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What To Eat If You Have Heartburn

Diet And Lifestyle Remedies For Acid Reflux

7 Foods to Avoid if you have Heartburn or GERD/GORD

Adopt some pre-, mid-, and post-meal habits.

In light of this, if you’re suffering from burning in your chest, you might want to immediately consider elevating the head of your bed to keep the acidic food mixture lower in the stomach.

“I also recommend not eating too close to bedtime and avoiding large evening meals,” says Abisola Olulade, MD, a family medicine physician. “Other things that may help, but haven’t been consistently shown to be beneficial, include avoiding smoking, tight-fitting clothes around the abdomen, and increasing saliva production by chewing gum, which may neutralize refluxed acid and increase the rate of acid clearance.”

Jarosh further advises an after-dinner walk and notes that since the volume of the stomach contents can push acid up towards the esophagus, having your liquids between meals can help keep the volume down. You’ll also want to chew with your mouth closed to avoid ingesting too much air with your food, says Seema Sarin, MD, the director of lifestyle medicine at EHE Health.

Pay special attention to nutrition.

Dr. Olulade says another good solution for acid reflux troubles is simply to eliminate specific things from your diet that can trigger it, including caffeine, spicy food, food with high fat content, and carbonated beverages. Peppermint has also been shown to relax the gastroesophageal sphincter, so avoid it in tea. Opt for water whenever possible.

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.

Breakfast Menus For The Acid Reflux Diet

    Robert Burakoff, MD, MPH, is board-certified in gastroentrology. He is the vice chair for ambulatory services for the department of medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York, where he is also a professor. He was the founding editor and co-editor in chief of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases.

    What can you have for breakfast that won’t trigger your acid reflux? Some traditional breakfast favorites are on the list of foods you may want to avoid, including fried food, high-fat meat, and whole-milk dairy products.

    The usual big American breakfast of bacon, sausage, fried omelets, and hash browns will need a makeover. Even coffee, orange juice, and doughnuts can be a problem when you have acid reflux. To enjoy a variety of food that is acid reflux-friendly for breakfast, you can follow this week’s worth of sample menus.

    Also Check: Best Thing To Get Rid Of Heartburn

    How To Prevent Acid Reflux And Heartburn

    Acid reflux happens when your stomach acid backs up into your esophagus. Your esophagus is the muscular tube that connects your throat and stomach. The most common symptom of acid reflux is a burning sensation in your chest, known as heartburn. Other symptoms may include a sour or regurgitated food taste in the back of your mouth.

    Acid reflux is also known as gastroesophageal reflux . If you experience it more than twice a week, you may have gastroesophageal reflux disease . In addition to frequent heartburn, symptoms of GERD include difficulty swallowing, coughing or wheezing, and chest pain.

    Most people experience acid reflux and heartburn from time to time. GERD is a more serious condition that affects about 20 percent of Americans. Research in the journal Digestive Diseases and Sciences suggests that rates of GERD are rising.

    Learn about steps you can take to prevent acid reflux and heartburn. Lifestyle changes, medication, or surgery may help you find relief.

    Anyone can experience occasional acid reflux and heartburn. For example, you may experience these symptoms after eating too quickly. You may notice them after consuming lots of spicy food or high-fat treats.

    Youre more likely to develop GERD if you:

    • are overweight or obese
    • have diabetes
    • smoke

    Occasional or mild cases of acid reflux can usually be prevented by adopting a few lifestyle changes. For example:

    • fatty or fried foods

    Dont Reach For A Cigarette Alcohol Or Caffeine

    Tell Me What to Eat If I Have Acid Reflux: Nutrition You ...

    Smokers may be tempted to have an after-dinner cigarette, but this decision can be costly in more ways than one. Among the many health problems that smoking can cause, it also encourages heartburn by relaxing the muscle that normally prevents stomach acid from coming back up into the throat.

    Caffeine and alcohol also negatively impact the function of the esophageal sphincter.

    Read Also: Things To Eat To Stop Heartburn

    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.

    Elevate Your Upper Body

    Lying down can make heartburn worse. When it comes time for bed, adjust your sleeping surface to raise your upper body.

    According to the Mayo Clinic, lifting your head with extra pillows isnt usually enough. Instead, the goal is to elevate your body from the waist up.

    If you have an adjustable bed, set it at a suitable angle to provide relief. If your bed isnt adjustable, you can change the angle of your sleeping surface by using a wedge pillow.

