esophageal reflux is usually nothing to be concerned about. However, anyone who has esophageal reflux on a regular basis should consult a physician. Constant exposure to stomach acid can irritate the lining of the esophagus and cause other medical problems. Some fruits you may want to steer clear of are oranges, grapefruits, lemons, limes, pineapples, and tomatoes, Healthline says. These foods are highly acidic and can cause acid reflux symptoms.
Heartburn is one symptom of the condition acid reflux. Chronic acid reflux may be diagnosed as gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD. This article examines the relationship between these three terms. It also describes treatments, associated symptoms, methods of prevention, and when to see a doctor. However, trigger foods can vary from person to person.
Heartburn-Reducing Foods to Keep at Home
CCertain diet and lifestyle choices can contribute to the condition. For example, certain foods increase acid production, and fatty foods increase the time food remains in the stomach. Chocolate, peppermint, coffee, alcoholic beverages, and especially nicotine in cigarette smoke weaken or relax the LES. Obesity and pregnancy place added pressure on the upper abdomen.
Alkaline Fruits and Vegetables
Eat small meals every three to four hours. Overeating can aggravate symptoms of reflux because it puts a lot of pressure on the stomach and can push acid up into the esophagus. This is why I recommend eating smaller meals several times a day instead of traditional large meals.
Review all medications with the physician. Certain drugs can weaken the LES, allowing acid irritation of the esophagus. Decrease portions of food at mealtime, and avoid tight clothing or bending over after eating. “Even though a lot of fruits are acidic, contributing to acid reflux, low-acid fruits are a good bet,” Warren says.
The results of this relatively small cohort study seem to show that a plant-based Mediterranean diet with alkaline water is equally good as PPI medication at treating acid reflux symptoms when people also follow standard advice to cut out certain things from their diet. Gastro-oesophageal reflux (GORD) is when stomach acid rises up into the oesophagus (gullet), which can cause heartburn and indigestion. Standard treatment can involve removing dietary triggers (such as fatty foods) and medication with acid-blocking tablets called proton pump inhibitors (PPIs).
Caffeine is known to relax the LES, causing acid reflux, but this varies depending on a personâ€™s digestive tract. High amounts of caffeine also translate to higher acidity, which can further aggravate an already irritated digestive system.
Find out why. Consuming smaller meals, eating slowly, and avoiding certain foods may help relieve symptoms of GERD.
The act of eating breakfast alone is known to help manage chronic acid reflux. By eating something in the morning, acid reflux sufferers give their empty stomachs something to digest. Instead of travelling up the esophagus, the acids can work on healthy breakfast food, reducing feelings of constipation and stomach cramps.
And unfortunately, the many pills now available to treat acid reflux have done little to curtail its incidence. Approximately 40% of adult Americans now suffer from acid reflux.
Eating smaller meals and avoiding food triggers can help (see accompanying article). “Weight loss and quitting smoking will help most,” says Dr. Staller.
A handful of recent studies have shown a link between bone health and a low-acid diet, while some reports suggest that the acidity of the Western diet increases the risk of diabetes and heart disease. Medications to treat GERD reduce stomach acid. Antacid pills and liquids have been around the longest. More recently, proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs), such as omeprazole (Prilosec) or lansoprazole (Prevacid), and H2 blockers, such as cimetidine (Tagamet) or ranitidine (Zantac), have become available, many over the counter. Long-term use of PPIs is linked to a risk of bone fractures, low vitamin B12, and pneumonia.
Another factor is simply to have smaller meals, as meals with a larger amount of food and calories can trigger acid reflux. Acid reflux symptoms may be triggered by spicy foods, fatty foods, fried foods, mint, chocolate, tomato-based foods, onion, garlic, coffee, alcohol, and citrus fruits. Eating right for GERD does not have to mean cutting out all of your favorite foods.
Probiotics help to fight a bacterial strain known as Helicobacter pylori, which some scientists believe might relate to GERD. More research is necessary to confirm this. The trigger-food diet involves eliminating common trigger foods, such as coffee and chocolate, to alleviate symptoms. These methods have little clinical backing and results vary between individuals.
Certain conditions, such as narrowing or stricture in the esophagus, can usually be corrected during this procedure. During an endoscopy, the physician can also look for signs of esophageal damage and perform a biopsy if Barrettâ€™s changes have occurred. Complications can occur when GERD is severe or long-standing. Constant irritation of the esophagus by stomach acid can lead to inflammation, ulcers, and bleeding. Anemia or low blood count may develop.