Foods to avoid if you have acid reflux aka Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, commonly referred to as GERD
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The typical cause of heartburn or acid reflux is when acid from the stomach backs up into the esophagus. If your lower esophageal sphincter is not normal, stomach contents may flow back into your esophagus and cause heartburn. Stomach acid flows into the esophagus (called acid reflux), causing the burning sensation. Acid reflux is caused by stomach spasms which cause acid.
In fact acid reflux has nothing to do with the heart - it is a digestive problem. Indeed for most people, a proper eating habit may help fixing the heartburn problem. Eating high-fiber bread instead of white bread, and exercising for 30 minutes at least once a week, decreased the odds of getting heartburn. Keeping a daily diary for a week can help keep track of specific food items and circumstances related to episodes of heartburn.
One is solution to eliminate acid reflux is to stop smoking. After a meal, when the stomach is full, smoking increases the chances that you will suffer from acid reflux. Loss of weight can also reduce stomach acid reflux. Pregnant women are particularly vulnerable to heartburn in their third trimester as the growing uterus puts increasing pressure on the stomach.
Here are some easy things that doctors recommend:
Wait at least three hours before going to bed after eating.
Sleep with your head at least 8" higher than your stomach so that gravity can help keep stomach acids from coming up into your esophagus.
Avoid exercising or bending over right after eating.
Eat 5 or 6 small meals a day instead of the three, traditional, big ones.
Acid reflux tends to be more of a problem at night, while you are lying down or sleeping. Having the head and shoulders higher than the stomach lets gravity work to keep acid from refluxing. If heartburn is a continual or severe problem, it's a good idea to see your doctor. In patients with acid reflux, the heart valve pressure is usually low, which is the root of the problem.
Some people have only an occasional acid reflux symptom. For others, however, acid reflux and regurgitation are persistent, chronic symptoms that return several times a week, if not every day. Medical evaluation of heartburn is recommended for individuals who experience persistent symptoms several times a week. If acid reflux (heartburn) occurs on two or more days per week despite the measures discussed above, you should consult your family doctor. For chronic reflux and heartburn, the doctor may prescribe medications to reduce acid in the stomach.
Susanne Garris is a stay at home mom. But that doesn't mean she isn't at work. Susanne works as a research assistant and freelance writer on a variety of subjects. Her private research is devoted to blogs you can find at: http://www.acid-reflux-diet.blogspot.com
As always, before you attempt to self medicate or try a new health regimen or program we suggest you retain the services of a qualified health care professional.
GERD - Acid Reflux Disease
The term GERD is a acronym for gastroesophageal reflux disease and is a very glorified term for heartburn. Frequent, persistent heartburn is the primary symptom associated with acid reflux disease or GERD. With GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), stomach acid flows back into the esophagus, the tube leading from the throat to the stomach. If you suffer from persistent heartburn two or more days a week, you may have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Though heartburn is the most common of the acid reflux disease symptoms, other signs may also manifest themselves.
For these individuals, acid reflux disease, also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), may be at the heart of their burn. Prevacid is a prescription drug that helps GERD-sufferers prevent the acid that causes heartburn pain associated with acid reflux disease.
Besides the discomfort of heartburn, reflux results in symptoms of oesophageal inflammation, such as odynophagia (pain on swallowing) and dysphagia (difficult swallowing). Remarkably, the frequency of severe heartburn seems to decline with age, possibly due to a decrease in esophageal pain perception and atrophic gastritis. Although elderly patients may have fewer complaints of heartburn, their disease is usually more severe and has more complications. The burning, pressure, or pain of heartburn can last as long as 2 hours and is often worse after eating; and, can include very unpleasant symptoms, such as heartburn, chest pain, trouble swallowing, hoarseness, throat irritation and bad breath.
Only 2 to 3 percent of acid reflux events reach the conscious level and are perceived by patients with GERD. Abnormalities that make it dysfunctional promote acid reflux and the constellation of GERD problems. Many people, including pregnant women, suffer from heartburn or acid indigestion caused by GERD. Most cases of acid reflux respond to lifestyle changes and prescription medication. Anyone experiencing heartburn twice a week or more may have GERD. Occasional heartburn is common but does not necessarily mean one has GERD.