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    Worst Foods For Reflux

    In general, anything that is fatty, acidic or highly caffeinated should be avoided. The worst foods for acid reflux list includes:

    • Coffee and tea Caffeinated beverages aggravate acid reflux. Opt for teas without caffeine.
    • Carbonated beverages The bubbles expand in your stomach, creating more pressure and pain. Choose plain water or decaf iced tea.
    • Chocolate This treat has a trifecta of acid reflux problems: caffeine, fat and cocoa.
    • Peppermint Dont be fooled by its reputation for soothing the tummy peppermint is an acid reflux trigger.
    • Grapefruit and orange The high acidity of citrus fruits relaxes the esophagus sphincter and worsens symptoms.
    • Tomatoes Also avoid marinara sauce, ketchup and tomato soup theyre all naturally high in acid.
    • Alcohol This has a double whammy effect. Alcohol relaxes the sphincter valve but it also stimulates acid production in the stomach.
    • Fried foods These are some of the worst foods for reflux. Skip the french fries, onion rings and fried chicken cook on the grill or in the oven at home.
    • Late-night snacks Avoid eating anything in the two hours before you go to bed. Also, you can try eating four to five smaller meals throughout the day instead of two to three large meals.

    More Ways To Control Gerd With Dietary Changes

    What Foods To Eat If You Have Acid Reflux/Heartburn ?

    In addition to avoiding certain foods, there are even more dietary changes and lifestyle modifications you can make to control GERD. Exploring all the various ways you can manage this condition will help you discover what works best for you and make dealing with GERD that much easier on a daily basis.

    Read Also: Can You Get Heartburn From Not Eating

    What Medications Do I Take To Manage The Symptoms Of Gerd

    Many over-the-counter and prescription medications relieve GERD. Most of OTC drugs come in prescription strength too. Your provider will give you a prescription for these stronger drugs if youre not getting relief from the OTC formulas.

    The most common GERD medications:

    • Antacids include Tums®, Rolaids®, Mylanta®, Riopan® and Maalox®.
    • H-2 receptor blockers include Tagamet®, Pepcid AC®, Axid AR® and Zantac®.
    • Proton pump inhibitors include Prevacid®, Prilosec®, Zegerid®, Nexium®, Protonix®, AcipHex® and Dexilant®.
    • Baclofen is a prescription drug used to reduce the relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter which allows acid backwash.

    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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    Can Gerd Cause Asthma

    We dont know the exact relationship between GERD and asthma. More than 75% of people with asthma have GERD. They are twice as likely to have GERD as people without asthma. GERD may make asthma symptoms worse, and asthma drugs may make GERD worse. But treating GERD often helps to relieve asthma symptoms.

    The symptoms of GERD can injure the lining of the throat, airways and lungs, making breathing difficult and causing a persistent cough, which may suggest a link. Doctors mostly look at GERD as a cause of asthma if:

    • Asthma begins in adulthood.
    • Asthma symptoms get worse after a meal, exercise, at night and after lying down.
    • Asthma doesnt get better with standard asthma treatments.

    If you have asthma and GERD, your healthcare provider can help you find the best ways to handles both conditions the right medications and treatments that wont aggravate symptoms of either disease.

    Foods To Avoid When Suffering From Heartburn

    Tell Me What to Eat Ser.: If I Have Acid Reflux ...

    As the Heartburn No More website states, there are more than a few things that you will want to stay away from when suffering from heartburn.

    First and foremost is spicy foods including pepper, curry and onions, which are all common acid reflux triggers. You should also avoid overeating and stay away from large fatty meals.

    Greasy foods are a common trigger for acid reflux, which is why you should focus on whole grains, fruits and vegetables. While many fruits can help, you should avoid citrus fruits if you are suffering from acute or chronic heartburn.

    Along with this, a couple of other ingredients such as chocolate, tomatoes, peppermint and heavy cheeses are all known triggers for excessive acid.

    Apart from the foods mentioned above, you should completely exclude alcohol and cigarettes from your daily routine. Smoking is not only bad for your overall health, but will directly affect the condition of your stomach, esophagus and pancreas.

    Drinking alcohol is known to interfere with stomach acid levels, which is one of the main reasons why people vomit after or during excessive drinking.

    Read Also: What Helps With Heartburn Home Remedies

    Is There Surgery To Treat Gerd

    GERD is usually controlled with medications and lifestyle changes . If these dont work, or if you cant take medications for an extended period, surgery may be a solution.

