- Diseases, Disorders & Conditions
How to Stop GERD: Avoid Diet Soda?
I love diet soda. Love it! At one time, I was drinking up to eight a day. I also have gastroesophageal reflex disease (GERD) or acid reflux. I've had the upper gastrointestinal tests. I gagged down that barium so the doctor could see that there is a physical abnormality at the top of my stomach. However, the doctor feels that it is not quite significant enough to require surgery. I learned to live with GERD... kinda.
Over-the-counter heartburn and stomach acid remedies became my new candy. I was taking Prilosec twice a day as prescribed by my physician. To anyone who owns stock in the company that manufactures TUMS: you're welcome. TUMS were used to treat the frequent heartburn. When it would get really bad, I'd complete a round of Prevacid, then go back to taking Prilosec twice daily. I'd still have days fraught with stomach pain, heart burn, and even vomiting at times.
Oh, diet soda, I love you! BUT, my youngest son kept hounding me about how bad it is for you. It's pretty bad when your 14-year-old son is posting anti-diet soda propaganda on your Facebook page. Apparently, artificial sweeteners are evil. Who knew? So, I reduced my diet soda intake to one a day but not every day. I still drank some soda but not diet soda. I drank more water, iced tea, coffee, and hot tea instead of diet soda. I still had lots of heartburn and stomach pain. To make matters worse, I ran out of Prilosec and was relying only on TUMS.
Best Beverages for GERD:
- Herbal Tea
- Non-citrus Juices
Due to my son's concern over the artificial sweeteners, I stopped drinking diet soda altogether. I try to drink one or two mugs of hot tea a day since I know it's healthier than regular soda. I like my hot tea plain, with no sugar or anything added to it. About two weeks later, I went to lunch with my parents and sons. I had a diet soda with my lunch. Later that day, I had heartburn and had to take some TUMS. It was then that I realized that was the first I had needed any TUMS since I stopped drinking diet soda. That was a month ago. There was only one other day during that month that I had to take TUMS for heartburn.
I'm not sure why the removal of diet soda from my diet has relieved me of the GERD. I still drink regular soda. I have a glass of it almost every day. I still drink coffee and tea. So, it's not like I'm avoiding caffeine.
I suffered from GERD for years. If I remember correctly, I was diagnosed with GERD about six years ago. I've been a heavy diet soda drinker ever since I was a teenager (much longer than six years ago). So, it's not like I starting drinking diet soda and developed GERD shortly after. I'm not a doctor. I'm not a chemist or biologist or scientist of any kind. I can't say for sure that the removal of diet soda from my diet cured my stomach issues. I don't know. However, that's the only change in my diet at this time.
So, I'm passing this little bit of personal experience on to you. If someone had told me that I would be free from GERD symptoms if I stopped drinking diet soda, I would have stopped years ago.