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A GERD diet, when combined with other lifestyle changes, can often help reduce, or even eliminate many of the painful symptoms associated with acid reflux.
Understanding what GERD is, its causes, symptoms, the effects it has on your body, and the way your body responds to specific treatments is necessary to help you devise a plan diet to manage the condition. Although research has led to many breakthroughs in this area, the one thing that has been proven most unequivocally is the fact that we are all individuals. In other words, there is a long list of suggestions that have been known to help treat the symptoms of GERD and encourage the body to heal itself, but it may take you a lot of time and a little extra patience to find what works for you and how to put together your own GERD diet.
I am sure that those of you who have been living with the symptoms know exactly what GERD is; but, for those who are new to the field or are experiencing some possible signs of the disease, a brief explanation may be helpful. Gastroesophageal Reflux disease, or GERD, is a fairly common digestive disorder that occurs when stomach acid, and sometimes bile, refluxes or flows back into the esophagus and mouth.
Basically, there is a “one way valve” between your esophagus and stomach that allows food to enter the stomach but prevents it from refluxing back into the esophagus.
This valve is called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) which is a band of muscles that contract and relax to form a protective barrier. Your stomach is designed to handle the strong gastric juices that are produced for the digestion of food; but, your esophagus is not. It is the kind of stuff that comes in bottles with the little skeleton hand symbol on it to warn users of its dangers. Besides the pain and burning sensations, when stomach acid is let out of its specified environment, it can cause several other complications ranging from open sores to cancer. A study published in the Journal of Neurogastroenterology and Motility in 2009 stated that, according to statistics, there is a 10-20% prevalence of GERD in the Western world, whereas only about 5% of the Asian population suffers from this disease. It was suggested that the differences in these rates could be attributed to lifestyle, diet, obesity, and genetics. Those conducting this study concluded that, while all these things may play a role in the cause or symptoms of GERD, the extent of that role is still inconclusive. In other words, they found that people who were overweight had an increased risk for developing GERD, but they could not determine what percentage of these people would have developed the disease anyway, even if obesity was not an issue.
Consequently, GERD has become one of the most controversial topics, largely because no one can really “put their finger on it”. While we know medically what is happening in the body, there is really no explanation why something like eating tomatoes causes excruciating pain in one patient while having little effect on another.
Non-medical answer: it is a complex condition that varies so much from person to person that each case must be considered on a completely individualized basis. But, it is not like treating a toothache where a visit to the dentist for a little drilling and filling will fix the problem.
All you can do is apply your own GERD diet experimentation to the suggestions of others and try available treatments until you find what works for you. Again, not all of these will necessarily apply to your individual case, but it will give you a good place to start.
But, before we discuss the specifics of GERD diet, let’s take a look at the symptoms so you will know if you need to visit your doctor for tests and diagnosis. And, even if you do not have acid reflux disease, but you do suffer occasionally from indigestion or heartburn, diet and lifestyle modifications may still be helpful in finding a way to prevent flare-ups. This is often caused by what is known as esophageal stricture, which is the narrowing of the esophagus. Some GERD sufferers, especially children, do not have heartburn, but rather experience a dry cough and asthma-like symptoms.
Many people experience the regurgitation of food and liquid, often accompanied by a burning sensation in the throat and a sour taste in the mouth. Stomach acid can erode the tender tissues of the esophagus, sometimes causing an open sore to form, also known as an esophageal ulcer.
The heartburn often associated with GERD can sometimes mimic the symptoms of a heart attack.
Although this is rare, some people will report a difficulty in breathing or an inability to take a deep breath.
This is more of a complication than a symptom since it is not something that you will feel or notice. If you have been experiencing any of the above symptoms, you should visit your doctor for further investigation.
Your doctor may be able to acquire enough information simply by asking you a series of questions; however, a few additional tests may be recommended to confirm both the diagnosis as well as the seriousness of your condition. Since the digestive tract does not show up very well in an x-ray, your doctor may ask you to drink a chalky liquid containing barium sulphate.
This substance coats your esophagus, stomach, and upper intestines and makes them easier to see when x-rayed. For this test, a flexible tube or hose, equipped with a camera and light, is passed down your throat and into your stomach.
A biopsy may also be taken at this time if the technician finds anything that may require further investigation. Information is fed to a computer that you wear around your waist or over your shoulder for about two days.
Once you have been diagnosed with GERD, the first step is to begin making the necessary dietary changes to help reduce symptoms and give your body the best opportunity to heal.
