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Acid Reflux Tips

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease - How Can It Be Managed?

Dr. Srishail Chiniwalar 87% (90 ratings)
DNB ( Surgical Gastroenterology), Membership of The Royal College of Surgeons (MRCS), MBBS, MS - General Surgery
Gastroenterologist, Hubli-Dharwad
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease - How Can It Be Managed?

GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disease is a chronic digestive disease which occurs when the stomach acid and at times the contents in your stomach flows backwards into the food pipe. The backwash or reflux irritates the esophagus's lining and hence causes GERD. Individuals may manage GERD's discomfort by changing their lifestyle and by taking over-the-counter or OTC medications. But, certain people might also require stronger medications or surgery for reducing the symptoms.

Some of the basic signs include chest pain, burning sensation in the chest, dry cough, difficulty in swallowing, sore throat, etc. If you experience such symptoms at least twice a week or if your physician notices damage in your food pipe, then you might undergo diagnosis. Though drugs are the primary GERD treatment yet, an individual can manage it by following certain tips which may give relief.

Few ways to manage GERD- self-care tips:

  1. One of the effective ways to help yourself is by consuming smaller meals. Instead of taking three big meals regularly, you may try having smaller meals frequently and avoid stuffing.
  2. Almost all individuals tend to have dinner just half an hour before sleep, but this might affect GERD patients. It is best to eat 2 hours before going to bed as by doing so your stomach will get enough time to digest the food.
  3. Due to a hectic schedule and fast paced lifestyle, people tend to eat as quickly as possible. To manage GERD, one must eat slowly and put down the spoon or fork in between each bite.
  4. Changing the daily diet by striking off the trigger foods is beneficial in managing GERD symptoms. Though the food triggers vary from one person to another yet, it includes coffee, chocolate, peppermint, alcohol, tomato, citrus juices, onions, spicy and high- fat foods, etc.
  5. Sleeping with the head end of the bed elevated by 6 inches is a very effective way of reducing night time reflux. It is also advisable to sleep on your left side . Never sleep on the right side as this position promotes reflux. Medications to reduce acid production are the mainstay of the medical treatment.
  6. One always has to ensure that they are following the various lifestyle changes along with the medication. Other medications include pro kinetic medicines which help the stomach empty. Surgery always remains the last resort in the treatment of GERD. Endoscopy is required for the diagnosis or GERD Prior to any surgery a Manometry and 24 hr ph merry test is compulsory.

If you are suffering from GERD symptoms frequently, then you may maintain a diary for figuring out which foods are giving you trouble.

When is a surgery required?
If lifestyle changing tips and other medications fail to provide any relief, then physicians recommend undergoing surgery.

  • Surgery is done for strengthening lower esophageal sphincter and also for reinforcing it. The surgery for reinforcing lower esophageal sphincter is performed by surgeons laparoscopically. The surgeon inserts instruments like a tiny camera and flexible tube by making 3-4 incisions in the abdomen. This surgery for managing GERD may be quite effective.
  • Experts state that candidates who undergo GERD surgery are those who are unwilling to take GERD drugs or are not getting relief from them. While choosing a surgeon, it is better to consider one who possesses huge experience of the particular operation which you need and also with a good track record.
  • So, you must visit a doctor if you experience frequent gastroesophageal reflux disease symptoms. It won't be a good decision to take OTC medications without your doctor's recommendation if you notice arm or jaw pain along with difficulty in breathing as these are signs of heart attack.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

1984 people found this helpful

Acute & Chronic Pyelonephritis - How Can It Be Treated?

MD - General Medicine, DM - Gastroenterology
Gastroenterologist, Jaipur
Acute & Chronic Pyelonephritis - How Can It Be Treated?

Acute pyelonephritis is a suppurative inflammation of the renal parenchyma and the renal pelvis. It is a potentially life threatening condition caused by bacterial infection. It can occur suddenly and causes the kidneys to swell, which may damage them permanently too. If the condition occurs repeatedly, it is termed as chronic pyelonephritis.

The most common bacteria involved in causing pyelonephritis is Escherichia coli. Other causative bacteria are Klebsiella and Pseudomonas. Infection starts in the lower urinary tract as a urinary tract infection. Urethra provides an entry for the bacteria, which enter the tract and begin to multiply and spread up to the bladder. They further travel through the ureters to the kidneys. Any septic infection in the bloodstream can also spread to the kidneys and cause acute pyelonephritis.

How it spreads - Pyelonephritis spreads through two routes, homogenous or from the lower ascending tract (ascending infection).
Risk factors -  Urinary obstruction, vesicoureteral reflex, catheterization, pregnancy, Diabetes Mellitus, age over 65.

