Acid Reflux: Symptoms, causes and treatment of the chronic GERD disease

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Acid Reflux is a health condition where stomach contents come to the food pipe. If this happens regularly, it turns into a disease called GERD. So, read on to know everything about this chronic health issue.

Gerd or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease is a chronic health issue where the contents of your stomach come into the food pipe. This happens due to the failure of the muscle closure between the stomach and esophagus. This condition is also known as acid reflux, but if it tends to occur twice in a week, it means you are suffering from the disease GERD.

Causes of GERD or Acid Reflux

Basically, this happens due to the weak or poor working muscles between the stomach and esophagus. The exterior reasons that can also contribute to this condition are as follows:

Smoking.

Prolonged fasting.

Regular consumption of spicy foods.

Eating red meat often.

Excess stress.

Medications

Severe infections.

Signs and Symptoms of Acid Reflux

The symptoms of GERD or acid reflux are:

Epigastric pain.

Nausea.

Heartburn.

Dyspepsia.

Regurgitation.

Sour or bitter taste at the back of the mouth.

Difficulty in swallowing.

Foods to avoid for GERD

If you are suffering from acid reflux, then there are certain types of food that should be avoided strictly. They can trigger this condition and make it worse. The foods to be avoided are given below:

Coffee.

Citrus fruits.

Tomato.

Chocolates.

Carbonated beverages.

Garlic.

Peppermint.

Garlic onion.

Spicy foods.

Investigations of Acid Reflux

If you start to experience this health issue regularly, then you should consult your doctor without any delay. Also, you have to undergo certain tests, which are as follows:

Endoscopy of upper gastrointestinal portion.

Barium meal studies.

H. pylori test- It can be either blood or breath test to check the presence of microorganism called helicobacter pylori. (mostly blood test).

Treatment for Acid Reflux

Generally, it is always recommended to lead a healthy lifestyle to get rid of acid reflux. Along with this, certain medications are also needed, which are antacids, proton pump inhibitor and H2 receptor blockers.

Lifestyle changes for Acid Reflux

Since leading a healthy lifestyle is the prime key to ward off the chronic issues of GERD, you can opt for a healthy and maintained food habit to stay well. Read on to know it below:

1-  Maintain a healthy weight.

2-  Add protein in your diet for each meal and snack. You can have milk, white meat, eggs to increase protein content.

3-  Avoid foods which are rich in fats and do not eat any kind of fried and spicy foods. These all will increase the irritation in your inflamed esophagus.

4-  Have 3 small meals and 3 snacks planned evenly for the entire day as you need to avoid excess hunger and overeating as well.

5-  Don’t forget to eat slowly and chew every bite of the food properly for a good digestion.

6-  It is good to avoid foods or drinks that have caffeine content in it as they can increase the inflammation. So, avoid tea, coffee, cola drinks and decaf as well. They produce gastric acid and hence should be avoided.

7-  Try to incorporate apples, onions and celery in your food plans. They have flavonoids which will inhibit the growth of the H. pylori which is needed to heal the GERD condition.  

8-  Avoid eating within 3 hours of your bedtime. Don’t indulge in any kind of bedtime snacks as well because they cause gastric acid secretion at night.

9-  Sit straight while eating and for one hour after having the meal. Don’t lie down or do any kind of exercises right after the meal.

10-  Once you have the meal, don’t wear any tight fitting clothes.

11-  For having antacids, follow your doctor’s prescription only.

12- Drink plenty of water throughout the day.

13- Have gut-friendly foods as much as possible like yoghurt, buttermilk, etc. are the natural probiotics that should be consumed regularly. These provide healthy bacteria in the gut to promote digestion process. They will also keep the count of bad bacteria low.

ALSO READ | THESE food items should be avoided for heartburn

ALSO READ | 11 Acidic foods and why you should cut down on their consumption

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