pipe. GERD incorporates the return of the contents of the stomach back to the oesophagus or food pipe. The functioning of the lower oesophageal sphincter is disrupted.
Causes: Hiatal hernia is a common cause of GERD. An unhealthy lifestyle and diet may also lead to GERD. Intake of an excess amount of chocolates, fried food, coffee or alcohol triggers the chance of a reflux. GERD also occurs in obese people and pregnant women.
Symptoms: Heartburn, also known as acid indigestion, is the primary symptom of GERD. The affected person may feel a burning chest pain which starts from behind the breastbone and reaches up to the throat. The feeling can be defined as food coming back to the throat with a bitter, acidic taste. The burning sensation may last as long as two hours.
Other symptoms include:
In order to diagnose GERD, several tests may be conducted . They are:
GERD is a digestive disorder, which causes disruption in digestion, as reflux from the stomach is returned to the oesophagus. Proper treatment measures should be taken.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, as it is commonly known is a digestive disorder that is caused primarily due to intestinal distress. GERD is caused in the muscle that lies between the oesophagus and the stomach, when the acid produced in the stomach starts to flow backwards. For patients suffering from GERD, the acids flow back into the oesophagus instead of the stomach, causing symptoms like severe heartburn, chest pain and nausea, among others.
So what does one do to deal with GERD? Here's a brief list:
Making lifestyle changes is one of the best ways to deal with GERD. Yet, it would be best to see a doctor regarding severe cases where the symptoms do not abate and medication may be required.