Is Gerd Dangerous Or Life
GERD isnt life-threatening or dangerous in itself. But long-term GERD can lead to more serious health problems:
- Esophagitis: Esophagitis is the irritation and inflammation the stomach acid causes in the lining of the esophagus. Esophagitis can cause ulcers in your esophagus, heartburn, chest pain, bleeding and trouble swallowing.
- Barrett’s esophagus: Barrett’s esophagus is a condition that develops in some people who have long-term GERD. The damage acid reflux can cause over years can change the cells in the lining of the esophagus. Barretts esophagus is a risk factor for cancer of the esophagus.
- Esophageal cancer: Cancer that begins in the esophagus is divided into two major types. Adenocarcinoma usually develops in the lower part of the esophagus. This type can develop from Barretts esophagus. Squamous cell carcinoma begins in the cells that line the esophagus. This cancer usually affects the upper and middle part of the esophagus.
- Strictures: Sometimes the damaged lining of the esophagus becomes scarred, causing narrowing of the esophagus. These strictures can interfere with eating and drinking by preventing food and liquid from reaching the stomach.
What Aggravates Acid Reflux
Acid reflux occurs when the sphincter at the base of the esophagus isnt working well, allowing fluid from the stomach to enter the esophagus. The worst foods for reflux can worsen painful symptoms, while other foods can soothe them, says UH gastrointestinal surgeon Leena Khaitan, MD
Diet changes can significantly affect acid reflux and allow you to avoid other treatments, Dr. Khaitan says.
Getting Enough Sleep Is Essential To Relieving Acid Reflux Symptoms
Write a content brief on The importance of getting enough sleep to relieve acid reflux symptoms.
Write an article about how acid reflux is more common than you think.
Almost everybody suffers from it at some point in their lives, and its not clear why this happens.
One reason may be that people dont get enough sleep on average, which can cause many heartburn symptoms like sore throat, coughing, dry mouth, bad breath, or even throwing up sometimes.
You must avoid lying down after eating for one hour to ensure that your stomach doesnt lie down too close to your throat.
If you find yourself in discomfort after every meal, try cutting down on spicy foods or drinking warm water with lemon before bedtime to reduce the effects of acid reflux overnight.
A spoonful of olive oil in the morning could also help treat acid reflux.
That is because it helps to coat the stomach with a layer of protection, preventing acid from being pushed up through your digestive system.
Besides that, eating correctly is also highly recommended for people suffering from acid reflux disease.
Some foods are not suggested for people having this kind of problem, such as coffee, tea, chocolate, citrus fruits and juices, onions, tomato sauces or soups, and other acidic food which can irritate the stomach lining.
It is better to consume smaller meals more often throughout the day rather than two larger ones. And it would be best if you sat down while eating instead of rushing through it.
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How Common Is Gerd
GERD is very common. The condition and its symptoms touch a huge number of people: 20% of the U.S. population.
Anyone of any age can develop GERD, but some may be more at risk for it. For example, the chances youll have some form of GERD increase after age 40.
Youre also more likely to have it if youre:
- Overweight or obese.
- Smoking or are regularly exposed to second-hand smoke.
- Taking certain medications that may cause acid reflux.
What Is Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease
Gastroesophageal reflux disease is when someone has reflux more than twice a week. It’s a more serious condition than GER. Doctors usually treat it with medicine.
GERD can be a problem if it’s not treated because, over time, the reflux of stomach acid damages the tissue lining the esophagus, causing inflammation and pain. In adults, long-lasting, untreated GERD can lead to permanent damage of the esophagus.
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Tips On Managing Your Diet If Youre Suffering From Acid Reflux
Manage your diet by avoiding foods that trigger your acid reflux, such as fried and fatty foods, citrus fruits, and carbonated beverages.
Also, limit or avoid caffeine and alcohol altogether because these substances can cause stomach irritation and relax the lower esophageal sphincter muscle.
Furthermore, smoking causes involuntary contraction of the LES, which will make you more vulnerable to acid reflux.
Before bedtime, eat a light snack but skip dairy products such as cheese and milk because they slow down digestion, causing the contents in the stomach to sit longer than necessary, which can irritate your digestive tract lining.
If youre suffering from heartburn during pregnancy, dont take over-the-counter antacids without first consulting your doctor because they may harm you and your baby.
Instead, try taking a spoonful of honey or sugar-free gum to relieve the pain.
Tomatoes And Citrus Fruit
Fruits and vegetables are important in a healthy diet. But certain fruits can cause or worsen GERD symptoms, especially highly acidic fruits. If you have frequent acid reflux, you should reduce or eliminate your intake of the following foods:
- tomato sauce or foods that use it, such as pizza and chili
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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 can’t 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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What Foods Should Be Avoided With Gerd
When you have GERD, there are certain foods and drinks that might irritate your condition and cause symptoms to flare up. You should avoid eating foods that are high in fat, as well as foods and beverages that contain caffeine, such as coffee and chocolate. Other foods and drinks to avoid include onions, carbonated drinks, citrus fruits, and other products, tomato products, and peppermint.
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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.
Specific Foods To Avoid With Gerd
Relieving GERD symptoms can be as simple as making some smart meal choices. Spicy foods, including curry, salsa, chili, and hot sauce aggravate GERD symptoms. The spices make stomach acid stir up and become more likely to kick back up into your throat.
Garlic and onions are also aggravating foods. Beware as these are ingredients in many recipes, including holiday stuffing, stews, and some salads.
Fatty meals from fast-food restaurants or barbecue joints can slow digestion, so food sits and stomach acid releases over a longer period of time. Greasy cuts of meat, French fries, and burgers are best kept off your plate. Opt for grilled chicken, baked potatoes, and flatbread instead.
