Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) occurs when stomach acid frequently regurgitates into the tube that connects the mouth to the stomach (esophagus). This reflux (acid reflux) can irritate the lining of the esophagus. Many people sometimes experience acid reflux.
What can we do to ease the symptoms of GERD?
1. Avoid food triggers. There are certain food and beverages that you need to avoid if you feel like you already have these symptoms. These are the common food triggers of GERD according to The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK):
Foods that contain too much acid
Fried and fatty food
2. Eat smaller meals. Reducing your food intake or avoiding large meals is one of the easiest ways to reduce the chances of acid reflux and heartburn. This means eating 5-6 small meals instead of 2-3 large meals a day.
3. Chew your food well and eat in a relaxed manner. Eating slowly and avoiding certain foods can help relieve the symptoms of GERD. If you are suffering from heartburn or other symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), your diet can be one of the first things your doctor asks.
4. Avoid heavy activities after eating. If you have a full stomach, the pressure on your sphincter -- the ring of muscle between the esophagus and stomach -- can lead to acid reflux.
5. Manage your weight. Weight loss is one of the best ways to beat GERD. The first step is to reduce your daily calorie intake. Reducing high-fat foods can reduce calories while reducing the risk of heartburn. The same is true for packaged foods and other non-nutrients such as sugar.
6. Stop smoking. It may seem contradictory that smoking can cause or contribute to heartburn, but studies show a strong link between smoking and GERD. And just as smoking can lead to or worsen GERD, quitting smoking often provides patients with significant relief from GERD symptoms.
Foods that you can eat to ease symptoms of GERD:
1. Ginger. Ginger root, the rhizome of Zingiber officinale, is traditionally used as a spic, but it is also used to treat reflux and dyspepsia. Studies in adults have shown the effectiveness of ginger in the treatment of pregnancy-induced nausea and vomiting, postoperative nausea and vomiting, and drug-induced nausea and vomiting.
2. Probiotics. Probiotics are living bacteria or yeasts that may benefit health, particularly digestive health. This article investigates how probiotics may benefit people with acid reflux and notes which bacterial strains may be best.
3. Bananas. This low-acid fruit helps neutralize the stomach acid by coating the inflamed lining of the esophagus. Bananas are not only alkaline, they are also rich in pectin. Pectin is a water-soluble fiber that helps food flow through the digestive tract. This will make you feel full and less likely to overeat.
Lifestyle changes can also help. These include smoking cessation, achieving or maintaining a moderate weight, and maintaining an upright posture after eating. If home remedies or lifestyle changes do not relieve symptoms, your doctor may prescribe medication or recommend surgery.