Tuesday, 20 November 2012

7 Foods that can Trigger Acid Reflux

Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), also known as acid reflux, is a very common disorder worldwide. It is a digestive disorder which affects the normal functions of the LES (lower esophageal sphincter).

In this condition, the muscles of the lower esophageal sphincter weaken. As a result, stomach acids flow back up into the esophagus, damaging the lining in the esophagus. This causes symptoms such as nausea and heartburn. One of the primary reasons that cause GERD is eating the wrong types of food. Mentioned below are certain foods which must be avoided.

Foods to Avoid:

•    Dairy Products: Dairy products are known to increase acid secretions in the stomach. Therefore, to prevent excessive secretion of stomach acids, it is preferable to restrict the consumption of milk, cheese, etc. especially on a full stomach.

•    Acidic Foods: Some foods are acidic by nature and act like triggers for acid reflux. Grapefruits, pineapples and tomatoes are a few examples of acidic foods. Eating foods with a high acidic content will often cause acid reflux and hence they must be restricted or avoided.

•    Fried and Spicy Food: Fried foods have high amounts of trans-fats and hence cause acid reflux. Similarly, extremely hot or spicy foods irritate the stomach lining and trigger acid reflux. These foods also slow down the digestion process and cause the stomach acids to flow up into the esophagus. Therefore, it is important to curb or avoid spicy and fried foods.

•    Citrus Fruits: Some fruits are very acidic in nature and this could lead to heartburn in GERD patients. Therefore, limit or avoid the intake of fruits like grapefruits, lemons, oranges, etc.

•    Caffeine: Caffeine is known to increase stomach acid secretions and serves as an active muscle relaxing agent. As a result, it has been suggested that the intake of beverages containing caffeine must be limited to avoid acid reflux.

•    Garlic and Onions: Onions and garlic provide important health benefits. But, GERD patients must restrict or refrain from eating extra garlic and onions as they contain some compounds which can lead to acid reflux.

•    Carbonated Drinks: Avoiding carbonated or aerated beverages is recommended as they build up pressure inside the stomach. This triggers an increased production of stomach acids.

GERD Treatment:

There are many treatments available for acid reflux. Some common medications are H2 Blockers, proton pump inhibitors and antacids. Antacids are used for relieving minor symptoms like heartburn. Serious acid reflux cases are treated with proton pump inhibitor drugs and H2 blockers. Both these medications help lessen the quantities of acid produced within the stomach.

Medications like Generic Nexium are amongst the commonly prescribed drugs to treat acid reflux. Nexium is a proton pump inhibitor drug and decreases stomach acid production. This enables the esophagus and stomach to heal. But, you must use Nexium only when prescribed by the doctor.

These are some of the foods which cause acid reflux. If GERD symptoms persist, they could cause other health problems. Though avoiding such foods will help to deal with acid reflux, it is essential to consult a healthcare professional for diagnosis and proper treatment.

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