Symptoms - The symptoms are observed within two days of infection. Common symptoms include:

  • High fever of a temperature greater than 102 degree F
  • Pain in the pelvic region
  • Burning sensation during urination
  • Flank pain
  • Malaise
  • Presence of pus discharge or blood in the urine, fishy odor in urine and vomiting.

The symptoms observed can vary in children and older adults than they are in other people. Mental confusion is common in older adults and it often is their only symptom. In chronic pyelonephritis, people experience only mild symptoms or may even lack noticeable symptoms altogether, which is the major reason of negligence by the patient towards treatment. Flank pain in the abdomen and signs of infection can be observed.

Diagnosis - Uncentrifused urine is analyzed for the presence of pus cells. The leucocyte esterase dipstick method is used to check for Pyuria. However, it is less sensitive than microscopy. In the urine culture, significant bacteriuria is detected on presence of more than 105 colonies/ml of the sample. Imaging studies can be done to check for the presence of kidney stones. Amongst the inflammatory markers, the values of C-reactive protein (CRP), ESR, and plasma viscosity may be raised. An elevated white cell count with neutrophilia is seen on blood culture.


Complications - Abscess formation in either the kidney parenchyma or the surrounding retroperitoneal spaces is a common complication. Other complications include the development of a xantho-granulomatous or emphysematous pyelonephritis. In severe cases, there can be chronic renal failure too.

 

Treatment - The duration of treatment depends on spread of infection. Empirical antibiotic treatment can be started until the confirmatory tests reports of culture and sensitivity are observed. Antibiotics like Ciprofloxacin, Amoxicillin, Cefixime can be given. Medications for acute pyelonephritis are continued for up to 3 weeks, whereas for chronic conditions medicines should be given for 6 months.

Chronic pyelonephritis - It is a morphologic entity which is associated with a predominant interstitial inflammation and scarring of the renal parenchyma. There is a grossly visible scarring and deformation of the pelvic-calyceal system. Chronic pyelonephritis further leads to chronic renal failure.

The two forms of chronic pyelo-nephritis are

  • Chronic obstructive pyelonephritis, where obstructive lesions lead to recurrent bouts of renal inflammation
  • Reflux nephropathy.

Management includes controlling blood pressure to slow the progression of chronic kidney disease, long term antibiotic coverage for urinary tract infection, removal of calculi and antibiotic prophylaxis for vesico-ureteral reflex.

4 people found this helpful

Acid Reflux And Oesophagitis Heartburn

Dr. Vijan Sharan 94% (16 ratings)
MBBS, Doctor of Medicine, Member of the Royal College of Physicians, UK (MRCP UK)
General Physician, Patna
Acid Reflux And Oesophagitis Heartburn

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.

Endoscopy-negative reflux disease. This term is used when someone has typical symptoms of reflux but endoscopy is normal.A test to check the acidity inside the oesophagus may be done if the diagnosis is not clear. Other tests such as heart tracings, chest X-ray, etc, may be done to rule out other conditions if the symptoms are not typical.

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
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.

Acid-suppressing medicines

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.

6 people found this helpful

Pre & Post Workout Meal - Why Is It Important?

Dt. Riyaz Khan 91% (3166 ratings)
Diploma In Diet & Nutrition
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Hyderabad
Pre & Post Workout Meal - Why Is It Important?

Eating the right food at the right time is essential to in order to complete your fitness goal. While there exist many theories on the importance of workout meal, there are some simple rules which when followed can fetch great results. The right amount of nutrition pre and post workout can go a long way in ensuring that the body responds well to the stress.

Why is nutrient timing an important component of the exercise regime?
Consider your body as a machine, it is imperative that a well-maintained machine with the right fuel at the right time will have more longevity compared to others. The same holds true for the body as well. To maximize the output of the gym, it is necessary to consume the right nutrients for the body. A right meal just before the gym session can result in a great workout session. This, in turn, means an inch closer to the fitness goal. Similarly, the post workout meal ensures that muscles are adequately refueled and the blood sugar level is well maintained. Another advantage of the right pre and post workout meal is the fact that it helps the body to work out for a longer duration.

