Acid reflux disease is a very common condition that can be experienced by anyone. This condition occurs when the stomach acid flows back to the esophagus due to the improper functioning of the sphincter muscles in the stomach. The terms heartburn and acid reflux are sometimes used interchangeably and this is not right. Acid reflux is considered as a disease while heartburn is just a symptom.
Symptoms and Causes of Acid Reflux
As already mentioned, acid reflux disease is due to the malfunction of the muscle sphincters within the stomach. However, you should know that there are lots of other factors that can lead to this condition and one of the most common is an individual’s diet or eating habit. Consuming large, spicy and fatty meals often and during late hours at night can trigger the condition. Aside from that, certain foods, caffeine, alcoholism and smoking can also cause acid reflux disease. Lying or bending down immediately after a meal can also increase the risk of developing the condition. The common symptoms of acid reflux include a bitter taste in the mouth, heartburn, chest pain, difficulty swallowing, nausea, vomiting and loss of appetite. If you will notice, the most significant cause of the condition is diet. That is the reason why individuals afflicted with this condition should follow a healthy diet in order to prevent the condition.
As stated, there are specific foods that should be avoided, as these can trigger an acid reflux attack in some individuals. Naturally, these food items should be avoided and excluded from the patient’s daily diet. On the other hand, there are foods that can be consumed regularly as well. These foods can also help soothe the condition and relieve the symptoms of acid reflux disease.
Foods to Avoid
If you are unaware of the foods that you need to avoid to prevent acid reflux disease take note that you have to familiarize yourself with it. Excluding these foods from your diet can help you prevent frequent attacks of acid reflux and prevent the condition from worsening. Some of the foods that you have to avoid are the following:
- Foods that are hot, spicy, greasy and fatty
- Citrus fruits such as oranges and lemons
- Soda or carbonated drinks and coffee
- Cranberry juice, onion and pepper
- Tomato, tomato sauce or any other food products that make use of tomato as its main ingredient
- Chocolates or other food items that include cocoa as an ingredient
- Bacon, fried meat, deli meat, sausage and other processed or preserved foods
- Cheese and ice cream
- All alcoholic beverages
If you can avoid the consumption of the foods mentioned above, you can reduce your susceptibility to acid reflux disease.
If there are foods that you have to avoid there are also foods that you can include into your diet. These foods, as mentioned, can help relieve the symptoms of the condition and are considered as acid reflux remedies. Some of these foods are as follows:
Fruits and Vegetables:
- Bananas, melons and apples
- Peaches and pears
- Broccoli, carrots and potato
- Cabbage, celery and fennel
- Beans and green peas
- Multi-grain bread or white bread
- Oatmeal and bran
- Graham crackers, pretzels and corn bread
- White or brown rice and rice cakes
- Red licorice
- Jelly beans
- Baked cookies
Meat and Dairy:
- Chicken breast, fish, steak and egg white
- Fat free cream and cheese
If you are frequently suffering from acid reflux, the first thing that you have to reconsider is your diet and eating habits. Double check the foods that are included in your meals and try to identify the food products, other than the ones mentioned above, that could have triggered the attack. Secondly, make sure that you consume smaller meals frequently, instead of having three large meals with long gaps in between.
Aside from maintaining a healthy diet and eating habits, it is also necessary to engage in regular exercises, especially if you are overweight. Take note that excessive amount of weight can put pressure to your stomach and this can trigger the development of acid reflux disease. This condition can be very common in pregnant women as well but following the same diet and avoiding the foods that can trigger the condition can also be very helpful.
In case the symptoms that you are experiencing are severe or acid reflux is accompanied with other conditions or symptoms, it would be best to consult your physician first. This is also true if you are suffering from severe acid reflux. Proper diagnosis should be conducted to determine the status of your condition or to confirm if the condition exist due to underlying health issues or not. Remember that untreated severe conditions of acid reflux can lead to various complications, which may include esophageal cancer.