GERD: 10 Ways That You Can Keep The Foods You Eat From Biting Back

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gAcid Reflux If you have ever had any of these symptoms after eating such as a burning sensation in your throat and chest, nausea, belching, hiccups, coughing, hoarseness, difficulty swallowing or felt pain.

When stooping, bending or lying down- especially after consuming a large meal- then you probably suffer from a health problem that is quite common.

This health condition is acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD for short). Approximately 1/3 of individuals in the United States are affected by this condition. That is an alarming segment of the population. The costs to evaluate and treat GERD is over $10 billion a year, which is also an astronomical figure.

The Causes Of GERD

GERD is not merely occasional heartburn that you have to put up with. People who suffer from occasional heartburn only have this once a week or less. On the other hand, people who suffer from GERD are affected by this condition at least two times per times per week and often even more frequently than that.

GERD in some cases might cause some individuals to experience a significant amount of discomfort on a daily basis, which leads these people who are suffering from this pain condition to try using practically any kind of medication that they can get their hands on. So what causes GERD to occur? Food passes through your lower esophageal sphincter (LES) and then into your digestive system.

esophagusThe LES is located at the lower part of the esophagus, right above your stomach. The passage is intended to be only one-way. Unfortunately, there are several different things that may cause the LES to open at the wrong times or not close properly.

This allows the flowing of stomach acid up through the LES, which carries stomach acids into the mouth and esophagus. Although many people suffer from bouts of heartburn on an occasional basis, when it starts to occur on a more regular basis, a doctor will tend to give the diagnosis of GERD.

The Major Factors Contributing To GERD

The following are some of the major factors that can contribute to GERD occurring. Note that they are all things you can help to avoid:

  • Consuming large meals
  • Consuming a high fat diet
  • Eating excess amounts of acidic foods
  • Eating certain foods that irritate your stomach
  • Poor elimination or constipation
  • Having excessive belly fat

Natural Ways To Get Rid Of Acid Reflux

medicationsWhen GERD symptoms arise, the most common response that a majority of individuals have is to grab the last miracle anti-GERD medicine like Prilosec or Zantac or pop an antacid.

However, these medicines only treat the symptoms of GERD but do not address the causes. At times, medications are not even sufficient to completely get rid of the symptoms.

With others, you end up having to take increasingly larger doses of the medicine just to achieve the same amount of pain relief. And even if the medicine you are taking does relieve your symptoms, you still haven’t eliminated what is causing your GERD in the first place.

Fortunately, there are ways of controlling GERD symptoms naturally. They can even help to heal your body so you won’t ever be tempted to reach for another roll of Tums. You can start to achieve relief from your GERD symptoms without taking medicine by making changes to your lifestyle that promote good health. The following are ten natural ways that you can prevent the foods you consume from biting you back:

1. Stop Eating Before You Start To Feel Completely Stuffed

acid refluxConsuming huge meals overextends your stomach, and is one of the major causes of acid reflux. Eat slowly and don’t rush through your meals. Chew your food completely.

Try putting your utensils down in between bites to help slow yourself down if you tend to be a fast eater. Also, instead of eating at your desk or in front of the television, eat at the kitchen or dining room table.

This can not only help you prevent GERD symptoms from occurring, but your meals will become more enjoyable for you as well. Above all else, when you start feeling full, stop eating. Don’t wait until you are so stuffed that you can barely get up out of your chair or move around.

2. Stop Eating Foods That Might Irritate Your Stomach

There are certain foods that might irritate the stomach. It can vary from one person to the next on what those specific foods are. However, foods like peppers and onions are known to be culprits for many people.

If you notice that eating certain foods causes your stomach to become irritated, then cut them out of your diet completely. Even if you happen to really like those foods, it can definitely be worth it to give them up if it helps to relieve GERD symptoms.

3. Consume A Plant-Based Diet

fiberYour body will thank you for it. Plants are rich in beneficial active enzymes, fiber and nutrients. Plant are also alkaline.

This helps with creating an internal environment inside your digestive system that helps to inhibit the buildup of acids.

