What Are The Symptoms Of Acid Reflux
A big symptom of acid reflux is a burning sensation, otherwise referred to as heartburn, which occurs when acid creeps back up the esophagus from the stomach. That’s why people grasp at their chestthe pain can literally take their breath away.
Since acid is flowing backward, aka up the esophagus, swallowing can be difficult and there could be the feeling that there’s a lump in the throat. But the symptoms don’t stop thereother parts of the body take the heat, too.
There are lots of factors that go into a good night’s sleep, and feeling like your chest is burning isn’t one. Nighttime acid reflux can disrupt sleep, make asthma worse, and may cause coughing, according to the Mayo Clinic. So consuming things that can help prevent these symptoms is key for making sure it doesn’t mess up slumber, which then leads to other adverse effects.
Foods Most Likely To Trigger Gerd
Although there is no dedicated GERD diet or acid reflux diet, certain foods can trigger heartburn and those that can help counteract heartburn or do not cause it. These foods cause acid reflux because they cause a delay in the digestive process, which lets food sit in the stomach longer. The worst foods for GERD are spicy foods and those high in fat and salt. Certain drinks may also trigger heartburn. Foods to avoid with GERD include:
- Potato chips and other processed snacks
- Tomato-based sauces
Managing Gerd During Covid
Managing GERD during the COVID-19 pandemic remains the same as any other time. The only difference for you is upping your willpower, as you may have more difficulty modifying your food choices when staying and working from home. Also, stress eating is likely to be more prominent and can add to acid reflux, both from stress itself and the emotional eating that may come with it.
Lifestyle changes and medication are often enough to manage GERD. However, if you do not want to give up such a delicious array of foods and your morning cup of joe, moderation is key. Eat small frequent meals during the day as well, instead of bigger, heavier meals. Try to work in foods that help counteract acid reflux and look for recipes to help add flavor. Substitutions may work as well. For example, swap out apple or pear juice for orange juice and herbal tea for black tea. Also try to avoid eating the problematic foods later in the evening, so theyre not sitting in your stomach and then coming back up when you sleep. You dont have to make all the changes at once.
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How To Prevent Heartburn
Knowing what causes heartburn is the first step to preventing it. There are definitely triggers for heartburn in your diet, says , a dietician at the Cleveland Clinic. You can work to identify those triggers by keeping track of the foods you eat: If you notice that your heartburn appears after certain meals or when you drink specific beverages, try removing them from your diet to see if the heartburn disappears.
Limiting portion size is also helpful. When the stomach is too full or the food is too fatty, the esophageal valve opens and food and acid travel backwards from the stomach into the esophagus. A study a few years back demonstrated that meals with greater than 500 calories and more than 10 to 15 grams of fat triggered the valve to open more and allow more reflux than meals that were less than 500 calories and had fewer than 10 to 15 grams of fat, says Dr. Gabbard.
Some lifestyle changes, such as losing weight and not lying down too soon after a meal, may help prevent heartburn. Other things to avoid include exercising right after eating and wearing tight clothing, which can have a similar effect.
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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Eating Oatmeal And Whole Grains Can Help Reduce The Acid That Builds Up And Causes Heartburn
“Acid is the irritating factor in heartburn and the fiber in oatmeal and whole-grain products like whole-grain bread and pasta can help reduce it. The high fiber content of these foods helps to absorb and reduce the acid that builds up and causes heartburn,” registered dietitianEmily Wunder told INSIDER.
When cooking these whole grains, you may want to avoid pairing them with ingredients that are known to trigger heartburn, like tomato or garlic.
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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Relieve Heartburn During Pregnancy
Heartburn is a common pregnancy complaint, even among women who never had heartburn before. The most obvious cause? The baby itself. As babies grow in the uterus, they push into the stomach, which can force food and acid back up into the esophagus. An increase in pregnancy hormones can also cause problems. The job of these hormones is to relax abdominal and pelvic muscles to make delivery easier, but they can also cause muscles around the esophageal valve to relax, allowing it to open more easily. And finally, pregnant women may also have trouble digesting their food properly, adding to the heartburn risk.
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If youre pregnant and struggling with heartburn, these are some of the steps, recommended by Stanford Childrens Health in California, to prevent or manage your discomfort:
- Eat small meals more frequently. This gives your stomach time to digest the food.
- Avoid foods that may cause heartburn. Keep track of your diet to see if a particular item is leading to your pain.
- Sleep in an elevated position. Place blocks under the front legs of your bed , slip a wedge under the mattress or elevate your torso with pillows.
If you still have trouble with heartburn, speak with your doctor. Some heartburn medications are safe to take during pregnancy, but some arent.