Know the carbohydrate
Instead of blindly choosing an energy drink, it makes sense to choose the right carbohydrate. There are 2 types of carbohydrate- simple and complex. Eventually, all carbohydrates are broken down into simple carbohydrates. Both have their own role to play. As per various studies, it has been proved that the best time to consume complex carbohydrate such as brown rice, oats and brown grains is before a couple of hours of the workout session. It ensures that the body is provided with a gradual supply of energy throughout the session. After a workout session, much of the glycogen gets depleted from the muscles. It is, therefore, essential to consume simple carbohydrate after a gym session. It readily supplies instant energy and carb to the muscles. Some good source of simple carbohydrate includes sugar, candy bar, sweet bread, fruits etc.

The next meal after workout
Post workout, the simple carbohydrate gets absorbed by the body way too fast. It is, therefore, necessary to have a good meal couple of hours after the workout session. Some good to consume food include green veggies, fruit salad etc. It helps in suppressing the appetite and make a person feel full.

What should be the protein count?
While there are many recommendations out there, a good way to determine the protein count is to consume 1.1 gm to 1.2 gm per kilogram of body weight. However, there is no magic number. 25-35 grams of protein needs to be consumed in every meal. Ideally, protein intake should happen a couple of hours before the workout and couple of hours after the workout session.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

2330 people found this helpful

Can Autoimmune Disorders Be The Cause Behind Achalasia?

Dr. Arulprakash S 88% (54 ratings)
DNB- Gastroenterology, DM - Gastroenterology, DNB, MD, MBBS
Gastroenterologist, Chennai
Can Autoimmune Disorders Be The Cause Behind Achalasia?

The tube that carries food to your stomach from your throat is called the oesophagus. When the muscular valve (lower oesophagus sphincter) in the oesophagus fails to relax and carry the food to the stomach, the condition is termed as achalasia.

Achalasia has a variety of causes, and can be difficult for your doctor to diagnose the exact cause. Some common causes of achalasia include:

  1. Hereditary predispositions
  2. Autoimmune disorders (The immune system erroneously destroys healthy cells in the body)
  3. Nerve degeneration in the oesophagus

There other medical conditions that often lead to symptoms identical to achalasia, such as oesophageal cancer and Chagas’ disease (an infectious disease caused by a parasite).

Other symptoms of achalasia include:

The most prominent symptom of achalasia is dysphagia, which is characterised by swallowing difficulties or sensations of food stuck in the oesophagus. Dysphagia often triggers coughing and shortness of breath or choking on food.

  1. Discomfort or pain in the chest
  2. Weight loss
  3. Heartburn
  4. Intense discomfort or pain after eating

Some of the treatments include:

Most of the methods to treat achalasia focus on the lower oesophageal sphincter (LES). The treatments used can either permanently alter the sphincter’s function, or reduce symptoms.

  1. Oral medications such as calcium channel blockers or nitrates are prescribed, which can relax the LES to let food pass through with more ease. Your doctor may also treat the LES with Botox.
  2. For a more permanent treatment, the sphincter can be dilated or altered. In dilation, a balloon is inserted into the oesophagus and it is inflated. This will stretch out your oesophagus to improve function.
  3. To alter the oesophagus, oesophagomyotomy is performed. It is a kind of surgery where minimal incisions are made to gain access to the LES, and then it is carefully altered to improve flow of food to the stomach.

Unlike dilation, which can cause complications such as tears in the oesophagus, oesophagomyotomy has a greater success rate. However, certain complications may still arise, such as:

  1. Acid reflux
  2. Respiratory conditions that are caused by food entering your windpipe

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

2685 people found this helpful

Abdominal Problem: Few Ways to Deal With It

Dr. Rajeev Kumar Bansal 92% (21 ratings)
DNB(Gastroenterology), Gujarat University
Gastroenterologist, Ahmedabad
Abdominal Problem: Few Ways to Deal With It

Undigested food that lurks around in the digestive tract produces a host of disorders due to intestinal distress. These disorders range from acidity to gastro-oesophageal reflux and even colon diseases like cancer, irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, gallstones, ulcers and Crohn's disease. Cramps, nausea, vomiting, loose motions, gas, and acidity are some of the most common symptoms that visit the patient as a result of such ailments. There are many ways of dealing with such intestinal distress, as follows :-

  1. Diet: Introduce plenty of fibre into your diet to aid the digestion process. This can cut the risk of many such ailments and also aid in the treatment of the same. Intestinal distress is largely caused by food that is still lurking around in the digestive tract, so it is important to clean out the digestive system with plenty of fibre and water.
  2. Nutrition for better Digestive System Health: Food that is rich in minerals, vitamins, antioxidants and iron will help in creating a stronger system that cleanses the digestive tract and helps in reducing the production of excess acid in the stomach. A balanced diet with plenty of nutrition aids digestion and makes the immunity stronger.
  3. Study your Triggers: Watch out for foods that can trigger reflux action and other acidity related issues on the intake. These can include fatty food, fried and oily food as well as extremely spicy food. Stress is also a major trigger of intestinal distress, so it would be a good idea to avoid stressful situations or take medical help to deal with them in a better manner.
  4. Medication: Antacids and other medication to prevent the onset and growth of such distress can be sought out after due consultation with a medical practitioner. Medication will help in dealing with and altering the acid level production in the stomach.
  5. Surgery: In very extreme cases like ulcers and large size gallstones, surgery may be helpful so that you avoid rupturing the stomach's lining which can lead to a serious infection or even internal bleeding.

