Anyone with gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, knows that it's important to develop habits that soothe acid reflux while avoiding foods that cause heartburn. Overeating is a major cause of acid reflux, since it forces the stomach to secrete more acid to digest the excess food. Eating less and elevating your head while you sleep are two easy fixes you can implement immediately. Following a GERD diet can also help with acid reflux prevention, as can remaining upright for 45 minutes to 1 hour after eating. This prevents stomach acid from seeping up your esophagus.
Foods to Avoid With Acid Reflux
When creating a heartburn diet, it is important to figure out which foods to avoid with acid reflux. Everyone is different, and many people report that their acid reflux symptoms worsen after consuming certain foods. That said, there are some beverages and foods that cause heartburn in many people. Milk is often cited as a quick fix for acid reflux, but while it initially soothes symptoms, it actually increases your stomach's secretion of acid and ends up making the problem worse instead of better. Beverages like wine, beer and soda pop also trigger acid secretions and should be avoided. Of these, beer is the worst; it can cause your stomach to double its acid output within only 1 hour. Foods that are high in fat, especially products from fast food restaurants, should also be avoided. These high-fat foods stay in your stomach longer, forcing you to produce more stomach acid to digest them.
An Effective Diet for GERD Control
A diet for GERD should be rich in complex carbohydrates. These foods, which include pasta, rice and bread, are able to absorb acid, resulting in less excess acid left behind in the stomach. While citrus fruits, spicy foods and coffee have long been believed to be acid reflux stimulants, they are generally just harder on some people's stomachs. When consumed in moderation, they can remain a part of an effective acid reflux diet.
By following a diet for GERD, you can alleviate most of your symptoms very quickly; unlike many quick fix diets, you won't have to wait long to start seeing results. As long as you avoid problem foods and beverages, you'll experience rapid relief, beginning the moment your stomach rids itself of aggravating foods. It is simple to monitor your progress; if the diet is working, you'll notice fewer symptoms. If you have problems with acid reflux, or if you're considering an acid reflux diet, it is important to talk to your doctor to make sure your GERD is kept under control. Left unchecked, it has been known to trigger esophageal cancer.