Susanne Garris is a stay at home mom. But that doesn't mean she isn't at work. Susanne works as a research assistant and freelance writer on a variety of subjects. Her private research is devoted to blogs you can find at: http://www.acid-reflux-treatment.blogspot.com
Acid reflux is scientifically known as GastroEsophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). It is a disease characterized by the abnormal reflux of gastric contents into the esophagus resulting to chronic symptoms or mucosal damage.
However, some people with GERD may not experience heartburn, but instead feel a pain in the chest, hoarseness, or problems swallowing. The feeling of heartburn my be similar to heart pain, but in actuality a heartburn has nothing whatsoever to do with the heart. Never assume that chest pain is heartburn or ingestion. GERD Symptoms Heartburn is described as a burning pain in the stomach that rises up towards the chest or towards the neck. A positive Bernstein test is considered if the patient experiences heartburn or chest pain. The acid perfusion test may have its utility more in explaining reflux as the cause of atypical chest pain. Potentially dangerous confusion can arise when someone neglects their heart pain believing it to be heartburn.
Acid reflux is often caused by temporary or permanent alterations in the lining that separates the esophagus and the stomach. Ineffectiveness of the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) or a temporary LES relaxation connected with a hiatal hernia are just some of the common causes of acid reflux. The process can also lead to a backflow of gastric juices to the pharynx or mouth.
Among adults, the most common symptom of acid reflux is heartburn which is caused by the presence of acid in the esophagus. Heartburn is characterized by a painful burning sensation behind the sternum or breastbone. Another symptom or manifestation of acid reflux is esophagitis which is characterized by an inflammation of the lining of the esophagus which is also known as the mucosal lining. Esophagitis also causes swallowing difficulties and chronic pains in the chest area.
Sometimes, individuals suffering from acid reflux may also experience coughing, persistent pain in the ears, hoarseness or a change in the voice and even sinusitis. If acid reflux gets complicated it may lead to formation of a stricture or ulcers in the esophagus. It may also lead to a condition called Barrett's esophagus and in worst cases, to cancer of the esophagus.
It doesn't mean however that a person who regularly suffers from heartburn is suffering from acid reflux. By all means, the heartburn may be from other causes. But if a person suffers from heartburn for more than once a week, then he or she is at a risk of acquiring acid reflux. Persons with hiatal hernia are also at a greater risk of developing acid reflux than those who are not.
The pain felt by persons suffering from heartburn is caused by the reflux of acid contents from the stomach to the esophagus. A pain in the chest area coming upwards the mouth.
Persons suffering from acid reflux may also experience tasting something sour or salty behind her throat. This is cause by regurgitation. This sour and salty taste may persist even without heartburn,
Other less common symptoms of acid reflux include difficulty swallowing, chest pain, halitosis or bad breath, repeated throat clearing and water brash or hyeprsecretion of saliva.
The symptoms of acid reflux in children are also the same as that on adults. Acid reflux in children may manifest in frequent spitting, throwing up repeatedly, coughing and other respiratory problems. Children suffering from acid reflux may also experience weight loss, frequent crying, loss of appetite and bad breath. Parents must remember though that children may show one or many symptoms. There is not one symptom that is always present in children with acid reflux.
The cause of acid reflux in children, especially in babies is their immature digestive system. This is why infants stop having acid reflux when they reach the first year of age. However, some children do not outgrow acid reflux. Some continue to suffer from the disease up to the teen years.
The best thing to do for parents of children suffering from acid reflux is to take the children to the doctor as soon as possible to avoid any complications.
Robert Thatcher is a freelance publisher based in Cupertino, California. He publishes articles and reports in various ezines and provides acid reflux resources on www.aboutacidreflux.info.
Acid reflux treatment in pregnancy can be a little tricky. Balancing cures, diet and exercise with what's good for both avoiding reflux and sticking to doctor's orders for the baby's sake can be tough.
Let's face it, sleeping can be difficult enough during pregnancy and the third trimester's the worst. Unfortunately, this is generally when acid reflux tends to rear its ugly head.
That's right. That awful burning feeling in the back of the throat, discomfort that feels like fire and a general sick feeling that makes sleeping almost impossible.
To deal with reflux in pregnancy, it's a good idea to understand first why it is so common. There are a lot of reasons acid reflux and pregnancy go hand-in-hand along with the typical heartburn many experience right out of the gate.
First off, pregnancy hormones can simply wreak havoc on the body and then there's the simple fact that the wonder of life that is your baby can, and does, press on organs in ways a first-time mother could never imagine. Sleeping can be hard enough without acid reflux, but it's an unfortunate side effect that can hamper the last few weeks.
