Two recent posts about tomatoes and fibromyalgia received a lot of reading … and comments. So thank-you to all who took the time to quietly read without leaving a comment and then those who did share thoughts and comments with us. Everyone, (readers and commenters), are all appreciated.
Of course sometimes one thing leads to another … hence this post. It's about Acid Reflux and the foods that can best help it while avoiding those who may not... tomatoes may not help it!
You will see I have linked to two articles. I think it's good to share all relevant information, and they both give further food for thought … no pun intended!
"Diet and nutrition for GERD
Acid reflux occurs when there is acid backflow from the stomach into the esophagus (American English) or oesophagus (British English). This happens commonly but can cause complications or troublesome symptoms, such as heartburn. One reason this happens is that the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) is weakened or damaged. Normally the LES closes to prevent food in the stomach from moving up into the esophagus. The foods you eat affect the amount of acid your stomach produces. Eating the right kinds of food is key to controlling acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a severe, chronic form of acid reflux.
Foods that may help reduce (soothe) your symptoms
Reflux symptoms may result from stomach acid touching the esophagus and causing irritation and pain. If you have too much acid, you can incorporate these specific foods into your diet to manage symptoms of acid reflux. None of these foods will cure your condition, and your decision to use these specific foods to soothe your symptoms should be based on your own experiences with them.
Vegetables are naturally low in fat and sugar, and they help reduce stomach acid. Good options include green beans, broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower, leafy greens, potatoes, and cucumbers.
Ginger has natural anti-inflammatory properties, and it’s a natural treatment for heartburn and other gastrointestinal problems. You can add grated or sliced ginger root to recipes or smoothies or drink ginger tea to ease symptoms.
Oatmeal is a breakfast favourite, a whole grain, and an excellent source of fibre. Oatmeal can absorb acid in the stomach and reduce symptoms of reflux. Other fibre options include whole-grain breads and whole-grain rice.
4. Non-citrus fruits
Non-citrus fruits, including melons, bananas, apples, and pears, are less likely to trigger reflux symptoms than acidic fruits.
5. Lean meats and seafood
Lean meats, such as chicken, turkey, fish, and seafood, are low-fat and reduce symptoms of acid reflux. Try them grilled, broiled, baked, or poached.
6. Egg whites
Egg whites are a good option. Stay away from egg yolks, though, which are high in fat and may trigger reflux symptoms.
7. Healthy fats
Sources of healthy fats include avocados, walnuts, flaxseed, olive oil, sesame oil, and sunflower oil. Reduce your intake of saturated fats and trans fats and replace them with these healthier unsaturated fats.
Finding your triggers
Heartburn is a common symptom of acid reflux and GERD. You may develop a burning sensation in your stomach or chest after eating a full meal or certain foods. GERD can also cause vomiting or regurgitation as acid moves into your esophagus. Other symptoms include; dry cough, sore throat, bloating, burping or hiccups, difficulty swallowing and lump in the throat.
Many people with GERD find that certain foods trigger their symptoms. No single diet can prevent all symptoms of GERD, and food triggers are different for everyone. To identify your individual triggers, keep a food diary and track the following; what foods you eat, what time of day you eat, what symptoms you experience. Keep the diary for at least a week. It’s helpful to track your foods for a longer period if your diet varies. You can use the diary to identify specific foods and drinks that affect your GERD. Also, the diet and nutrition advice here is a starting point to plan your meals. Use this guide in conjunction with your food journal and recommendations from your doctor. The goal is to minimize and control your symptoms.
Common trigger foods for people with reflux
Although doctors debate which foods actually cause reflux symptoms, certain foods have been shown to cause problems for many people. To control your symptoms, you could start by eliminating the following foods from your diet.
Tomatoes and citrus fruit
Garlic, onions, and spicy foods
While the lists above include common triggers, you may have unique intolerances to other foods. You might consider eliminating the following foods for three to four weeks to see if symptoms improve; dairy, flour-based products like bread and crackers, and whey protein.
Making lifestyle changes
In addition to controlling reflux symptoms with diet and nutrition, you can manage symptoms with lifestyle changes. Try these tips:
Take antacids and other medications that reduce acid production. (Overuse can cause negative side effects.)
Maintain a healthy weight.
Chew gum that isn’t peppermint or spearmint flavoured.
Don’t overeat, and eat slowly.
Remain upright for at least two hours after eating.
Avoid tight clothing.
Don’t eat for three to four hours before going to bed.
Raise the head of your bed four to six inches to reduce reflux symptoms while sleeping.
What the research says
No diet has been proven to prevent GERD. However, certain foods may ease symptoms in some people. Research shows that increased fibre intake, specifically in the form of fruits and vegetables, may protect against GERD. Increasing your dietary fibre is generally a good idea. In addition to helping with GERD symptoms, fibre also reduces the risk of; high cholesterol, uncontrolled blood sugar, haemorrhoids and other bowel problems. Talk to your doctor if you have questions about whether certain foods should be a part of your diet. Foods that help improve acid reflux for one person may be problematic for someone else. Working with your doctor can help you develop a diet to control or lessen your symptoms.
What’s the outlook for GERD?
People with GERD can usually manage their symptoms with lifestyle changes and over-the-counter medications. Talk to your doctor if lifestyle changes and medications don’t improve symptoms. Your doctor can recommend prescription medications, or in extreme cases, surgery."
The above from an original article, which you can read in full, with all relevant research links here
'Low carb can cure reflux disease'
"Heartburn – caused by reflux disease – is super common, millions of people suffer from it. Many people take medication for it every single day to reduce the symptoms. What if many of these people could cure the disease with a dietary change?
An earlier small study tested a LCHF diet on a few people with this problem, and they got significantly better. Even the pH in their esophagus improved, so it was not just placebo.
Now another, slightly larger, study
has tested this idea again. Not only does it find that carbohydrates, sugar and the glycemic load of the diet was associated with reflux disease. They also test what happens when the participants go on a lower carb diet. The result?
Incredibly enough, it seems like all the women in the study were able to get off their reflux (GERD) medications… See the chart below
Has a low-carb diet improved your reflux symptoms? Please let us know in the comments … and you may also like to read the various comments on the original article which can be found here
Dear reader, you will find a variety of articles (and recipes) within this blog. It is important to note, not all may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.
All the best Jan