Pizza is a double whammy as its often fatty and covered in acidic tomato sauce, which exacerbates GERD. Classic or spicy marinara sauces over pasta can be triggers for GERD symptoms, too.
Citrus fruits and chocolate are highly acidic, meaning you should also avoid these if youve been diagnosed with GERD. Coffee, alcohol, carbonated drinks, and alcohol also irritate your digestive tract.
Sometimes, the simple after-dinner mint which seems entirely harmless can also set off a surge of GERD symptoms.
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Mix Baking Soda With Water
You might have a heartburn remedy at hand in your kitchen without even knowing it. Baking soda can calm some episodes of heartburn by neutralizing your stomach acid.
To do this, dissolve a teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water and drink it slowly. In fact, you should drink everything slowly when you have heartburn.
help relieve nausea, so some believe it may be worth trying for heartburn, too.
Consider adding grated or diced ginger root to your favorite stir-fry recipes, soups, and other foods. To make ginger tea, steep raw ginger root, dried ginger root, or ginger tea bags in boiling water.
Its probably best to avoid ginger ale, though. Carbonated beverages are a common heartburn trigger, and most brands of ginger ale are made with artificial flavoring rather than the real thing.
Don’t Drink Too Much Alcohol
Alcohol increases the amount of acid the stomach produces and relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter . If you do want to have some alcohol during your festivities, try the following tips:
- Dilute alcoholic beverages with water or club soda.
- Limit alcohol consumption to one or two mixed drinks, no more than 16 ounces of wine, or and no more than three beers.
- Drink white wine instead of red wine.
- Choose non-alcoholic beer or wine.
- Keep track of which alcoholic drinks aggravate your heartburn, and avoid them as much as possible.
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Spinach And Cheddar Cheese Omelet
A spinach and cheddar cheese omelet is full of healthy nutrients that can help to fight against acid reflux symptoms.
Spinach is high in fiber while being low in fat which enables you to feel fuller for longer, while the cheddar cheese will ensure that your body absorbs all these crucial vitamins more efficiently!
Fennel Is A Flavorful Herb That May Help Settle The Stomach
Fennel is a crunchy herb that looks like a cross between onion and celery even though it’s actually a member of the carrot family.
” neutral pH helps settle the stomach. It is a great food for acid reflux and actually seems to improve stomach function through improving gastric motility,” said Dr. Nusbaum.
Fennel can be consumed raw or cooked and its seeds can be used to add flavor to dishes like chicken and fish.
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Acid Reflux Diet: 8 Foods To Eat & Avoid
Acid reflux, that irritating backflow of stomach acid up into your esophagus, is often triggered by what you eat and drink. Eat the wrong food and youâre sure to feel the burn. Some foods are known to cause reflux more than others.
Here are 8 foods to avoid if you have acid reflux, and 8 foods that keep you free from the burn and keep you healthier overall. A win-win!
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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What To Eat If You Have Bad Heartburn
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Heartburn Relief: Food Facts
Though heartburn triggers can vary from person to person, certain food and drinks are more prone to allowing stomach acid to splash up into your esophagus, including:
Meats. Ground beef, marbled sirloin, chicken nugget-style, and chicken/buffalo wings.
Fats, Oils & Sweets.Chocolate, regular corn and potato chips, high-fat butter cookies, brownies, doughnuts, creamy and oily salad dressings, fried or fatty food in general.
Fruits, Vegetables & Juice. Orange juice, lemon, lemonade, grapefruit juice, cranberry juice, tomato, mashed potatoes, French fries, raw onion, potato salad.
Other Beverages. Liquor, wine, coffee, and tea.
Grains. Macaroni and cheese, spaghetti with marinara sauce.
Dairy. Sour cream, milk shake, ice cream, regular cottage cheese.
Foods and beverages like these contribute to heartburn by lessening the effectiveness of the LES to keep stomach contents in the stomach. Smoking also plays a large role, and carbonated beverages should be added to the list as they can put pressure on the stomach, forcing stomach acid back up into the esophagus.
Avoid the foods and beverages above — and eat smaller meals — and you may decrease the amount of reflux from your stomach into the esophagus.
Yet changing what you eat isn’t the only way to avoid the horrors of heartburn, there are simple lifestyle changes you can make as well.
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How Is Heartburn Diagnosed
Often all that a health-care professional requires is a thorough history and physical to make the preliminary diagnosis of heartburn. To evaluate if there is any damage and how severe your heartburn is, the doctor my suggest some of the following tests:
- Endoscopy: A flexible scope is passed down the esophagus to examine the esophagus as well as the stomach. Biopsies can be taken if indicated. This lets the doctor see if there is any obvious damage, and also eliminate other reasons for the patient’s symptoms .
- Upper GI series : After drinking a liquid that coats the inside of the digestive tract, X-rays are taken. These X-rays will show the outline of the digestive system.
- Ambulatory pH testing: This test measures the acidity in the esophagus via a small tube that goes through the nose into the stomach.
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Kerry Torrens BSc. PgCert MBANT is a BANT Registered Nutritionist®with a post graduate diploma in Personalised Nutrition & Nutritional Therapy. She is a member of the British Association for Nutrition and Lifestyle Medicine and a member of the Guild of Food Writers. Over the last 15 years she has been a contributing author to a number of nutritional and cookery publications including BBC Good Food.
All health content on bbcgoodfood.com is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other health care professional. If you have any concerns about your general health, you should contact your local health care provider. See our terms and conditions for more information.
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