GERD: Small Changes in Your Diet Matter

Acid Reflux and GERD?

Acid reflux is what occurs when your stomach’s contents move up into your esophagus. This is also known as gastroesophageal reflux or acid regurgitation. Most people have experienced this sensation at least once in their lives and can attest that it is not pleasant. If you have regularly occurring acid reflux (a minimum off twice a week) you might have gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD for short. GERD is more prevalent than most people might think. If left untreated, GERD can lead to some pretty serious complications.

GERD Symptoms

Typically, acid reflux results in an uncomfortable burning sensation in your chest and throat. This feeling is most commonly referred to as heart burn. Acid reflux can also cause a bitter or sour taste to develop in the rear of your mouth. A person suffering from acid reflux may also experience difficult swallowing, the regurgitation of the stomach’s contents into the mouth, and in the worst cases, breathing problems, such as, asthma, bronchitis, or a chronic cough.

Causes of GERD

Acid reflux is the result of your lower esophageal sphincter (LES) malfunctioning. The LES is a circular band of muscle attached to the end of your esophagus. Ideally it should relax and open when you swallow, then tighten and close. When the LES malfunctions, the stomach’s contents rise up into the esophagus.

Treat GERD with Your Diet

Your diet naturally plays a pretty important part in the development of GERD. Certain foods can trigger acid reflux, which is why your diet is so important when trying to combat GERD. Make sure your diet minimizes:

  • High fat foods
  • Fried foods
  • Spicy foods
  • Citric fruits
  • Carbonated beverages
  • Alcohol
  • Coffee
  • Garlic and onions

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