People suffering from GERD need to follow certain diet pattern in order to reduce the severity of the symptoms and prevent reflux. The article provides guidelines and recommendations on diet menu.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or acid reflux as it is commonly known, is a disorder of the stomach muscles. It is one of the most common conditions experienced by many people all over the world. It is not a serious disorder and can be treated if effective treatment is undertaken.
Causes and Symptoms of GERD
GERD is caused due to improper functioning of the lower esophageal sphincter muscles. Due to this abnormal functioning, the acid in the stomach seeps back into the esophagus and to the throat. This is known as acid reflux. Most of the time, people use the terms acid reflux and heartburn interchangeably which is incorrect. Acid reflux disease is the actual condition while heartburn is merely a symptom. In most of the cases, it is found that diet and dietary habits are the prominent reasons for GERD. Having larger and spicy meals or eating very late at night can result in acid reflux. On the other hand, bending or lying down immediately on having meals can also cause this condition. Similarly, smoking, obesity, alcoholism are the other significant causes of GERD.
The symptoms of acid reflux disease are discomfort in the mouth and throat, difficulty in swallowing, heartburn, nausea, loss of appetite, etc. In minor cases, acid reflux can be treated with antacid tablets and syrups which can be obtained without prescription. However, they give temporary relief. If one needs to prevent this condition again, it is essential to follow a specific diet pattern.
GERD Diet Recommendations
Disclaimer: It should be noted that the following food list is only a generalized guideline. You need to consult a doctor for a more detailed and specific diet plan, based on your overall health.
Foods NOT to be Included in the Diet
- Citrus fruits like lemon, lime, oranges.
- Coffee, milk, soda, and alcohol.
- Peppers, chillies, cranberry juice, onion.
- Spicy, greasy, fried, and excessively hot food.
- Tomatoes and all other tomato based products.
- Peppermint, chips, and chocolates.
- Sausage, bacon, all fried meats, deli meat, etc.
- Ice cream and cheese.
Foods to be Included in the Diet
- Fruits and Vegetables: Apple, banana, melon, pear, peach, potato, broccoli, carrots, celery, cabbage, green peas, basil, thyme, sage, oregano, all types of beans, etc.
- Grains: Multi-grain bread, corn bread, white bread, bran, oatmeal, graham crackers, pretzels, brown or white rice, rice cakes, etc.
- Meat and Dairy: Eggs, chicken breast, fish, steak, fat-free versions of cheese and cream, etc.
Along with these diet changes, it is also essential to bring a change in dietary habits in order to prevent acid reflux or GERD. Firstly, it is essential to avoid having larger and spicy meals, specially at night. Secondly, abstaining from alcohol and smoking can also help in the prevention of this condition. Thirdly, it is very important to maintain a proper and healthy weight.
Pregnant women and people suffering from any chronic disease must consult the doctor before following any diet plan or taking medication. Lastly, if one experiences any other symptoms along those mentioned above, it is better to consult the doctor immediately, as this can be a symptom of some other underlying disorder. Take care!
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only and does not, in any way, intend to replace the advice of a medical professional.