Foods to avoid if you have acid reflux aka Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, commonly referred to as GERD
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Acid reflux or indigestion. We all get it. Maybe we’ve eaten too much or too late in the evening. Maybe we’ve drunk too much alcohol at that party the night before. We could have bent down to do a bit of weeding too soon after a meal and oops, that pain in the middle of the chest can be quite severe.
What is acid reflux though?
It is the liquid in the stomach regurgitating into the oesophagus (gullet). Much of this liquid is acid produced in the stomach which is harmful to the walls of the oesophagus. Reflux happens to most people but because we spend much of our time upright, gravity ensures that the liquid returns to the stomach unnoticed. In addition, we swallow frequently which again returns regurgitated liquid to the stomach and saliva contains bicarbonate which helps to neutralise the acid in the stomach liquid.
It doesn’t do to ignore repeated instances of painful indigestion though, as it could be symptomatic of something much more serious. That refluxing acid can cause lasting damage to the lining of the oesophagus, which, if left untreated, can lead to other conditions.
A friend relates that when she was a child, her father was always chewing on Rennies, a well known antacid in the UK. He used to say that a good belch would cure the indigestion. It later turned out that he had a stomach ulcer. Despite that, when my friend, in turn, started suffering from frequent indigestion, she too chewed on the Rennies and went about her business.
Eventually, she realised that the extent of the indigestion couldn’t be normal so she consulted her doctor who referred her to a specialist for an endoscopy.
The endoscope transmits images of the oesophagus, stomach, and duodenum, enabling the specialist to identify problem areas and, if necessary, obtain biopsies. The endoscope is usually inserted while the patient is under sedation thus avoiding the gagging reflex.
To return to my friend, a hiatus hernia was diagnosed. A hiatus hernia occurs when the upper part of the stomach pushes through the opening in the diaphragm where the oesophagus connects with the stomach, allowing the acid from the stomach to reflux. Fortunately, this was a small hiatus hernia, which could be easily treated with a course of medication.
A couple of years went by with only minor instances of indigestion, then my friend started to experience occasional bouts of very severe heartburn and sickness which she treated with the usual array of antacid preparations. Suddenly, one day she woke up with a severe pain in her lower stomach which didn’t respond to the usual remedies and in any event, didn’t resemble any of the normal symptoms of acid reflux.
A visit to the doctor and my friend found herself hospitalised for tests which revealed that the original small hiatus hernia was larger and bleeding and had lead to gastritis (inflammation of the stomach lining) and duodenitis (inflammation of the duodenum), both caused by an infection with the Helicobacter pylori bacteria. This bacteria is extremely common, thought to infect 70% of the world’s population, although most people do not display any symptoms of the infection.
The moral of this story is “Don’t ignore persistent acid reflux, it may be much more that just indigestion”.
Watch out for my next article on the treatment of acid reflux.
Your Independent guide to Acid Reflux
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.
How Acid Reflux Can Worsen Your Asthma
Asthma is a chronic lung condition that is characterized by difficulty in breathing, wheezing, and mucus accumulation. People with asthma have extra sensitive or hyper-responsive airways. During an asthma attack, the airways become irritated and react by narrowing and constructing, causing increased resistance to airflow, and obstructing the flow of the air passages to and from the lungs.
Some research indicates that the symptoms of asthma may get worse when you have heartburn or acid reflux. Acid reflux occurs when your undigested stomach content moves back up into your esophagus.
Acid reflux can cause painful heartburn which you can relieve with antacid medicines or natural remedies. Antacids simply neutralize your stomach's acid, which reduces the burning sensation in your esophagus tube. It is best to use natural remedies first because neutralising stomach acid is a temporary method and only serves to suppress the cause of acid reflux.
For acid reflux, it is best to use digestive enzymes. Take a good digestive enzyme with every meal you eat. The next step would be to learn how to eat so you don't get acid reflux or heartburn.
Acid reflux happens mostly in people who are older and overweight. But sometimes it can happen in children and in all types of people.
In some studies, researchers have injected acid into the esophageus of people with asthma, and it had a significant impact on their asthma and increased their asthma symptoms.
In these cases, asthma sufferers seem to lose out twice: they suffer from asthma and they may suffer from acid reflux more often than non asthma sufferers.
However, this is not the whole story. If acid reflux really was an important cause of asthma worsening, then treatments against acid reflux should make the asthma better, however, this is generally not the case.
In the meantime, if you have asthma and you also have acid reflux, it could just be that careful treatment of your reflux will make your breathing better.
