Acid Reflux (heartburn) and GERD flare-ups are very painful and can be debilitating. You pop some medication and hope the pain goes away, until the next attack. How can you help yourself so you can avoid the pain in the first place? You can help decrease incidents, irritation, and pain without the use of medication. The way to ‘attack’ Acid Reflux and GERD is by using a two method approach - Eating Behaviors and Foods to Avoid.
We all have a muscle flap (lower esophagus sphincter) in our esophagus that is attached at the top of the stomach. When we eat, food travels down the esophagus, the muscle flap opens, lets the food in the stomach, and then closes. This muscle flap serves as a door to keep the stomach acid from escaping into the esophagus. Certain food and eating behaviors cause the muscle to weaken and/or irritate the esophagus, which increases the stomach pressures and acid. Acid Reflux (Heartburn) and GERD occurs when this muscle weakens or loosens. The stomach acid seeps back up into the esophagus, causing the burning pain, discomfort. So let’s see how we can eat without discomfort and pain.
Every individual is different and some may tolerate a variety of foods
better than others. Foods that you know aggravate your Acid Reflux or
GERD, must be limited or avoid those foods completely. The foods that
are questionable, suggest consuming with discretion. Eat small amounts
and see how you tolerate and slowly reintroduce them back. If you start
to have issues then cut those foods back and then they go on the
limited or avoid list.
It is recommended to keep a "Food Diary" for 1-2 weeks. You write down all the foods you eat. You enter the type of food, amount of food, time of day, and if you had any symptoms of Acid Reflux or GERD. This keeps track of the foods you are eating and you will be able to pin point what foods you are able to tolerate or not. This helps you with changing your eating habits so you are able to decrease your flare-ups significantly.