Gerd Diet General Guidelines
- Stop smoking and chewing tobacco.
- Discuss your weight with your doctor. Lose weight if you are overweight.
- Do not overeat. Eat small portions at meals and snacks.
- Avoid tight clothing and tight-fitting belts. Do not lie down or bend over within the first 15-30 minutes after eating.
- Do not chew gum or suck on hard candy. Swallowing air with chewing gum and sucking on hard candy can cause belching and reflux.
- Use bricks or wood blocks to raise the head of your bed 6-8 inches.
- Do not eat/drink: chocolate, tomatoes, tomato sauces, oranges, pineapple, grapefruit, mints, coffee, alcohol, carbonated beverages, and black pepper.
- Eat a low fat diet. Fatty and greasy foods cause your stomach to produce more acid.
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What Is The Best Diet For Heartburn
That does not have to be true, however. Breakfast, lunch and dinner can be both enjoyable and heartburn-friendly if you know which foods to incorporate into your diet.
Heartburn can flare when your stomach produces too much gastric acid, and your food choices can directly affect this. Here are three meals that incorporate heartburn-reducing foods that your stomach will appreciate.
Oatmeal and Wheat: Try Whole Grains for Breakfast
Oatmeal has been a whole-grain breakfast favorite for generations. It is a good source of fiber, so it keeps you feeling full and promotes regularity. Oats also absorb stomach acid and reduce symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease . For something sweet, top your oatmeal with bananas, apples or pears. The fructose in these fruits is less likely to trigger acid reflux than other sugars. Of course, eating oatmeal every day could get boring, so switch things up with a warm bowl of Cream of Wheat, or some whole grain toast with peanut butter.
Avoid coffee and most teas that contain caffeine, which can cause heartburn. Instead, brew a soothing cup of ginger tea. Ginger has natural anti-inflammatory properties that will help regulate acid production.
Vegetables: Add Some Color and Nutrients to Your Lunch
Try these options for a light and tasty lunch:
- Baked potato with steamed broccoli
- Mixed green salad with fresh-cut vegetables and a light oil and vinegar dressing
- Veggie wrap or veggie quesadilla
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Top 15 Heartburn Remedies
Just because heartburn is common doesnt mean you have to suffer with it. Left untreated, frequent acid reflux can develop into more serious health problems. Here are the top 15 heartburn remedies
Despite humorous commercials touting heartburn remedies with funny words like plop-plop and fizz-fizz, heartburn is no joke. More than 60 million Americans suffer from it at least occasionally, according to the American College of Gastroenterology.Heartburn, also known as acid indigestion, occurs when acidic stomach juices flow backward into the esophagus, irritating the esophageal lining. The resulting pain can be uncomfortable, annoying or excruciating. It can hurt as much as a heart attack, says Paige Hastings, a certified nurse practitioner at The Little Clinic in Nashville, Tenn.But not everyone has such pain you could also feel a bitter or acidic taste in the back of your throat or the awful sensation of food or liquid washing back into your mouth and down the gullet.In fact, frequent heartburn and food sticking in the throat are signs of gastroesophageal reflux disease .Untreated, these problems can lead more serious problems, including strictures , ulcers, cancer and pneumonia, explains Patricia Raymond, MD, a gastroenterologist based in Virginia Beach, Va.
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Best Foods For Acid Reflux
A diet balanced with vegetables, protein and fruits is best, Dr. Khaitan says. Examples of the best foods for acid reflux include:
- Chicken breast Be sure to remove the fatty skin. Skip fried and instead choose baked, broiled or grilled.
- Lettuce, celery and sweet peppers These mild green veggies are easy on the stomach and wont cause painful gas.
- Brown rice This complex carbohydrate is mild and filling just dont serve it fried.
- Melons Watermelon, cantaloupe and honeydew are all low-acid fruits that are among the best foods for acid reflux.
- Oatmeal Filling, hearty and healthy, this comforting breakfast standard also works for lunch.
- Fennel This low-acid crunchy vegetable has a mild licorice flavor and a natural soothing effect.
- Ginger Steep caffeine-free ginger tea or chew on low-sugar dried ginger for a natural tummy tamer.
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How Do I Know Im Having Heartburn And Not A Heart Attack
Chest pain caused by heartburn may make you afraid youre having a heart attack. Heartburn has nothing to do with your heart, but since the discomfort is in your chest it may be hard to know the difference while its going on. But symptoms of a heart attack are different than heartburn.
Heartburn is that uncomfortable burning feeling or pain in your chest that can move up to your neck and throat. A heart attack can cause pain in the arms, neck and jaw, shortness of breath, sweating, nausea, dizziness, extreme fatigue and anxiety, among other symptoms.
