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Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

Written and reviewed by
BSC Food & Science Nutrition, MSC Clinical Nutrition & Dietetics, PG Certificate Course Diabetes Education
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Navi Mumbai  •  15years experience
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I am Dt. Lavanya Bachwal. Today I will talk about gastroesophageal reflux disease. The patients' complaint about heartburn, pain in the chest, etc. GERD is also is known as acid reflux disease. Whenever you eat food, it passes through your esophagus and there is a small tissue at the bottom of your esophagus called as a lower esophageal sphincter. So that contracts and expands as you take your food down. Once the food reaches your stomach, the sphincter closes. In GERD, the sphincter may not close properly thus there is a lightly hood of the food coming back to the esophagus and because the food is highly acidic in nature, it may erode the esophageal lining and the reason why people may feel why they are having heartburn and chest pain in the upper region of the chest. What are the lightest symptoms of having heartburn? It could be hiccups, burning of the chest region, sore throat, changes in your voice and wheezing over a long period of time. Thus, if you identify such symptoms, then you should definitely refer to a Dr. What are the light treatments for acid reflux? So, if you go to a Dr, Your Dr may prescribe you the antacids. This is for the short term goal. They will help you to get relief from the symptoms but for the long term treatment, you should go for lifestyle management.

This medicines may lead to B12 deficiency and the acidic environment of the stomach is highly required. The next part is dietary interventions and what will help you to prevent and add on existing symptoms. What is the food that you can avoid and have in your diet while you are suffering from GERD? Every individual has a different sensitivity level so what suits one person may not recommend you. The common food that may trigger acid reflux or acidity is commonly caffeine, alcohol, peppermint, chewing gum, onion, ginger, tomato. Small and frequent meals are highly recommended. Avoid a lot of acid reflux. Avoid sleeping immediately after a meal. Anybody who is having an acid reflux episodes should ideally keep a gap of 3-4 hours in sleeping. When you are going to sleep, make sure you are in a reclining position so that the stomach food should remain in the stomach. Eat a lot of fruits and vegetables because they will always keep you healthy. Also, they are a very high source of anti-oxidant so, this will help you in keeping your immune system intact. So, fruits like apple, melon, pear are highly recommended when you are suffering from acid reflux. On the other hand, tomatoes and onions have to be restricted because they can trigger an acid response. In Indian food, we are using a lot of oil and fatty products while cooking.

Though the lean proteins are healthy the cooking format is something you need to look into. Thus lean proteins like eggs, chicken, fish, etc are recommended for eating but look into the cooking pattern. Steaming, grilling, roasting or baking is recommended rather high cooking methods. Complex carbohydrates are one of the major staples of our diet. Whole wheat grains, cereals, legumes, all these are complex carbohydrates and including them in your diet will help you in curbing your acid problem. Potatoes and other root vegetables are also something which is recommended if you are having this acidity issue or gastric reflux issue because they are very simple to digest. Thus, it will not hamper your acid content and at the same time will keep your stomach lighter. Eating healthier fat is very important. Olive oil, sunflower oil, sesame oil, peanut butter is recommended. Nuts are also recommended.

Avoid alcohol as this is one of the major causes why excessive acid production takes place. Maintain a good sitting posture and also when you are eating. Do not wear tight clothes. Avoid eating before meals as it can be a major cause of acid reflux. So, to conclude, I will say having a healthy meal is very important. The goal is to create a healthy food environment where you will eat everything and avoid certain factors which cause acid reflux. Also, if there are long-term symptoms of acid reflux, immediately take an appointment from a Dr and consult so that it can be rectified immediately. And then it will not cause any other problem which is not treatable.

Thank You!

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