Knowing your triggers and getting into a better routine as far as your diet goes is as important as seeing a doctor about the severity of your case when it comes to intestinal distress.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

1714 people found this helpful

Heartburn - Say 'No' To These 3 Foods!

Dr. Parthasarathy G 89% (30 ratings)
MBBS, MS - General Surgery, M.Ch - Surgical Gastroenterology/G.I. Surgery, Fellowship in Hepatobiliary Surgery & Liver Transplantation, International Visiting Scholar
Surgical Gastroenterologist, Hyderabad
Heartburn - Say 'No' To These 3 Foods!

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:

  1. Chocolate: To start off, there is something which is surprisingly a cause for heartburn and is likely to be the cause of a lot of disappointment: chocolate. The sad thing about chocolate is that the key things it is known to cause reflux. Take, for example, cocoa; it is a prime cause for reflux. Also, the caffeine in chocolate as well as something called theobromine is the major culprits of reflux. If a person who loves chocolate seems to be suffering from reflux, he or she knows why now!
  2. Coffee: Talking about caffeine, the automatic suspect that is coffee is deeply guilty, as well! Having coffee once in a while may not cause much harm but making it a habit leads to a person setting himself or herself up for a lot of heartburn.
  3. Soda: Anything which is acidic is not good for reflux but the thing is that most sodas are very acidic! This is also the case when it comes to fruit, though fruit is generally said to be good for the body. Certain types of fruit, like citrus fruit only worsens the effects of heartburn and can cause a whole load of discomfort to the person who eats them.

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!

3214 people found this helpful

what is acid reflux diet

Dr. A.A Khan 93% (1030 ratings)
MBBS,CCA,DCA,AASECT,FPA,AAD,F.H.R.SM.I.M.S
General Physician, Bangalore

Going on an acid reflux diet is often the best strategy for improving the acidity levels in your gut and relieving your symptoms.

What is the acid reflux diet?

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.

  • ´┐╝Foods to include
  • Ginger
  • Oatmeal
  • Aloe vera juice
  • Melon
  • Chicken
  • Fish
  • Banana
  • Parsley
  • Celery
  • Avocados
  • Olive oil
  • Pears
  • Egg whites
  • Foods to avoid
  • Egg yolks
  • Bacon
  • Fatty cuts of meat
  • Sour cream
  • High-fat dairy products
  • Junk food
  • Ice cream
  • Creamy salad dressings
  • Gravy
  • Garlic and onions
  • Spicy foods
  • Chocolate
  • Caffeine
  • Citrus fruits

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.

Alcohol

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.

Clothing choice

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.

Smoking

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.

Losing weight

Extra weight means more pressure on yourstomach, which can worsen your symptoms, so try to shed some pounds.

Meal structure

Eating smaller meals more often will reduce the workload of your gut and help to improve your acidic balance.

 

6 people found this helpful

Achalasia - Can Autoimmune Disorders be the Reason Behind it?

Dr. Piyush Ranjan 86% (10 ratings)
DM - Gastroenterology, MD - General Medicine, DNB (Medical), MBBS
Gastroenterologist, Delhi
Achalasia - Can Autoimmune Disorders be the Reason Behind it?

The tube that carries food to your stomach from your throat is called the oesophagus. When the muscular valve (lower oesophagus sphincter) in the oesophagus fails to relax and carry the food to the stomach, the condition is termed as achalasia.

Achalasia has a variety of causes, and can be difficult for your doctor to diagnose the exact cause. Some common causes of achalasia include:
1. Hereditary predispositions
2. Autoimmune disorders (The immune system erroneously destroys healthy cells in the body)
3. Nerve degeneration in the oesophagus
There other medical conditions that often lead to symptoms identical to achalasia, such as oesophageal cancer and Chagas’ disease (an infectious disease caused by a parasite).

