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How to Eat If You Have Acid Reflux or GERD

Do you suffer from acid reflux disease or GERD? If so, you know the importance of diet. Here’s how to eat for acid reflux.

Have you been diagnosed with acid reflux disease or GERD? This relatively common digestive disorder can turn ordinary eating into a painful experience. No sooner have you finished your meal when the burning and the regurgitation start. Not only is acid reflux uncomfortable, it can also cause longer term health problems. The chronic reflux of acid can cause damage to the lining of the esophagus, increasing your risk of esophageal cancer. If you experience chronic heartburn or reflux, it’s important to contact your doctor for a proper diagnosis since this disease can be confused with heart problems. Although prescription medications can relieve some of the symptoms of GERD, the symptoms can also be affected by what and how you eat. Need some guidance? Here’s how to eat for acid reflux.

What to eat and what not to eat for acid reflux

Certain foods are more likely than others to bring on the discomfort of acid reflux. Although peppermint may be refreshing after a meal and may be helpful for some digestive problems, it can make acid reflux symptoms worse. Peppermint reduces the pressure in the flap that separates the esophagus from the stomach, allowing acid to enter the esophagus more easily. Other foods to avoid include coffee and other caffeinated beverages, chocolate, fried foods, tomato based products, spicy foods, and alcohol. Citrus fruits and their juices should also be avoided because of their acidic nature.

You may find that particular foods seem to aggravate your symptoms. The best way to determine what foods to avoid is to keep a food journal for two weeks. During that time, write down everything you eat along with your symptoms. You should very quickly begin to see patterns of the food types that make your symptoms worse.

How to eat for acid reflux

When you eat for acid reflux, it’s important not to eat large quantities of food at one meal. Overeating can increase pressure within the stomach, making heartburn and reflux worse. Instead of eating two to three large meals per day, eat five or six smaller ones instead. Learn to eat your food slowly without talking to avoid swallowing air which can also increase intra-abdominal pressure. Never eat when you’re stressed or in a hurry. Sit down and enjoy your food in a leisurely manner. It’s also important to avoid drinking liquids with meals as they can volume overload the stomach and put back pressure on the flap covering the esophagus.

Other advice

Other simple steps to take to reduce the symptoms of acid reflux are to stop smoking and chewing gum, particularly peppermint gum. Instead of lying down after a meal, take a brisk walk to stimulate digestion and help to move food through your digestive tract.

The foods you eat for acid reflux can make a difference in the severity of the symptoms you experience .Following these dietary guidelines can help but don’t stop taking your acid reflux medication if your doctor prescribed them. Simply use these guidelines as one more way to improve your symptoms safely and naturally.

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