If your heartburn medication doesnt help and your chest pain is accompanied by these symptoms, call for medical attention right away.
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The Gerd Diet Is Low Carb
If undigested carbs are a key driver behind heartburn, it follows that any good GERD diet should be relatively low in carbohydrates. Decreasing the amount of carbs you eat means reducing the malabsorbed carbs left behind in your gut, which can help alleviate the increased gas and IAP associated with GERD. 00073-8/abstract” rel=”nofollow”> 17)
A Note About Proton Pump Inhibitors
Proton pump inhibitors are the most effective treatments for chronic acid reflux. Theyre generally considered very safe. They reduce your bodys production of gastric acids. Unlike some other medications, you only need to take them once a day to prevent symptoms.
There are also downsides to using proton pump inhibitors on a long-term basis. Over time, they can deplete vitamin B-12 in your body. Since stomach acid is one of your bodys defenses against infection, proton pump inhibitors can also raise your risk of infection and bone fractures. In particular, they can raise your risk of hip, spine, and wrist fractures. They can also be expensive, often costing more than $100 each month.
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Should I Ignore Heartburn
Heartburn may seem like a mild nuisance rather than something to be worried about but, if youre over 50 years and have been experiencing acid reflux for some time or feel the need to keep using over-the-counter antacid tablets, its worth getting it checked out.
Cumming warns: Heartburn can be a sign of an underlying health complaint such as a gastric ulcer or oesophageal cancer and shouldnt be ignored, especially in older people. Suffering in silence when you have long-term heartburn symptoms could lead to potentially serious conditions being diagnosed later, when they are more advanced with complications, and are harder to treat.
A Pharmacist Can Help With Heartburn And Acid Reflux
Speak to a pharmacist for advice if you keep getting heartburn.
They can recommend medicines called antacids that can help ease your symptoms.
Its best to take these with food or soon after eating, as this is when youre most likely to get heartburn. They may also work for longer if taken with food.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Acid Reflux
Symptoms vary from a warm to burning pain felt in the middle of the chest, which rises up towards the throat. Some sufferers complain of an unpleasant taste in the mouth or bad breath. All of these symptoms are understandable when you consider that reflux involves the acidic contents of the stomach repeating into the gullet or oesophagus. At its mildest this is unpleasant, but can become more serious. Whilst the stomach lining protects itself against the acidity needed for digestion, if enough reflux makes its way back into the oesophagus, this may, over time, lead to inflammation and even ulcers.
Fennel And Green Vegetables
Fennel is not common in Western diets, but it can be a delicious, heartburn friendly addition to your diet.
Fennel is considered a low acid vegetable, so it should be safe for most people who have heartburn.
An easy way to add fennel to your diet is to slice the bottom white part and put in with your salads. It can also be eaten just how it is for a crunchy, slightly licorice taste.
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When To Talk To Your Doctor About Acid Reflux
Its a good idea to speak with your doctor if the best foods for acid reflux do not relieve your symptoms, Dr. Khaitan says. Other options can include lifestyle changes, medications to block acid, and surgical procedures on the esophagus sphincter.
It is important to make a doctors appointment if you have heartburn or acid reflux that is severe or frequent, Dr. Khaitan adds. Chronic acid reflux is known as gastroesophageal reflux disease and can lead to esophageal cancer.
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Foods To Avoid With Acid Reflux/gerd
Acid reflux happens when the contents of your stomach rise into your esophagus. This occurs when your lower esophageal sphincter relaxes and allows stomach acid to enter your esophagus.
Your doctor may diagnose you with gastroesophageal disease if this happens more than twice a week.
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 manage each of these factors by modifying how and what you eat. Modifying your body position to an upright posture after a meal and eating smaller portions may help prevent reflux.
However, knowing which foods to avoid can be a bit more confusing. Theres still some controversy in the medical community over which foods actually cause reflux symptoms.
Despite this lack of consensus, many researchers agree that certain types of foods and beverages are best avoided to prevent indigestion, heartburn, and other symptoms of acid reflux.
Weight loss may also be helpful in reducing symptoms.
Fatty foods generally lower pressure on your LES and delay stomach emptying. This may boost your risk for reflux symptoms. To help prevent reflux, decrease your total fat intake.
Here are some high fat foods you may want to avoid:
- french fries
Some studies have suggested that spicy foods can cause abdominal pain and burning symptoms, if you have a functional gastrointestinal disorder.
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Heartburn Or Acid Reflux
Heartburn itself isnt a medical condition, but it can be the symptom of one: acid reflux, a.k.a. gastroesophageal reflux disease . Heartburn is usually the primary symptom of acid reflux but occasionally, the main symptom is nausea instead. So if you feel queasy after you eat or when you wake up in the morning and youre not pregnant ask your doc about the possibility of acid reflux.