Other symptoms of achalasia include:

The most prominent symptom of achalasia is dysphagia, which is characterised by swallowing difficulties or sensations of food stuck in the oesophagus. Dysphagia often triggers coughing and shortness of breath or choking on food.
1. Discomfort or pain in the chest
2. Weight loss
3. Heartburn
4. Intense discomfort or pain after eating

Some of the treatments include:

Most of the methods to treat achalasia focus on the lower oesophageal sphincter (LES). The treatments used can either permanently alter the sphincter’s function, or reduce symptoms.
1. Oral medications such as calcium channel blockers or nitrates are prescribed, which can relax the LES to let food pass through with more ease. Your doctor may also treat the LES with Botox.
2. For a more permanent treatment, the sphincter can be dilated or altered. In dilation, a balloon is inserted into the oesophagus and it is inflated. This will stretch out your oesophagus to improve function.
3. To alter the oesophagus, oesophagomyotomy is performed. It is a kind of surgery where minimal incisions are made to gain access to the LES, and then it is carefully altered to improve flow of food to the stomach.

Unlike dilation, which can cause complications such as tears in the oesophagus, oesophagomyotomy has a greater success rate. However, certain complications may still arise, such as:
1. Acid reflux
2. Respiratory conditions that are caused by food entering your windpipe

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

2509 people found this helpful

Gastroesphageal Reflux Disease - How Can It Be Managed?

Dr. Piyush Ranjan 86% (10 ratings)
DM - Gastroenterology, MD - General Medicine, DNB (Medical), MBBS
Gastroenterologist, Delhi
Gastroesphageal Reflux Disease - How Can It Be Managed?

GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disease is a chronic digestive disease which occurs when the stomach acid and at times the contents in your stomach flows backwards into the food pipe. The backwash or reflux irritates the esophagus's lining and hence causes GERD. Individuals may manage GERD's discomfort by changing their lifestyle and by taking over-the-counter or OTC medications. But, certain people might also require stronger medications or surgery for reducing the symptoms.

Some of the basic signs include chest pain, burning sensation in the chest, dry cough, difficulty in swallowing, sore throat, etc. If you experience such symptoms at least twice a week or if your physician notices damage in your food pipe, then you might undergo diagnosis. Though drugs are the primary GERD treatment yet, an individual can manage it by following certain tips which may give relief.

Few ways to manage GERD- self-care tips:

  1. One of the effective ways to help yourself is by consuming smaller meals. Instead of taking three big meals regularly, you may try having smaller meals frequently and avoid stuffing.
  2. Almost all individuals tend to have dinner just half an hour before sleep, but this might affect GERD patients. It is best to eat 2 hours before going to bed as by doing so your stomach will get enough time to digest the food.
  3. Due to a hectic schedule and fast paced lifestyle, people tend to eat as quickly as possible. To manage GERD, one must eat slowly and put down the spoon or fork in between each bite.
  4. Changing the daily diet by striking off the trigger foods is beneficial in managing GERD symptoms. Though the food triggers vary from one person to another yet, it includes coffee, chocolate, peppermint, alcohol, tomato, citrus juices, onions, spicy and high- fat foods, etc.
  5. Sleeping with the head end of the bed elevated by 6 inches is a very effective way of reducing night time reflux. It is also advisable to sleep on your left side . Never sleep on the right side as this position promotes reflux. Medications to reduce acid production are the mainstay of the medical treatment.
  6. One always has to ensure that they are following the various lifestyle changes along with the medication. Other medications include pro kinetic medicines which help the stomach empty. Surgery always remains the last resort in the treatment of GERD. Endoscopy is required for the diagnosis or GERD Prior to any surgery a Manometry and 24 hr ph merry test is compulsory.

If you are suffering from GERD symptoms frequently, then you may maintain a diary for figuring out which foods are giving you trouble.

When is a surgery required?
If lifestyle changing tips and other medications fail to provide any relief, then physicians recommend undergoing surgery.

  • Surgery is done for strengthening lower esophageal sphincter and also for reinforcing it. The surgery for reinforcing lower esophageal sphincter is performed by surgeons laparoscopically. The surgeon inserts instruments like a tiny camera and flexible tube by making 3-4 incisions in the abdomen. This surgery for managing GERD may be quite effective.
  • Experts state that candidates who undergo GERD surgery are those who are unwilling to take GERD drugs or are not getting relief from them. While choosing a surgeon, it is better to consider one who possesses huge experience of the particular operation which you need and also with a good track record.
  • So, you must visit a doctor if you experience frequent gastroesophageal reflux disease symptoms. It won't be a good decision to take OTC medications without your doctor's recommendation if you notice arm or jaw pain along with difficulty in breathing as these are signs of heart attack. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
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