- Diseases, Disorders & Conditions
Reduce Acid Reflux
What is GERD?
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), more commonly known as acid reflux, is characterized by stomach acid backing up into the esophagus . The cause is usually associated with the muscular valve that opens and closes to allow the passage of food from the esophagus to the stomach known as the esophageal sphincter.
When the esophageal sphincter becomes weak and fails to close properly, stomach acid seeps back up into the esophagus causing heartburn or indigestion. The acid will often times cause a sour taste in the mouth. GERD is a chronic condition that can sometimes be aggravated by certain foods, fortunately there are still ways to enjoy your favorite foods with a little adjustment.
Summer cook-outs are great fun with lots of delicious foods. Unfortunately, many of these foods can aggravate acid reflux symptoms causing the sufferer to miss out on many great cookout foods.
Many people with this disorder learn which trigger foods set off flare ups and can simply avoid these foods. With a little watchful eating a person with GERD can enjoy summer get togethers with little heartburn discomfort.
Cold cuts and other processed meats can trigger heartburn due to their high fat content. Avoid a lot of fruit juices and carbonated and caffeinated drinks as these items can aggravate acid reflux causing heartburn. Eating a baked potato instead of fries and chips can keep stomach acid minimized. Grilled chicken, lean red meats, fish, and seafood can be enjoyed on the grill with less worries of heartburn than many other foods. Steamed vegetables are also easier on the stomach than heavily seasoned vegetables.
Overeating can stretch the stomach and relax the lower esophageal sphincter, allowing stomach acid to back up into the esophagus. It is better to eat several small meals throughout the day rather than three large ones. Studies have shown that many people who suffer from GERD are many times overweight. Reasonable eating habits can help reduce reflux and lower weight.
Reflux can be reduced by not eating just before bedtime. Lying down after eating can cause heartburn due to gravity. It is important to stay upright at least thirty minutes after meals. Heartburn, acid reflux, GERD, or any kind of digestive upsets do not have to prevent enjoyment at summer cookouts, family gatherings, or dining out. Simply by watching the foods consumed GERD can be controlled and favorite foods enjoyed.
* Mix a small amount of ginger root extract with honey and take after meals to reduce acid reflux.
* For active heartburn, vanilla ice cream, cloves, almonds, and lemons can provide some immediate relief.
* Sip coconut water or drink some buttermilk throughout the day every 1-2 hours to reduce heartburn.
Treatment for GERD primarily centers around diet and lifestyle changes. Sleeping with the upper body elevated is usually recommended for GERD sufferers, especially those whose are awakened at night with heartburn. By doing this, gravity helps reduce the chances of stomach acid seeping back up into the esophagus. The frame of the bed must be placed on blocks, or place a foam wedge under the head of the mattress, simply using extra pillows doesn't work.
Eating small meals throughout the day, avoiding late night snacks, and cessation of tobacco products can help lessen the annoying discomfort associated with GERD. Alcohol, chocolate, and mint can worsen reflux symptoms.
Antacids can be used for short term relief from heartburn. Take antacids one hour after a meal or at the onset of heartburn for the best relief.
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