When creating a GERD diet for acid reflux, you need to consider what foods cause heartburn or discomfort and which foods bring no painful symptoms at all. By changing the foods that you eat thereby creating a healthy GERD diet you may be able to reduce, or even eliminate, some of the signs of GERD. In fact, when patients are first diagnosed, many doctors will suggest a very strict GERD diet for a short period of time so your body can get the most benefits from medications and improve the healing process. Although the symptoms and complications of GERD can be severe, most people find that they can control the disease with simple lifestyle modifications, including diet changes.
But, remember that each person is different, and not everyone reacts the same way to particular foods.
Often, when it comes to designing a GERD diet, many think in terms of “safe” or “avoid” foods, believing that certain things can actually induce or aggravate symptoms. While there are some foods that have a reputation for aggravating symptoms in a large percentage of cases, this does not mean that it will be true for you. It may take a little while before you fully understand your body’s reactions, but the most effective way to manage the disease is to “listen” to your body and work with it to devise a plan that will help in your specific situation. One of the best ways to begin understanding the effects certain foods have on your body is to keep a diary. You may find that some foods only cause pain and heartburn occasionally, rather than every time you eat them. Things such as stress, anxiety, eating before bed, or eating too quickly can contribute to indigestion or heartburn, so determine if this may be the case before you eliminate something from your GERD diet completely.
Diets are so often about what you have to give up, making you feel like you are entering into a type of punishment or deprivation. Pineapple contains Bromelain and papaya contains Papain, both substances known as proteases which are digestive enzymes that help with the breakdown of protein.
Normally, your body would use Pepsin to digest protein, but this enzyme is most effective in very acidic environments like the one found in your stomach.
Adding pineapple and papaya to your GERD diet can help alleviate these symptoms by facilitating the breakdown of proteins. Low iodine levels can contribute to hypothyroidism which is often associated with acid reflux. If you are unable to eat salt due to health issues, you should consider taking an iodine supplement.
This is controversial since many people say that adding omega-3s to their GERD diet significantly reduced GERD symptoms, while others claim that it actually made them worse. Similarly, fatty fish (a high source of omega-3) is on the “avoid” list, but many GERD sufferers say that they have no problem eating salmon or tuna.

If you are able to handle omega-3s, the health and healing of the fish oil benefits are effective in boosting immunity and repairing damage. Although specific foods to avoid may vary from person to person, there are a few general guidelines that may help reduce symptoms of GERD.
High fat foods, particularly those that contain trans fats, can cause reflux because of the large amounts of acid required to digest them. As well, dangerous trans fats have been connected to esophageal disease, and since GERD can also contribute to complications with the esophagus, it is best to eliminate them from your GERD diet.
It is best to let food and beverages cool a little before consuming since very hot substances have been linked to stomach and intestinal ulcers, which can intensify the symptoms of acid reflux.
Both peppermint and chocolate contain chemicals that can stimulate the release of stomach acids while also relaxing the smooth muscle sphincter between the stomach and esophagus, often resulting in acid reflux and heartburn.
Alcohol irritates the lining of the stomach and is actually one of the most reported causes of heartburn.
This is simply provided as a guideline to give you a place to start and to make it easier for you design your own personal GERD diet. While lifestyle changes, such as diet modifications, can help reduce the symptoms and complications of GERD, sometimes medical treatment is necessary. Often, medications will be used temporarily to help calm inflammation so the body’s natural healing processes can work to repair damage. It is important that you do not stop taking prescription medications without first gaining permission from your doctor. After diet changes, antacids are usually the first course of action because they provide quick relief of symptoms.
These drugs are designed to prevent acid production and release in the stomach and intestines, thereby reducing the risk of acid reflux and esophageal damage. Sometimes, over the counter treatments are not strong enough to provide relief in more severe cases, so your doctor may recommend acid reflux prescription medications. These treatments are used to strengthen the lower esophageal sphincter and are also given to patients with slow gastric emptying since they speed up digestion so acid does not stay in the stomach for any longer than necessary. In cases of severe GERD symptoms, a healthy GERD diet is not enough and surgery is sometimes necessary.
This procedure reinforces or tightens the lower esophageal sphincter by wrapping the top of the stomach around the lower esophagus. In this procedure, esophageal tissue is actually heated and damaged to form scar tissue which helps to strengthen the muscles. At this point, no alternative medicine therapies have been accepted as proven treatments for GERD. Also, some patients want to avoid pharmaceuticals as much as possible and are looking for an alternative way to reduce their symptoms and restore their body back to its natural balance. Although natural treatments are still controversial, they can provide relief of symptoms and even promote healing by calming your digestive system. Fennel seeds contain a substance called Anethole which is known to suppress stomach and intestinal tract spasms.