In acid reflux, theres a ring of muscle that separates the esophagus and stomach, making a valve, and the valve should be closed, says Dr. Gabbard. When you swallow, the valve opens, but then it closes again. Reflux occurs when that valve opens when its not supposed to. Stomach contents, which generally contain a high level of acid, flow back through the valve into the esophagus. This, in turn, leads to gas, burping and the pain of heartburn.
More Foods To Soothe Heartburn
Other foods and herbs have long been treatments for reflux and upset stomach. But keep in mind that while they may provide relief for some, “they won’t work for everyone,” says gastroenterologist Jay Kuemmerle, MD, of Virginia Commonwealth University. You might want to try:
- Fennel. This crunchy vegetable with a licorice flavor makes a great addition to salads. There’s some evidence that fennel can improve your digestion. It has a pH of 6.9, so it’s low in acid, too.
- Ginger. A long-standing natural treatment for upset stomach, ginger does seem to have benefits for reflux.
- Parsley. That sprig of parsley on your plate isn’t only for decoration. Parsley has been a traditional treatment for upset stomach for hundreds of years. And there’s some evidence that it can help with acid reflux.
- Aloe vera. This is another old treatment for GI problems that seems to help with reflux. You can buy aloe vera as a plant or as a supplement — in capsules, juices, and other forms. It works as a thickener in recipes.Just make sure itâs free of anthraquinones , which can be irritating to the digestive system.
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What Can I Do To Manage My Oesophageal Reflux Symptoms
It might be a good idea to cut all of the suggested foods out of your diet for a week or two to see if your symptoms disappear. If they do disappear then you could add these foods back into your diet one at a time to see if they are what is causing your reflux.
If your symptoms come back, perhaps because of other factors as listed above, you may need to cut out potential triggers again until the symptoms have settled down.
In general, a healthy diet is associated with a lower risk of reflux symptoms. In particular:
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If I Have Heartburn Should I See My Health Care Professional
That depends. If a person has heartburn more than three times a week for at least two weeks, he or she should see a health care professional. On the other hand, if a person only has occasional bouts of heartburn, he or she may find that taking nonprescription antacids and making some simple changes in lifestyle can resolve the heartburn. If these measures do not help, then a visit to a health care professional is warranted.
If a person has any of these symptoms, with or without heartburn, call a doctor or go to a hospital emergency department right away:
- Throwing up blood or passing blood in bowel movements
- Severe pain, dizziness, or lightheadedness
- Difficulty swallowing
With proper understanding of the condition and treatment, relief can be attained.
When I have chest pain, how can I tell whether it is my heart or just heartburn?
Sometimes a person cant tell the difference. Just like chest pain from the heart, heartburn sometimes spreads from the chest to the jaw, shoulders, arms, or back. If a person has chest pain for any reason, seek medical care immediately.
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Consuming Lean Proteins Instead Of Fatty Ones Might Help You To Avoid Triggering Heartburn
A common dietary trigger of heartburn is consuming excess fat, which can be found in fried foods or certain meats like beef or lamb. Opting for leaner protein sources can potentially help to prevent acid reflux.
“Choose lean sources of protein like grilled chicken or turkey, egg whites, and even beans or legumes. These protein sources are lower in acid than red meat with very little fat,” registered dietitian Katie Hughes told INSIDER.
You may also want to bake or broil proteins instead of frying them if you’re trying to avoid triggering acid reflux, as frying foods can increase the fat content of a dish.
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What Causes Heartburn
Food moves from your mouth to your stomach through your esophagus. When you swallow, a valve between your esophagus and stomach, called the lower esophageal sphincter, opens and lets food into your stomach. If the valve becomes weak, stomach acid can flush back through this valve.
Other things can trigger heartburn, including:
- Spicy foods
What Is Acid Reflux
Acid reflux, often referred to as heartburn, is one of the most common digestive complaints, affecting approximately one in five UK adults. For many of these people, occasional heartburn or regurgitation is an unpleasant experience, but doesnt progress to anything more serious. Its typically described as a pain or burning sensation in the chest which comes on after eating. A typical trigger scenario might be bending to load the dishwasher after eating a rich, heavy or spicy meal.
For those with frequent or severe heartburn, it may be the presentation of a potentially more problematic condition known as gastroesophageal reflux disease.
Discover our full range of health benefit guides and check out more guides on popular diets such as the Sirtfood diet, low FODMAP diet and 5:2 diet. Also read more of our digestive health recipes and tips and check out our collection of gut-friendly recipes.
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