If your asthma is bad and no-one knows why, some doctors would check whether you have or had acid reflux by conducting tests to measure the acidity in your stomach. If the result showed a tendency for acid reflux, then your doctor should help you eliminate this condition.
Using a doctor who uses natural methods to treat acid reflux is the best way to go. Using drugs to eliminate acid reflux when you are already taking drugs for asthma is asking for addition health problems in the future. Drugs do not cure acid reflux and cause Theis condition to worsen. It is best to use natural remedies and diet to eliminate acid reflux and heartburn.
Rudy Silva is a Natural Nutritionist. To learn more about using natural remedies for asthma go to: http://www.natural-remedies-thatwork.com/asthma1 and to find natural ways to help your acid reflux or heartburn go to: http://www.acidreflux-relief.info
More than 60 million people suffer with acid reflux disease every week of their life. Acid reflux is a very unpleasant and annoying condition. It is not considered to be a severe condition such as acid reflux, unless it occurs over twice a week over a time span of several months.
These is also evidence to suggest that people who have asthma get acid reflux more often than people without asthma. This is probably because of the big pressure changes in the chest during breathing in people with asthma. These high pressures could force liquid to travel the wrong way up the esophagus.
If acid reflux disease goes untreated for a prolonged period of time, it can cause permanent damage to the esophagus.
Acid reflux disease is caused by acid from the stomach washing back up into the esophagus repeatedly. This happens when the lower esophageal sphincter becomes weak and relaxed.
The main cause of the relaxed esophageal sphincter muscle is high fat foods which have been shown in studies to temporarily weaken the esophageal sphincter muscle.
The most common symptoms of acid reflux disease are a burning sensations in the chest, a sour acidic taste in your mouth, sore throat, and bad breath. Usually laying down right after eating will make symptoms worsen.
Many people suffering from acid reflux have found relief in positioning their bed in an upright position. They usually do this by putting 4 to 6 inch blocks under the 2 bedposts at the head of the bed.
The answer to most people who suffer with acid reflux disease is to reach for an antacid. These are o.k. for short term use, but reducing the acid in the stomach is not the answer.
In recent research, results indicated that reducing the acid in the stomach can cause several other diseases. So, what can you do? When you have acid reflux you absolutely have to have relief- and the quicker the better.
To start with, you can use these tips to help wean yourself off of the antacids for good. Lifestyle changes can go a long way in helping keep the flames at bay.
Things such as quitting smoking, drinking, and reducing stress will set you on the right road. Then, making changes in your diet is the best thing you can do to keep acid down in the stomach where it belongs.
The first thing to do is start eating foods that are high in fiber. Then make sure that you eat smaller meals so you won't overfill the stomach, causing sloshing of the fluids in the stomach up into the esophagus.
Eat more complex carbohydrate foods and lay off of the fried fatty foods. Last of all, but not least it will help you tremendously if you can start an exercising program.
The most common foods that are known for causing acid reflux are fried foods, caffeine, and alcohol. Smoking also causes the esophageal muscle to relax causing a problem for acid reflux sufferers. There are even some medications that can cause problems for some patients with acid reflux disease.
Be sure to consult with your physician concerning interactions of medications he has prescribed. A physician administering an acid reflux treatment usually prescribes various drugs as a first line of defense.
The stomach is designed to be very acidic with a pH of 3.0 or less. When your stomach has the proper pH, it digests your food so that it is broken down into vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that are absorbed.
When the acid is reduced greatly in the stomach by antacids, it leaves too little acid for the functions in which it was designed for. Vitamins and minerals are severely depleted in cases where the patient continues over long periods of time to consume antacids.
Herbal supplements have rapidly gained popularity over the past decade because they are safe and affordable solutions for chronic health problems. Herbal supplements are a natural and effective solution for revitalizing your health.
There are several herbs that are well known for alleviating heartburn. One of my favorites is a very refreshing drink- ginger tea. As always, consult your physician before taking any treatment of any kind.
Rita Kennon has studied health issues extensively over the past decade, and has a great desire to be instrumental in ending pain and suffering in the lives of as many people as possible. Natural health alternatives are her specialty. Although understanding the necessity of physicians in certain arenas of medical avenues, she believes that a lot of chronic pain could be dissolved through the proper diet, exercise, and herbal remedies.