It is also easy for your stomach to digest plants, so it doesn’t have to produce as much acid or work as hard as it does with other types of foods that you eat.

4. Minimize Your Consumption Of All Animal Products Or Avoid Them Altogether

Animal products are very hard to digest. This includes meat, poultry, fish, eggs and dairy. Your stomach must release a lot of acid and work much harder to digest these foods compared to digesting plants. In addition, an acidic environment is created by animal products, which causes conditions such as acid reflux to thrive.

5. Minimize The Amount Of Fats That You Consume

fried foodsYour body does need some fat in order for it to survive. However, minimizing the amount of super fatty foods that you consume such as animal products and fried foods can really help to keep your GERD symptoms under control.

Fried foods, highly processed foods, fast foods and junk foods are all bad for your overall health and are a major contributing factor to gaining weight as well, so it is best to avoid these types of foods as much as you can, for your GERD symptoms as well as your overall health.

6. Avoid Consuming Gluten Grain

Gluten is contained in barley, rye, wheat and some processed oats. Gluten is a type of protein that your digestive system has a difficult time processing. As an alternative, you can switch to non=gluten grains such as quinoa and millet. They add more fiber into your diet and are also much easier to digest. They also happen to be quite tasty, so if you haven’t tried these grains before, you should definitely give them a shot.

7. Minimize The Amount Of Acid-Forming Beverages That You Consume

CoffeeSoda, energy drinks and coffee all add a ton of acid to your body and stomach. In addition, these types of beverages can potentially irritate the lining of your stomach. Another thing that might contribute to the development of GERD symptoms is carbonation.

Instead of consuming these beverages in large quantities, switch to drinking water with freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice, plain water or herbal tea. These are great beverages to help you stay hydrated in addition to not building up acid in your stomach.

8. If You Happen To Be Overweight, Make A Commitment To Losing Weight

One of the major things that can contribute to GERD symptoms is belly fat. If you lose weight it can helps to ease some of the pressure on your lower esophageal sphincter (LES). Of course losing weight can not only help to relieve GERD symptoms, but it can also help to improve your overall health and appearance, so the payoff for losing weight can be quite significant.

Following some of the advice in some of the other tips in this article, such as avoiding highly fatty foods, will help you with losing weight. So if you concentrate on all 10 ways here and get some exercise, it will go a long way towards meeting your goal of losing weight.

9. Wait An Hour After You Eat A Meal Before Doing Certain Activities

Acid RefluxWait an hour after you eat a meal before lying down or getting all worked up about stooping, bending over or doing other types of strenuous physical activity.

It will help to keep the acid inside your stomach- which is where it belongs. Wen you allow stomach acid to be assisted by gravity through lying down or bending over, you widen or weaken your LES.

This can result in acid ending up in your mouth and esophagus instead of staying inside your stomach where it is supposed to stay. So take it easy after consuming a large meal. Your body will thank you for it.

10. Consume Green Smoothies

Starting off your day with consuming a green smoothie can be very beneficial to your health. It can also help wit your GERD symptoms. Constipation is one of the main things that causes GERD symptoms to occur. When you have to strain to eliminate hardened stool, over time this can cause your LES to widen, which can allow acids from your stomach to seep through into your esophagus.

Green smoothies have a lot of beneficial fiber in them can can help with bulking up your stool and getting rid of your constipation problems. Green smoothies are also very powerful alkaline drinks. They can help to neutralize acids that are inside your digestive system and also assist with maintaining proper pH levels for your body.

GERD symptomsIf you follow the advice given in the 10 tips above, it will help to not only provide relief from painful GERD symptoms but can work on the underlying causes as well and significantly improve your overall health.

Most of these steps are very easy to take. It mostly consists of eating a healthy diet and avoiding those foods that can irritate your stomach.

So one of the most important things you can do is pay attention to how your body reacts to certain foods and eliminate those that cause irritation or seem to bring on GERD symptoms.

Keeping a food journal can help you with this process. The other major thing that you can do is to become better informed about good nutrition so that you know which are the most healthy foods for you to consume and avoid GERD symptoms.

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