Eating an apple after a meal can reduce the amount of acid in the stomach and decrease the likelihood of reflux.
This is claimed to be a particularly effective treatment as ginger root is known to absorb stomach acid and calm the nerves. Add it to your GERD diet food, eat it candied, drink it as a tea, or take in capsule form following a meal.
This is one of the most popular home remedies and is effective because it contains enzymes known to prevent acid reflux and heartburn.
Probiotics are the good bacteria that exist in your gastrointestinal tract and are directly connected to the health of your immunity system. The theory is that since probiotics contribute to effective digestion, they can heal digestive tract disorders and prevent reflux from occurring.
Some doctors argue that intestinal bacteria is unique to each individual so a specific strand of probiotics may be helpful to some people in their GERD diet efforts while completely ineffective to others. Chewing gum stimulates saliva production which will help dilute stomach acids and limit acid reflux.
It should be mentioned that many people use baking soda for treatment of heartburn and indigestion; however, you should exercise caution when using this remedy.
Aside from a GERD diet and medicinal or natural treatments, there are some other things that you can do to help reduce the symptoms of acid reflux disease.
Obesity not only increases the risk of developing GERD, but it also exacerbates existing symptoms. Since GERD symptoms are often worse in the evening, it is best not to eat too close to retiring.
The LES is on the left side of the stomach and if your esophageal sphincter is weak it may not close properly. Since both of these diseases increase the risk of developing GERD as well as intensifying their symptoms, proper management is crucial in preventing acid reflux. In many cases, a proper GERD diet can improve your condition enough that medications may be reduced or even eliminated. And, for those who require more intervention, there is such a variety of treatments that you should be able to find one that works for you.
So, say goodbye to acid reflux and prepare yourself a GERD diet meal that will bring you pleasure without all the pain. The information and resources on this site are for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to serve as replacement for psycological or medical treatment. Every year, nearly 60,000 people die from Colorectal Cancer, making it the second leading cause of cancer death in the U.S.
More than 2 million Americans suffer from Celiac Disease, a disease which results from the intoleration of gluten. Copyright 2015 Digestive Disease Center of the Hudson Valley.Digestive Disease Center is a division of Northern Medical Group.
And, since we are all different, there is no definitive treatment or GERD diet that will work in every circumstance. After all, these digestive juices contain hydrochloric acid which is a highly corrosive chemical with a wide variety of industrial uses. So, if splashing a small amount on your skin requires “immediate” attention, you can imagine what kind of damage could be caused by repeated exposure to the tender lining of the esophagus. However, this particular study, as well as others before and since, showed no definitive connection between these factors and acid reflux. Or, why taking probiotics in a GERD diet will heal some people, while aggravating the condition in others.
Similarly, the severity level may be different, depending on the person, but it is important that you do not ignore any signs, even if you think they may not be significant. Acid exposure causes damage to the lining of the esophagus, and as this damage heals it forms scar tissue that causes the esophagus to tighten or narrow, which can result in difficulty swallowing. Unfortunately, this is often mistaken for allergies, and the true cause in not discovered until more serious complications develop.
It is sometimes described as feeling as if food was not swallowed properly and is still sitting in the throat. In fact, acid reflux is the most common cause of non-cardiac chest pain, with about 10% of GERD patients having chest pain as their only presenting symptom (Makkar, Sachdev, Azad, 2004).
It is recommended that you rinse your mouth with water regularly and brush with a toothpaste that protects tooth enamel. With Barrett’s esophagus, the color and composition of the esophagus lining will change, indicating an increased risk of esophageal cancer. This test will help identify scar tissue, narrowing of the esophagus, and any damage or ulceration. It will also monitor any reflux activity and keep track of how long this regurgitation lasts.

This is typically done by placing a thin tube or catheter through your nose and into your esophagus.
Healthy eating improves overall health and boosts immunity, which will benefit your digestive system as well as every organ in your body. In fact, it actually supports the fact that treatment and modifications must be approached on an individual basis.
Similarly, foods that are known for being fairly benign may actually cause you to experience pain and discomfort. For at least two weeks, and maybe longer depending on the predictability of your lifestyle, write down everything you eat, when you eat it, and any symptoms that you experience. If this is the case, you may also want to record details about your situation at the time including environment, state of mind, and duration of meal. You may find that you can still enjoy these things in moderation simply by changing when you eat them. So, for sake of a positive perspective, we will begin with a few things that you should add to your GERD diet. Those on acid reducing diets, as is often recommended for GERD patients, may find the digestion of proteins difficult, resulting in pain and reflux. Well, if you have GERD, you may have to hand over the chocolate, but you do get to sprinkle a little bit of salt on those veggies in your GERD diet.
