People sometimes refer to GERD as acid reflux or heartburn, but these are technically symptoms of the disease rather than conditions in their own right. Reflux symptoms may result from stomach acid touching the esophagus and causing irritation and pain. If you have too much acid, you can incorporate these specific foods into your diet to manage symptoms of acid reflux. Additionally, see the table below for good foods to eat and food to avoid to manage your acid reflux.
Foods that Reduce Heartburn (Acid Reflux)
Heartburn is most frequently described as a sub-sternal (under the middle of the chest) burning that occurs after meals and often worsens when lying down. To confirm the diagnosis, physicians often treat patients with medications to suppress the production of acid by the stomach. If the heartburn then is diminished to a large extent, the diagnosis of GERD is considered confirmed.
Smoking and obesity increase a person’s risk of GERD. It is treatable with medication, but some people may need surgery. In this article, learn more about GERD.
Acid reflux: symptoms, causes and foods to avoid
There are a variety of procedures, tests, and evaluation of symptoms (for example, heartburn) to diagnose and evaluate patients with GERD. Refluxed liquid that passes from the throat (pharynx) and into the larynx can enter the lungs (aspiration). The reflux of liquid into the lungs (called aspiration) often results in coughing and choking. Aspiration, however, also can occur without producing these symptoms.
People with acid reflux may notice their symptoms acting up after their morning coffee. This is because caffeine is a known trigger of acid reflux. Although doctors debate which foods actually cause reflux symptoms, certain foods have been shown to cause problems for many people. To control your symptoms, you could start by eliminating the following foods from your diet.
Pro-motility drugs work by stimulating the muscles of the gastrointestinal tract, including the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, and/or colon. One pro-motility drug, metoclopramide (Reglan), is approved for GERD. Pro-motility drugs increase the pressure in the lower esophageal sphincter and strengthen the contractions (peristalsis) of the esophagus. Both effects would be expected to reduce reflux of acid.
The trigger-food diet involves eliminating common trigger foods, such as coffee and chocolate, to alleviate symptoms. These methods have little clinical backing and results vary between individuals. However, a 2013 study of more than 500 people found that some foods do appear to reduce the frequency of GERD symptoms.
Another factor is simply to have smaller meals, as meals with a larger amount of food and calories can trigger acid reflux. Avoid alcohol. Alcohol is a known irritant that can weaken the LES and trigger reflux symptoms.
By the time the antacids wear off, the H2 blockers are controlling the acid in the stomach. It’s a cool, creamy pick that can help fight stomach acidity. Pick unsweetened yogurt, and consider sticking to low-fat or non-fat varieties. (Try these 7 no-cook ways to turn yogurt into an actual meal.) Higher-fat meals tend to decrease pressure in the lower esophageal sphincter (the muscles where your esophagus meets your stomach) and take longer to digest, upping the risk for reflux, says the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders (IFFGD).
Johnson, Jon. “What to eat and avoid if you have GERD.” Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 21 Aug. 2018. Web. Visit our Acid Reflux / GERD category page for the latest news on this subject, or sign up to our newsletter to receive the latest updates on Acid Reflux / GERD.
The tablets are best taken after meals (when the stomach is distended) and when lying down, both times when reflux is more likely to occur. Foam barriers are not often used as the first or only treatment for GERD. Rather, they are added to other drugs for GERD when the other drugs are not adequately effective in relieving symptoms. There is only one foam barrier, which is a combination of aluminum hydroxide gel, magnesium trisilicate, and alginate (Gaviscon). PPIs are used when H2 antagonists do not relieve symptoms adequately or when complications of GERD such as erosions or ulcers, strictures, or Barrett’s esophagus exist.
The prognosis for acid reflux (GERD) is good in mild to moderate cases. Chronic cases often respond to prescription drugs, and severe cases may require surgery to avoid serious complications. Acid reflux can be prevented in some cases by changing the habits that cause the reflux including avoiding alcohol, not smoking, limiting fatty foods and other food triggers, maintaining a healthy body weight, and avoiding large meals within 3 hours of bedtime.