When To See A General Surgeon
Because GERD and acid reflux are not usually serious conditions, managing them on your own is possible. However, if these conditions do not improve, they can lead to esophagus cancer.
If you notice that your symptoms keep getting worse, then it is time to see a doctor.
Other warning signs for severe GERD and acid reflux include chest pain, jaw pain, or arm pain. Also, if you experience shortness of breath, you should visit with a doctor or surgeon as soon as possible. Additionally, if your symptoms do not improve after taking medication for two weeks, you may need surgical treatment.
Worst Foods For Reflux
In general, anything that is fatty, acidic or highly caffeinated should be avoided. The worst foods for acid reflux list includes:
- Coffee and tea Caffeinated beverages aggravate acid reflux. Opt for teas without caffeine.
- Carbonated beverages The bubbles expand in your stomach, creating more pressure and pain. Choose plain water or decaf iced tea.
- Chocolate This treat has a trifecta of acid reflux problems: caffeine, fat and cocoa.
- Peppermint Dont be fooled by its reputation for soothing the tummy peppermint is an acid reflux trigger.
- Grapefruit and orange The high acidity of citrus fruits relaxes the esophagus sphincter and worsens symptoms.
- Tomatoes Also avoid marinara sauce, ketchup and tomato soup theyre all naturally high in acid.
- Alcohol This has a double whammy effect. Alcohol relaxes the sphincter valve but it also stimulates acid production in the stomach.
- Fried foods These are some of the worst foods for reflux. Skip the french fries, onion rings and fried chicken cook on the grill or in the oven at home.
- Late-night snacks Avoid eating anything in the two hours before you go to bed. Also, you can try eating four to five smaller meals throughout the day instead of two to three large meals.
How A Doctor Can Help
If you have heartburn two or more times a week and changes to your diet or eating pattern haven’t helped, consult a doctor. A gastroenterologist can perform tests to measure the acidity in your stomach and see if frequent acid reflux has damaged your esophagus.
GERD is often treatable through a combination of lifestyle changes and medication. But persistent symptoms of reflux need thorough evaluation by a gastroenterologist who can find the underlying cause and discuss available treatment options.
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Taming Heartburn: Ways To Ease Common Discomfort
The condition is extremely common, with 60 million Americans having it once a month or more. According to studies, 15 million people may be living in this country each day. It usually worsens after eating, during the evening, or while lying down or clenching your buttocks. This is not uncommon and, in most cases, does not cause concern however, it can be uncomfortable. It is possible to make lifestyle changes and take non-prescription medications to alleviate the discomfort. Food and drink, such as coffee, tomatoes, alcohol, chocolate, fatty or spicy foods, being overweight, smoking, or pregnant, can all trigger heartburn. Even genetics can be involved a 1999 study conducted at the Mayo Clinic discovered that participants with immediate family members who had heartburn or an esophagus-related disease were twice as likely to experience acid reflux.
Heartburn And Tangy Citrus Fruits
Oranges, grapefruits and orange juice are classic heartburn foods. “These are very acidic,” says Robynne Chutkan, MD. Chutkan is the founder of the Digestive Center for Women in Chevy Chase, Md. and a gastroenterologist at Georgetown Hospital in Washington, D.C. “As a result of being so acidic,” she says, “they are likely to cause heartburn, especially when consumed on an otherwise empty stomach.”
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Combatting Pregnancy Indigestion & Discomfort
It is a common condition during pregnancy caused by acid reflux. When acid leaks into the stomach, it creates a burning sensation in the chest caused by the stomach acid leaking into the gullet. Other pregnancy-related symptoms include nausea, vomiting, and pain in the upper abdomen. Furthermore, during the second trimester of pregnancy, women may become increasingly uncomfortable as their ligaments tighten and stretch, which can cause muscle strain. As a result, back pain, hip pain, and other discomforts can occur. As a result, pregnant women should be aware of any changes in their bodies, both for their own comfort as well as for the babys health.
Do Coffee And Teas Cause Heartburn
You may want to rethink your regular cup of joe if you’re a heartburn sufferer as caffeine relaxes the LES, triggering acid reflux10. Switching to decaffeinated coffee has been shown to lower your risk of heartburn significantly. Drinking tea, with its lower levels of caffeine, can help too but avoid peppermint tea. Despite its popularity for soothing an upset stomach, peppermint relaxes the LES making heartburn worse11.
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Avoid Spicy Foods And Keep Some Dazzle In Your Diet With Low
The fiery feeling of heartburn is the last way you want to remember a great meal. But when your doctor says you have chronic heartburn caused by gastroesophageal reflux disease , you may worry that a bland and disappointing menu is in your future. But the foods that trigger your heartburn may or may not be on the usual lists. Thats why keeping a journal to determine which foods cause symptoms helps.