Many people today use sea salt which has not been iodized, so if this is the case, you should add some regular salt to your diet. Low sodium levels have also been connected to acid reflux, so make sure you have at least a little salt in your GERD diet.
Foods with a high fat content have been linked to a decrease in LES pressure and a delay in stomach emptying which can also lead to acid reflux.
I know it is repetitive, but everyone has certain foods that irritate their condition and cause severe symptoms. Similarly, something appearing on the “safe” list does not guarantee that it will not cause a problem for you. Once the disease is under control, medications can sometimes be discontinued and symptoms managed by drug free methods.
However, it is important to know that these treatments only offer temporary relief and do not provide any healing elements. When taking proton pump inhibitors at the prescription level, your doctor may recommend a calcium supplement because these medications can cause a loss of bone mass.
These drugs can cause significant side effects such as fatigue, depression, and anxiety and may also interfere with the effectiveness of other medications. What works for one person may not be optimal for another, so your doctor may try several options before finding what provides the best results for your situation.
Most doctors will not perform surgery until all other options have been exhausted and it has become obvious that lifestyle changes in terms of, among other things a GERD diet and medications are not effective. These stitches are then tied together to form a barrier that prevents stomach acid from entering your esophagus. Some people have reported natural remedies that have given amazing results with their GERD diet while others find that prescription medications have little effect. Again, this is one of those suggestions that you will have to try for yourself and see if it works. Baking soda contains sodium which can raise your blood pressure and make your blood too alkaline if taken in large amounts.
It is recommended that your GERD diet consists of several smaller meals throughout the day rather than a few larger ones. If you sleep on your right side, acid may be able to leak out of the stomach into the esophagus, causing pain and damage to the esophageal lining.
Learning how to manage stress can help reduce symptoms as well as contributing to your overall health and well-being. Of course, you should not discontinue prescriptions without your doctor’s approval, but many patients have reported significant improvement simply from a GERD diet alone.
Whether it is over the counter drugs, prescription medications, natural remedies for GERD, or surgery, this disease is treatable and most complications can be avoided if the condition is handled properly. With us, you’ll find university-level gastroenterology combined with a standard of patient care that is second to none. I am simply delivering my knowledge in the hopes of helping others stay beautiful inside and out. Those are great for short term, but the importance lies in keeping away from all acidic contents, certain fruits and veggies and all caffeine and carbonated beverages.
Avoid all citrus fruits, acid, alcohol, caffeine and anything you are unsure of, just look  up its PH level. If you have a persistent dry cough, it is a good idea to visit your doctor to make sure that a bigger problem isn’t being overlooked. As a GERD patient, your doctor may monitor this by suggesting an endoscopy that will help identify early warning signs.
This is done by threading a tube through your nose and into your esophagus, or small probe may be placed in your esophagus during an endoscopy.
Several studies have failed to show that specific foods or drinks are connected to the disease. By taking probiotic supplements with your GERD diet, you can restore this balance to achieve a properly functioning stomach and digestive system. Also, going for a walk after a large meal can help lower stomach acid and speed along digestion. For dinner it is especially important not to overeat as symptoms seem to intensify in the evening. For those suffering from this disease, it often seems as if everything you eat causes symptoms, but in most cases, acid reflux disorder can actually be managed effectively with an individual GERD diet so patients can reach a point where they enjoy eating again. We have the most state-of-the-art technology in the region to diagnose and treat your digestive problems. I have been battling with GERD aka Acid reflux on and off for years, and now surprisingly (which shouldn't be so surprising) after slacking on my healthy eating, it has graduated to Silent Reflux. Even club soda, as it serves as a kind of hot air balloon by latching onto the bad acid into your esophagus and Larynx, where it eats away at it.
If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important that you seek medical attention immediately to rule out the possibility of a heart attack.
Over consumption of baking soda can have serious health consequences, especially for those with heart conditions. We offer advice to help you stay healthy, and our competent and compassionate staff is committed to making your experience with us one that leads to a healthier you.
If it weren't for this show, I would have never stumbled across this information in my google searching. The percentage of people with acid reflux has skyrocketed in the last few decades after the introduction of extra acids. Often times this is happening to you, but there is no sign or very few or a LOT of symptom, such as chronic cough, hoarse throat, postnasal drip and the feeling of a lump in the throat. I had all of the symptoms and it greatly dissipated when I began eating non acidic foods and healthier in general, whilst losing weight.
Now, it is back with a vengeance because I decided to get lazy, or lets be honest, I just ate like 99% of the population.

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