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Wednesday 29 May 2019

Foods to Help Your Acid Reflux ... Can Low Carb Cure It ?

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.
1. Vegetables 
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.
2. Ginger 
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.
3. Oatmeal 
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.
High-fat foods
Tomatoes and citrus fruit
Garlic, onions, and spicy foods

Other options  
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.
Avoid alcohol.
Stop smoking.
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?

Big improvements

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


Anonymous said...

That's really encouraging, my husband suffers with gerd , he's not over weight, he became troubled with it after chemo therapy, it never left him.

Gloria Baker said...

this is really interest, I heard about ginger, Hubby sometimes have acid reflux, the problem he love chocolate !!

Tom said...

...acid reflux has never been a problem, thank goodness.

William Kendall said...

I've never had issues with it.

Lorrie said...

This is very interesting. We don't have reflux problems, and I'm so thankful.

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

I have a friend who has this problem. I'm going to send a link to this post to her. Maybe it will help her problem.

Susan Kane said...

Thanks for all this info. I will copy and paste. My father suffered with GERD 4 decades. Esophageal cancer caused his death.

Miss Val's Creations said...

Such great information! I occasionally suffer but I am not willing to give up wine, coffee or chocolate which are part of my daily diet. I do cut back on other triggers if I feel it coming on. One natural thing I found that works like a charm is drinking 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda dissolved in water. It is a salty glass of water but it soothes right away without expensive over the counter antacids.

Lori Miller said...

Acid reflux was what started me on the low-carb path. It was so bad I had an esophageal ulcer, for which I took acid blockers for three years. They're expensive in the US! And not good for you--they interfere with your digestion and they neutralize a line of defense in your immune system--your stomach acid.

So I quit them cold turkey, and had a miserable few days with acid rebound, which is another name for hell in your stomach and throat. Dr. Google said, "try low carb." It cured my GERD, and a lot of other health problems usually put down to old age. (I was only 41.)

I just shake my head at all the "trigger foods" like tomatoes and coffee. I can drink a pot of coffee and eat jalepenos with no problem. Fruit, on the other hand, was one of the worst triggers while my upper GI system was healing.

My advice to GERD sufferers is to start a low-carb diet (monitor blood pressure and blood sugar if you take medications for them), take magnesium and potassium supplements and extra salt, and then wean yourself off the acid blockers. Avoid bouncing motions like running for a while.

Elephant's Child said...

Such an unpleasant disorder, and anything with the potential to help is really worth a try.

Laurel Wood said...

I struggle with reflux and have learned over the years about what I "should" eat. This is good info and a great reminder for those of us with reflux.

DUTA said...

As we age, we notice the fact that many food items (including raw veggies and fruit) gradually become unfriendly to our digestion system. My solution is to slightly cook them; this softens and makes them harmless to our digestion organs.There's no loss of vitamins and minerals in the process. I highly reccommend that.

Christine said...

Thanks for this information, a common problem.

Chatty Crone said...

I have had it for decades - it is under control. Is anyone a diabetic here? Just wondering. sandie

Iris Flavia said...

I´m very glad I near to never have it - unlike my hubby. But since he started eating a banana a day it´s really nearly gone, too! So simple and much better and cheaper than meds!

Valerie-Jael said...

This is most interesting, thanks. Valerie

mamasmercantile said...

I have a hiatus hernia which gives me problems with reflux on occasion. Diet certainly does help.

Bob Bushell said...

Brilliant info Jan.

Phil Slade said...

Good information. I occasionally suffer from reflux, a problem I assign to my love of citrus fruits. Citrus should be avoided later in the day, and certainly in the evening I discovered.

RO said...

I have a friend who suffers from this, and I definitely plan to pass all this valuable info on! Thanks so much! RO

Victor S E Moubarak said...

Great article. Thank you.

God bless.

Margaret D said...

Interesting read and good advice.

Natalia said...

Interesting ☺

mxtodis123 said...

Rarely have a problem with it. My daughter, though, has chronic acid reflux.

Sandi said...

Wise wise wise...don't eat crap. :)

Nadezda said...

So much information, Jan.
I love Oatmeal for breakfast, and also walnuts, olive oil and ginger.

Sami said...

Timely article Jan. I've been having some reflux recently (not sure why as there's been no change in my diet, just a lot more stress) and wanting to avoid anti-acids I've started taking a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar before dinner.

happyone said...

I'm happy to say I don't have this problem.
And I have never had heart burn!

Club Crafteria said...

I always have ginger in my diet, it really helps

Mary Kirkland said...

I don't suffer from that but it's good information to know.

Aritha V. said...

Thank you so much for this! Happy with it.

Eat slowly is a very good idea.

Author R. Mac Wheeler said...

cutting out the loaded salads every night did it for me.

carol l mckenna said...

Sounds like a wonderfully researched article and very informative ~

Happy Day to you,
A ShutterBug Explores,
aka (A Creative Harbor)

Linda said...

I have had reflux for many years, and low carb helps tremendously. I was diagnosed with SIBO (small intestine bacterial overgrowth) about a decade ago. They put me on PPIs, which only helped for 3 o4 4 weeks. Eating low carb, low spice, with onlylimited fiber has really helped me.