Did you know that your diet can play a role in your risk of developing gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)? Although this condition can have many causes, dietary factors can contribute to GERD symptoms. In this article, we’ll look at some of the foods and nutrients that can help reduce your risk of GERD. We will also give you some tips for setting up a diet adapted to GERD. So if you’re looking to improve your digestive health, read on!
WHAT IS GASTRO-OESOPHAGIAL REFLUX?
Gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, is a digestive disorder that affects the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), the muscular ring located between the esophagus and the stomach. Normally, the LES relaxes to allow food and liquids to flow down the esophagus into the stomach, then contracts to prevent reflux. However, in people with GERD, the LES relaxes too much or does not contract properly. This allows stomach contents and acid to back up into the esophagus, causing heartburn and other symptoms. GERD is a chronic condition, meaning it lasts more than two weeks. People with GERD often have episodes of heartburn several times a week or more. In some cases, GERD can lead to serious complications, such as inflammation of the esophagus (esophagitis) or ulcers in the esophagus. Treatment for GERD usually involves lifestyle changes, such as avoiding trigger foods and eating smaller meals, and taking medication. Surgery is an option for people who don’t respond to other treatments.
WHAT IS A SPECIAL GERD DIET?
The GERD diet or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) diet is designed to counter acid reflux into the esophagus and reduce associated symptoms such as heartburn, nausea, and abdominal pain. The basic principle of the GERD diet is to avoid irritating and fatty foods and to favor easily digestible foods.
The main aspects of the special GERD regime are:
- Maintain an ideal weight and possibly adopt a diet for overweight people (in fact, voluntary weight loss would reduce symptoms for a long time).
- Smokers are strongly recommended to limit or even quit smoking (tobacco delays the healing of esophageal injuries and compromises the proper functioning of the sphincter).
- Chew food slowly and spread out food.
- Reduce alcohol consumption and especially do not drink it on an empty stomach.
- Avoid eating three to four hours before sleeping and raising the head of the bed.
What foods should be avoided in people with gastroesophageal reflux disease?
Gastroesophageal reflux involves cutting out certain foods, either because they are irritating or because they promote excess weight and abdominal pressure.
By increasing inflammation, irritating foods are likely to make GERD symptoms, such as burning or pain, worse. To prevent possible irritation of the lining of the esophagus and protect it from aggressive acidic juices, they should be avoided. Here is a list of foods to avoid in case of gastroesophageal reflux disease:
- Coffee, even decaffeinated;
- Tea ;
- Fizzy drinks ;
- Chocolate ;
- The alcohol ;
- Citrus fruits and citrus juices;
- Spices ;
- Mint products.
On the other hand, it is preferable to replace these products by:
- herbal teas;
- Still water ; and
- Herbs ;
- Fruits that are better tolerated.
It is essential to consume plenty of other fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C.
THE ADVANTAGES AND BENEFITS OF THE GERD DIET:
good nights sleep
Patients with reflux most often complain about how reflux disturbs sleep. Whether it keeps you from falling asleep, wakes you up or just makes you feel uncomfortable.
Better general health
The majority of dietary adaptations recommended for the treatment of reflux will also have a positive effect on your overall health.
Fewer doctor visits
A balanced diet ensures the body gets enough of the nutrients and energy it needs, which can limit visits to the doctor.
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