So, what's a mom-to-be to do?
The first thing is to relax. While acid reflux is a nightmare, keep in mind that unless it's a medical condition that was present before the pregnancy, it will likely go away as soon as the baby is born. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.
When trying to treat reflux in pregnancy, remember pregnant women cannot or should not take a lot of the medications that are suggested for acid reflux under normal conditions. Thus, some pre-emptive strikes to avoid the condition are in order.
Here are some things that can help a pregnant woman avoid horrible bouts of acid reflux and things to do to relieve the symptoms if they start:
How to avoid an attack:
* Stay away from foods that can cause reflux. This means just say no to chocolate! Sorry. It also means steering clear of acidic foods such as juices and fruits, tomatoes, vinegar and fried and fatty foods.
* Since you're pregnant and should already be staying clear of caffeine this hopefully won't be an issue, but if you've been having a few sodas or coffees a day, cut that out of your diet right away.
*Limit food intake. Don't overeat.
*Don't eat right before bed.
*Drink tons of water. This is not only good for helping stave off an acid reflux attack, it's also good for you and the baby.
*Elevate yourself when you sleep. Acid reflux involves a "backflow" of stomach contents into the esophagus, stop it before it starts by careful placement of pillows.
Even the best-laid plans don't always work for a woman nearing term. If acid reflux strikes, check with your doctor about what you can take. Some find that pregnancy-friendly Tums help, others find getting up, walking around for a little bit followed up by some water does the trick.
Don't get discouraged and just do your best to relax and let the symptoms pass. Remember, acid reflux in pregnancy tends to go away completely after the baby's birth. Think of it as a little bump in the road on the way to something fantastic and you'll do fine!
To counter the surge in the prevalence of acid reflux, lots of over the counter medications have been churned out of our pharmaceutical companies. A lot of theories abound, medically and naturally, about the root cause of this disease. The first explanation for the cause of this condition is that because of the incompetence of the Lower Esophageal Sphincter (LES) acidic contents of the stomach are allowed up into the esophagus, which results in a burning sensation. The LES is a valve that is found at the lower end of the esophagus and separates it from the stomach and its contents but when this valve becomes dysfunctional, it allows the acidic content of the stomach to be regurgitated into the esophagus.
A separate school of thought believes that acidic reflux disease is caused by our eating habits. As it's often said, living in the civilized world entails eating more junk food and packaged and processed food than the stomach can digest. So, when we put so much into the stomach, most of the food ends up undigested. These undigested food materials turn into acidic waste in the stomach. This waste causes stomach spasms or twitching that causes an increase in stomach gas that pops open the LES valve between the esophagus and stomach sending acidic contents up the esophagus.
Yet, acidic reflux disease can be traced to aging in adults. It is believed in some quarters that as we age, the activity of the stomach reduces, so also its ability to produce hydrochloric acid. The reduction in the stomach activity and acid content of the stomach creates a breeding ground for infections which in themselves cause stomach pain and acid production leading to further symptoms of acid reflux.
Whatever the cause of acid reflux disease, what is constant about it, is the fact that it is a chronic disease. Most medicines, which inhibit production of acid in the stomach, only help to relieve the burning effect and other symptoms and not actually cure the condition. As a matter of fact, these drugs help in relieving the symptoms quite effectively, but the other side of the coin is that these drugs also cause several side effects in the body by cutting down the acid production in your stomach. Some of their side effects are that they reduce the ability of the stomach to digest food efficiently, they make you more vulnerable to diseases and microbes transmitted through food, increases the risk of food poisoning and a host of others.
While there are many medications and natural methods to rid yourself of that burning sensation that accompanies each acid reflux bout, the first line of action should be a thorough assessment of the your food and lifestyle. Some food materials are known to aggravate acid reflux, some of the foods include; citrus, caffeine, chocolate, fatty fried foods, garlic, and onions. Cutting down or avoiding these foods as much as possible is a good first attempt at preventing future acid reflux bouts.
Additional lifestyle assessment and modification that can help reduce acid reflux episodes include:
- Losing weight if you are overweight
- Cutting down alcohol to the barest minimum
- Eating just enough food to keep hunger away
- Don't go to bed until at least three hours after eating
- Raise your bed head six to eight inches
These very simple lifestyle improvements can keep you off those acid blockers and other acid reflux medications that cause almost the same amount of damage as the good they do to your body.
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