Acid Reflux: Study Says Drugs Just as Good as Surgery
According to a study mandated by a new Medicare law, data has come back saying that drugs can be just as effective as even surgery in managing the symptoms of Acid Reflux. This can affect many people, as it is estimated that sixty million Americans have acid reflux (GastroEsophageal Reflux Disease or GERD).
Acid reflux is known as when a person's stomach acid backs up into the esophagus and causes that heartburn feeling. Sometimes it can affect breathing and even cause a person to feel as is they are suffocating. If not treated, this may eventually lead to esophageal damage.
Many people have noticed a susceptability to certain, highly acid foods and often have to avoid these foods to minimize the effects of their acid reflux. If you get woken up in the middle of the night from Acid Reflux, keep a journal of the foods eaten and make note of those foods you ate in the previous 12 hours. Then start eliminating those foods from your diet and see if you sleep and breathe better.
Also... make sure to take the time to relax. Stress and Acid Reflux make for a bad combination and if you can't sleep at night, you'll just get more fatigued with each passing day.
The good news is that the recent data indicates that people with debilitating acid reflux have a choice between taking pills or surgery.
Here's some of the things they found in this recent study:
- With chronic GERD, over-the-counter medications (such as Zantac, Pepcid and Tagamet -- each with their own respected trademarks) are not as effective as proton pump inhibitors. But the proton pump inhibitors can have more side effects.
- The respected brands Nexium, Prevacid and Prilosec OTC are all similar in the degree of effectiveness. And when compared to surgery, they seem to compare similarly in relieving the discomfort of GERD.
If you have acid reflux, the best thing to do is to seek help from your medical professional. You can get trusted advice and then make your own choice. And for some people, their acid reflux may be so severe that they'll need to have surgery and then follow up with medications to really get a handle on it.
Jessica Deets researches the internet for the latest information to help people. For more information about Acid Reflux see the website at http://www.AcidRefluxNews.com and you can comment on their blog at http://www.AcidRefluxNews.com/blog/
Top 5 Ways to Diagnose Acid Reflux Disease
Gastroesophageal reflux disease, also referred to as GERD or acid reflux disease, is an illness where the liquefied contents of the sufferers stomach backs up into their esophagus. The stomach contents that is regurgitated contains acids and pepsin that may cause quite severe damage to the esophagus although this only happens in very few cases. Acid reflux disease is a chronic disease and once you contract it you are likely to become a lifelong sufferer. If the esophagus does become damaged this is also a chronic disease. Treatment can be given to improve the state of the esophagus wall but if the treatment is stopped the problems can return within a matter of weeks.
1- Heartburn is by far the most common symptom of acid reflux disease and if a doctor suspects your heartburn is cause by acid reflux disease he or she will prescribe you with a medicine that stops the production of acid in your stomach. If it stops then it is assumed that you do indeed have acid reflux disease. This approach of diagnosis can be unreliable.
2- An endoscopy is another way of diagnosing acid reflux disease. A tube is swallowed so that doctors can see exactly what is going on inside your body. However, a esophagus of a patient suffering from the disease ordinarily looks quite normal so this method of diagnosis will only directly work for those patients whose esophagus has been damaged by their acid reflux disease. However, if an ulcer or other ailment that can cause similar problems is spotted then it may be possible to discount acid reflux disease.
3- Biopsies can be used to search for the existence of cancer. They can not be used to look for evidence of acid reflux disease but alternative causes of symptoms may be found.
4- Examining the throat and larynx is an approach that is sometimes consider for the diagnosis of acid reflux disease. Inflammation of either may indicate that a patient has acid reflux disease but there a number of other problems that may cause these symptoms too.
5- Esophageal acid testing is probably the most accurate way to test for acid reflux disease but is the most obtrusive as well. A tube is placed through the nose and into the esophagus where it remains for 24 hours. This tube has a sensor on the end and measures the amount of reflux generated over 24 hours.
John Mancini has been writing about Acid Reflux online and offline for a long time. Visit http://acid-reflux-cures.net or http://acid-reflux-solutions.info to read more about matters like acid reflux disease and acid reflux diet.
As we get older (over 35 in fact) there is a decrease in stomach acid production and this can be helped along by stress.
This allows ‘bad bacteria’ in the stomach to grow and they in turn produce gas and acid that leads to the discomfort and the ‘sound affects’ associated with reflux. Natural remedies for acid reflux target this by increasing the amount of ‘good bacteria’.
