Diet for GERD: Why your Diet is Important

GERD is a condition that occurs when the acidic gastric juices from our stomach flow repeatedly up into the esophagus. This acid flows and causes irritation on the lining of the esophagus. Hence a burning sensation is felt in the lower chest. If you are not able to control it using OTC medicines or by changing your lifestyle, then contact a doctor immediately. If it is not treated, it may lead to severe complications like chest pain close to a heart attack, esophageal stricture, bleeding or pre-cancerous change in the lining of esophagus, known as Barret’s Esophagus.

Another reason for the cause of GERD is weakness of the muscle present at the base of esophagus. It connects and controls the movement of food into the stomach. When food travels down, the opening known as the sphincter opens to allow the food in to the stomach and closes once it enters. With GERD or heartburn, the opening is not closed tightly letting the acid flow back up into esophagus causing the symptoms of burning sensation in chest. Excess acid production and other diseases may also interfere while food passes through esophagus.

Other causes include excess acid production and other diseases that interfere with food passing through the esophagus. Lifestyle choices and certain diets can cause GERD. Some foods increase acid production and fatty foods increase the time they remain in stomach. Peppermint, chocolate, alcoholic beverages, coffee and mostly nicotine present in cigarette weaken the lower esophagus. Obesity increases the pressure on the upper abdomen. Due to some reason, the lower esophagus weakens during pregnancy.

Here is a GERD diet which a doctor may recommend to avoid: caffeine, chocolate and peppermint, spicy and/or tomato-based foods like pizza, wings, sausages, fruits from the citrus family like oranges and tomatoes, fried and fatty foods, peppermint and spearmint, whole milk, cold cuts, bacon, fatty meat, chicken skin, and cream-based soups.

So GERD diets should help to eliminate symptoms, heal esophagitis, prevent relapse of esophagitis or development of complications in patients having esophagitis. Remember to follow the doctor’s advice too.

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