Eating Apples May Help To Decrease The Frequency Of Heartburn
Apples are a convenient and healthy snack that can also potentially help to reduce acid reflux symptoms. These fruits are actually packed with pectin, a soluble dietary fiber that’s been found to sometimes decrease the frequency of heartburn.
“Soluble fiber is needed to help regulate digestion and has been shown to decrease heartburn in somestudies,” registered dietitianJeanette Kimszal told INSIDER. “Apples are also a rich source of minerals calcium, magnesium, and potassium. These nutrients are helpful for lowering stomach acid.”
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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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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!
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Tests And Surgery For Heartburn And Acid Reflux
If medicines do not help or your symptoms are severe, a GP may refer you to a specialist for:
- tests to find out what’s causing your symptoms, such as a gastroscopy
- an operation on your stomach to stop acid reflux called a laparoscopic fundoplication
Page last reviewed: 09 September 2020 Next review due: 09 September 2023
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.
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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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Naturally Alkaline Artesian Water
A July 2012 study in the “Annals of Otology, Rhinology & Laryngology” showed that drinking high-alkaline water with a pH of 8.8 instantly neutralizes pepsin, the enzyme that converts to digestive acid when it comes into contact with certain substances. It was also shown to serve as an acid buffer, protecting the esophagus against contact with additional acids. Drinking plenty of water is essential for good health, and that’s especially true if you have acid reflux. However, there are two qualifications: First, water should be consumed in smaller amounts throughout the day to prevent regurgitation, a common problem with acid reflux. Second, water should not be consumed in quantity with meals because it interferes with digestion and may cause food to expand, stimulating acid production.
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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 isnt the only way to avoid the horrors of heartburn, there are simple lifestyle changes you can make as well.
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What Are The Benefits Of Ginger
Ginger is rich in antioxidants and chemicals that may provide a number of medicinal benefits.
Its phenolic compounds are said to relieve gastrointestinal irritation and lessen gastric contractions. This means ginger can reduce the likelihood of acid flowing from your stomach back into your esophagus.
Ginger can also reduce inflammation. A 2011 study found that participants taking ginger supplements had reduced inflammation markers within one month.
These anti-inflammatory properties are of special interest to researchers, particularly when it comes to acid reflux. This is because inflammation in the esophagus is a key characteristic of the condition.
Ginger may also reduce nausea, prevent muscle pain, and ease swelling.
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Consuming Aloe Vera Can Sometimes Help Reduce Symptoms Of Acid Reflux
“Aloe vera is famous as a natural healing agent and also appears to reduce gastric acid levels naturally. It is available as a living plant but the leaves or liquid form are sometimes sold separately in grocery and health food stores,” bariatric surgeonDr. Michael Jay Nusbaum told INSIDER. He also said the liquid form of aloe can be used as a thickening agent when preparing certain dishes.
Liquid aloe vera can have a slightly sour taste, so you may want to add a drizzle of honey if you plan to consume it undiluted. And if you want your aloe vera to be as fresh as possible, you can keep a live plant in your home and remove its leaves as needed.
Foods Which Alleviate And Prevent Acid Reflux
Looking for a diet to help with acid reflux and Gastrointestinal Reflux Disease ? According to this study, which measured the effect of diet changes on GERD, the following foods could help with acid reflux: whole grains, beans, vegetables , lean fish, lean chicken, and more.
It is a good idea to experiment with different foods to see which ones trigger your own reflux. For more see the article on foods to avoid for acid reflux .
In addition to eating these foods, avoiding spicy, fatty, and salty foods can help. Caffeine and alcohol consumption should also be minimized.
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When To Talk To Your Doctor About Acid Reflux
It’s 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 doctor’s 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.
Best Foods To Eat When You Have Heartburn
The foods you eat affect how much acid is produced by the stomach. So, it is necessary to consume the right combination of food items and drinks so that you dont experience heartburn. You should eat foods that have low-acid content because the acid in the stomach combined with the acid in food can make the condition worse. Here is a list of the best foods to eat when you have heartburn.
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Foods That May Cause Heartburn
Foods commonly known to be heartburn triggers cause the esophageal sphincter to relax and delay the digestive process, letting food sit in the stomach longer, says Gupta. The worst culprits? Foods that are high in fat, salt or spice such as:
- Fried food
- Carbonated beverages
“Moderation is key since many people may not be able to or want to completely eliminate these foods,” says Gupta. “But try to avoid eating problem foods late in the evening closer to bedtime, so they’re not sitting in your stomach and then coming up your esophagus when you lay down at night. It’s also a good idea to eat small frequent meals instead of bigger, heavier meals and avoid late-night dinners and bedtime snacks.”