Instead of looking for natural remedies for acid reflux most people turn to the traditional acid-blocking drugs such as Tagamet, Zantac and Prilosec. While these drugs may work quickly on the symptoms, the problem is that they reduce your ability to digest food, make you more susceptible to diseases transmitted through food and increase your risk of food poisoning.
Natural Remedies for Acid Reflux
Prevention includes eating smaller meals, reducing your take of carbohydrates, eliminate fried foods, increase the amount of protein you eat and drink more water – at least eight to ten glasses per day (more if you sweat a lot).
My doctor explained this happens when the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) does not close properly and stomach contents leak back, or reflux, into the esophagus. The LES is a ring of muscle at the bottom of the esophagus that acts like a valve between the esophagus and stomach. The esophagus carries food from the mouth to the stomach.
Natural remedies for acid reflux include the following supplements:
Other natural remedies for acid reflux include the herbs peppermint, camomile, spearmint, lemon, marjoram and clove. Essential oils made from these herbs may be applied by massage and peppermint or camomile tea is very effective – particularly in place of caffeine.
As with all alternative treatments, better to work with your health care practitioner.
Paul Newland is a health writer, sports training consultant and martial arts instructor and runs the Global-Longevity.com website.
He is the author of numerous health information books and guides, including the Wellness Report, The Ultimate Antioxidant Report, The Selenium Report, The Ultimate Nutrient Guide and The Essential Fatty Acid Report and The Ultimate Sports Nutrition Guide - available Free (for a limited time) through Global-Longevity.com.
Acid reflux has forced me to suddenly wake up countless times, in a state of panic, choking on my own acid and gasping for breath.
Nothing can really describe the burning bile feeling, or the taste it leaves in your mouth as you try not to gag and throw-up. I have had to stick a pinch of toothpaste into my mouth and leave it there to try and cut the bile taste.
I was diagnosed with a hiatal hernia as a teenager, which may contribute to acid reflux. The burning acid had left me alone for most of my 20’s. However, a high stress job and a subsequent gain in weight and lack of exercise brought the acid reflux back on with a vengeance in my 30’s.
When I started having almost constant waves of heartburn and acid indigestion, sitting upright at my desk, I knew it was time to see the doctor.
At that time, I had never heard of acid reflux.
He told me that more than 60 million people suffer from frequent heartburn, acid indigestion or GERD (Gastroesophogeal Reflux Disease).
Acid reflux describes the regurgitation of acid back up the throat. It can also lead to more serious medical conditions that may require hospitalization.
When refluxed stomach acid touches the lining of the esophagus, it causes a burning sensation in the chest or throat called heartburn. The fluid may even be tasted in the back of the mouth, which is called acid indigestion.
Heartburn that occurs more than twice a week may be considered GERD, and it can eventually lead to more serious health problems.
When I finally went and saw my doctor, I was having almost constant heartburn and acid indigestion.
He further explained that symptoms are usually worse at night when the person is lying flat and acid flows easily from the stomach back up the esophagus.
Anyone, including infants, children, and pregnant women, can have GERD.
I was told to make some lifestyle and dietary changes. They included:
1. Using a wedge pillow to elevate my body at bedtime
2. Eating plenty of fiber and drinking lots of fluids.
3. Eating small meals and eating slowly.
4. Not lying down for at least 1-2 hours after eating.
5. Losing extra pounds. Added weight causes extra pressure on your stomach and can irritate symptoms.
6. Wearing loose clothing. Tightly fitting clothes put extra pressure on your stomach.
7. Not exercising for at least one hour after eating.
8. Avoiding the following: alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, chocolate, carbonated beverages, spices, fried and fatty foods, tomato products, citrus, and peppermint.
I am a non smoker and I don’t drink that much. I do drink a fair bit of coffee however. The real culprit for me though has been drinking fruit juice of any kind before bed. When I have, my acid reflux has been significantly worse.
As I have made many of these changes to my lifestyle, I have seen some relief.
The elevated pillow works wonderfully. I have also started taking proton pump inhibitor medication, which reduces acid production in my stomach. I have been told surgery may be an option down the road.
Drew Harris runs Acid-refluxsite.com, a one-stop-shop directory for those looking for information on acid reflux and its related issues. Multiple pages of resources, referrals, and expert articles. http://acid-refluxsite.com
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Acid Reflux Surgery - Being overweight has a host of negatives associated with it including greater probability of diabetes, cancer and heart disease. In this MedPage Today article we learn that being overweight also is linked to acid reflux (more formally known as gastro esophageal reflux disease or GERD.)
Acid Reflux Symptoms - 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.
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