    • Laparoscopic antireflux surgery is the standard surgical treatment. Its a minimally invasive procedure that fixes your acid reflux by creating a new valve mechanism at the bottom of your esophagus. The surgeon wraps the upper part of the stomach around the lower portion of the esophagus. This reinforces the lower esophageal sphincter so food wont reflux back into the esophagus.
    • LINX deviceimplantation is another minimally invasive surgery. A LINX device is a ring of tiny magnets that are strong enough to keep the junction between the stomach and esophagus closed to refluxing acid but weak enough to allow food to pass through.

    What Foods Help Heal The Esophagus

    Some foods may provide relief from GERD symptoms. Your diet should include non-citrus fruits and vegetables, such as apples and carrots. Eating lean proteins, such as eggs and lean cuts of meat, can also help improve GERD symptoms for some people. Other foods to include in your diet are whole grains and other complex carbohydrates, as well as healthy fats, such as olive oil, peanut butter, flaxseed, and salmon.

    Recommended Reading: Why Do I Keep Getting Bad Heartburn

    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.

    Heartburn: Why It Happens

    GERD DIET. 4 FOODS to EAT when YOU HAVE ACID REFLUX.

    A muscular ring between the end of the esophagus and the beginning of the stomach normally keeps stomach acid where it belongs — in the stomach. But in people with frequent heartburn, this area, the lower esophageal sphincter muscle , may not prevent stomach acid from splashing up into the esophagus.

    Does this mean you just have to live with heartburn? No! A recent survey conducted by the National Heartburn Alliance revealed that 92% of frequent heartburn sufferers point to food as the primary cause of their digestive discomfort.

    So, if a change in diet can help you avoid heartburn, which foods should you choose to lose to help head off the pain?

    Read Also: Acid Reflux But No Heartburn

    A Happier Healthier Life

    Following these acid reflux diet and lifestyle-related modifications can greatly increase your chances of living without the unpleasant symptoms of acid reflux, and, in the long run, avoiding the possibility of serious health consequences.

    And certainly, by following a healthy lifestyle like Pritikin, you will improve your overall health and well being, concludes Dr. Fruge.

    How You Can Relieve Acid Reflux Symptoms By Eating Or Avoiding Certain Foods

    To help you minimize those uncomfortable acid reflux symptoms, we spoke with registered dietitians Cynthia Sass, MPH, MA, RD, CSSD, Natalie Rizzo, MS, RD, and author of The No-Brainer Nutrition Guide For Every Runner, and Dr. Reezwana Chowdhury, MD, an assistant professor of medicine in gastroenterology and hepatology at Johns Hopkins, to compile a list of foods that either cause, alleviate, and/or prevent acid reflux from brewing.

    The foods that cause heartburn and that you should avoid when you have acid reflux have a few things in common. Foods that sit in the stomach longer can worsen some of the symptoms listed above, says Dr. Chowdhry. We’ll start with ones to avoid, and then mention quite a few that can help.

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    Foods To Add To Your Diet If You Have Acid Reflux

    Acid reflux, also known as GERD, occurs when stomach acid flows back up from the stomach into the esophagus. Some are more susceptible to acid reflux than others, but it is typically caused by food or drink triggers. If you suffer from acid reflux, make sure to add these 10 foods to your diet.

  • Salmon: Salmon is a great source of protein and fiber while also being low in cholesterol. Research has shown that foods high in fiber can help reduce the effects of acid reflux.
  • Ginger: Ginger is naturally anti-inflammatory, and is a natural treatment for gastrointestinal problems, which is why many people drink ginger ale when theyre nauseous. You can add grated ginger to almost anything to ease acid reflux symptoms!
  • Fruits: Non-citrus fruits like melons, apples, pears, and bananas are less likely to trigger acid reflux symptoms than citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruits, or lemons.
  • Potatoes: Potatoes are low in acid, and are high in carbohydrates that are more likely to absorb acids.
  • Broccoli: All green vegetables are good for acid reflux, but because broccoli is also high in vitamin-C, it is a superfood in terms of easing your acid reflux symptoms.
  • Egg Whites: Eggs are a popular food item in terms of easing acid reflux, but some people find that the yolks have a high fat content which can trigger acid reflux. Egg whites are the low-fat, low-cholesterol option to help with acid reflux.
  • List Of Best Foods For Preventing Pregnancy Heartburn

    What foods should you avoid if you have GERD ...

    Usually, your specialist might prescribe antacids that promote a soothing and cool feel.

    Besides, you might need to alter your lifestyle to reduce the acid-burning sensation.

    This includes changing the frequency and times of your meals. You may have to ditch spicy stuff and incorporate more clean and natural foods.

    Dont know where to start? No worries!

    Begin with these 25 must-have foods to prevent pregnancy heartburn. Plus, Ive included tips on how to consume each food safely.

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