Lifestyle and Diet Tips for Acid Reflux
What is Acid Reflux?
Acid Reflux is a condition in which the liquid content of the stomach backs up into the esophagus. At the entrance to your stomach is a valve, which is a ring of muscle called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). Normally, the LES closes as soon as food passes through it. If the LES doesn’t close all the way or if it opens too often, acid produced by your stomach can move up into your esophagus.
The liquid can inflame and damage the lining of the esophagus although this occurs in more severe cases. The regurgitated liquid usually contains acid and pepsin which are produced by the stomach causing a burning sensation in the chest or throat called heartburn. Occasional heartburn is common but does not necessarily mean one has acid reflux.
Acid Reflux Diet
Improving Your Diet for Control Over Acid Reflux
Acid Reflux is a condition in which stomach acid backs up into the esophagus. Acid reflux often results in a bitter taste at the back of your mouth or heartburn (burning sensation in your chest). Recurrent episodes of Acid Reflux can result in inflammation and damage to the lining of the esophagus.
Usually, changes in diet can help reduce or eliminate Acid Reflux. Avoid foods that trigger symptoms like:
- Caffeine in any form
- Foods high in fat
- Spicy foods
- Tomatoes and tomato-based foods
- Carbonated beverages
- Garlic and onions
Common signs of acid reflux are:
- Chest pain (especially while lying down at night)
- Difficulty swallowing
- Coughing, wheezing, asthma, hoarseness, sore throat
- Regurgitation of food or sour liquid
Anyone, at any age, can have Acid Reflux including infants, children, and pregnant women.
Diet & Nutrition
These foods are known to “trigger” symptoms of acid reflux. Smoking may increase stomach acid. The swallowing of air during smoking may also aggravate belching and acid reflux. Clothes that fit tightly around your waist put pressure on your abdomen and the lower esophageal sphincter which may cause heartburn.
- Citrus fruits
- Drinks with caffeine
- Fatty and fried foods
- Garlic and onions
- Mint flavorings
- Spicy foods
- Tomato-based foods, like spaghetti sauce, chili, and pizza
Avoid the following foods:
- Carbonated beverages and caffeine
- Raw and dried fruits, raisins and berries.
- Greasy, fried and processed foods
- Gas-producing foods (lentils, beans, legumes, cabbage, and broccoli)
- Spicy and/or highly seasoned foods
- Dairy Products
- All nuts and seeds, as well as foods that may contain seeds (such as yogurt)
- Vegetables from the Cruciferous family
Foods that may be regularly eaten in any quantity:
- Ripened Bananas
- White rice
- Fish(broiled or baked-avoid shellfish)
- Chicken Soups (No Cream Soups)
- Fresh Chicken or Turkey
- Cooked vegetables
- English muffin
- Plain Cereals (e.g. Cheerios, Cornflakes,
- Cream of Wheat, Rice Krispies, Special K
- Ripened Banana
- Fruit juices (except prune juice)
- applesauce, apricots, banana (1/2), cantaloupe, canned fruit cocktail, grapes, honeydew melon, peaches, watermelon
- Enriched refined white bread or buns
- Alfalfa sprouts, beets, green/yellow beans, carrots,
celery, cucumber, eggplant, lettuce, mushrooms,
green/red peppers, potatoes (peeled), squash, zucchini
- Well-cooked, tender meat, fish and eggs
- Potatoes (no skin)
- Vegetable juices
- Arrowroot cookies, tea biscuits, soda crackers,
plain melba toast
- White Rice
For more information on diet restrictions and suggestions for your Autoimmune Disease, call A.M.P. Floracel® at 954 527-1004 to speak to a specialist today!
Treatment and Lifestyle tips for Acid Reflux
Lifestyle changes can help reduce discomfort caused by Acid Reflux. Eating meals that are smaller in size at an increased frequency helps control the concentration of stomach acid. If you are currently a smoker, you should consider quitting. Not only does nicotine weaken the lower esophageal muscle, but it also increases stomach acid. When sleeping, consider elevating your head. Avoid chewing gum, tight clothing, and eating late at night.
If you are suffering from Acid Reflux, you may need to control your weight. Excess weight put pressure on your abdomen, pushing up your stomach and causing the acid to back up into your esophagus. Try to raise the head of your bed; an elevation of about six to nine inches puts gravity to work for you. Eat smaller meals; this reduces pressure on the lower esophageal sphincter, helping to prevent the valve from opening and acid from washing back into your esophagus. Loosen your belt, Clothes that fit tightly around your waist put pressure on your abdomen and the lower esophageal sphincter. Eliminate heartburn triggers. Everyone has specific triggers. Common triggers such as fatty or fried foods, alcohol, chocolate, peppermint, garlic, onion, caffeine, and nicotine may make heartburn worse.
If you experience only occasional, mild heartburn, you may get relief from an over-the-counter medication. OTC remedies include: Antacids, such as Maalox, Mylanta, Rolaids, and Tums, neutralize stomach acid and can provide quick relief. But antacids alone won’t heal an inflamed esophagus damaged by stomach acid.
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