Best Foods For Acid Reflux
A diet balanced with vegetables, protein and fruits is best, Dr. Khaitan says. Examples of the best foods for acid reflux include:
- Chicken breast Be sure to remove the fatty skin. Skip fried and instead choose baked, broiled or grilled.
- Lettuce, celery and sweet peppers These mild green veggies are easy on the stomach and wont cause painful gas.
- Brown rice This complex carbohydrate is mild and filling just dont serve it fried.
- Melons Watermelon, cantaloupe and honeydew are all low-acid fruits that are among the best foods for acid reflux.
- Oatmeal Filling, hearty and healthy, this comforting breakfast standard also works for lunch.
- Fennel This low-acid crunchy vegetable has a mild licorice flavor and a natural soothing effect.
- Ginger Steep caffeine-free ginger tea or chew on low-sugar dried ginger for a natural tummy tamer.
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What Can Cause Gerd Symptoms
As you might have noticed the common factor through most of the above foods is how they make symptoms worse. Most cause a combination of either relaxing the LES, increasing stomach acid production or keeping the stomach full for too long. The above foods are not the only foods and drinks that can aggravate GERD symptoms. Additional items include the following:
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How To Get Rid Of Heartburn
While reaching for Pepto Bismol might provide immediate relief, it doesnt solve the root cause of the issue. Its kind of like if you have persistent headaches and you just take Tylenol, says Feller. If youre reaching for over-the-counter meds to treat your symptoms more than twice a week, according to the Mayo Clinic, its time to book an appointment with a gastroenterologist.
For temporary relief, the Mayo Clinic recommends nonprescription medications like antacids, H2 blockers , or proton pump inhibitors , all of which can reduce stomach acid. But relying on proton pump inhibitors for too long can cause you to experience rebound reflux when you eventually quit taking them, so avoid using them for longer than 8 weeks consecutively.
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Indigestion In Pregnancy Second Trimester
Indigestion in pregnancy during the second trimester is a common occurrence due to the increased levels of hormones and the pressure of the growing baby on the stomach. This can cause heartburn, a burning sensation in the chest, and nausea. To help reduce the symptoms of indigestion during pregnancy, it is important to eat smaller meals more frequently and to avoid foods that are known to cause heartburn. Additionally, it is beneficial to stay upright for at least thirty minutes after eating and to avoid lying down after eating. Finally, drinking plenty of fluids and avoiding spicy, fatty, and acidic foods can help to avoid or reduce the intensity of indigestion.
Constipation, gas, and heartburn are all common second trimester pregnancy symptoms. During pregnancy, digestive issues are caused by an influx of hormones that relax digestive muscles. Digestion can be affected even further by hormone levels in addition to slowing bowel movements. Constipation is effectively treated by changing your diet during pregnancy. When acid leaks back into the esophagus, it causes heartburn. Consuming large meals before lying down and swallowing large amounts of food can both cause heartburn. Raise your pillow at night in order to keep your stomach from burning at night. During the second trimester, mild digestive disturbances are normal, but some symptoms may raise red flags.
Use These Food Clues To Find The Cause Of Heartburn Symptoms
If you’re one of the 60 million Americans who get heartburn at least once a month, you’re all too familiar with the fiery sensation behind the breastbone. If you’re lucky, your heartburn symptoms only last a few minutes. For most people, however, heartburn can linger for hours. “What happens during heartburn is that stomach acid is backing up into your esophagus,” says Steven Lamm, MD, an internist and preventive heCity alth expert, faculty member of the NYU School of Medicine in New York and author of No Guts, No Glory.
But not all foods affect everyone in the same way. You may benefit from keeping a food diary and looking for clues as to what may be causing your heartburn symptoms. Start by knowing these common heartburn trigger foods.
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What Aggravates Acid Reflux
Acid reflux occurs when the sphincter at the base of the esophagus isnt working well, allowing fluid from the stomach to enter the esophagus. The worst foods for reflux can worsen painful symptoms, while other foods can soothe them, says UH gastrointestinal surgeon Leena Khaitan, MD
Diet changes can significantly affect acid reflux and allow you to avoid other treatments, Dr. Khaitan says.
Which Foods Can Lead To Heartburn
Fatty/fried foods: Heavy foods like those that are fatty or fried have a tendency to linger for longer periods in your digestive system. This raises the risk of the stomach leaking acid up through the esophagus.
Pizza: This late-night favorite has several ingredients that can irritate your esophagus. It is high in fat, salt, and sometimes spicy ingredients, including tomato sauce. Any of these can trigger heartburn.
Citrus products: Orange juice, lemon juice, grapefruit juice, and other citrus products can cause heartburn. Their pH value is very low, so they are very acidic and can irritate your esophagus.
Onions: Onions, especially raw ones, can trigger heartburn. A lot of raw onions in a meal can lead to problems with digestion. The resulting inflamed feeling of heartburn after eating is not the reminder you want of a great meal you have recently had.
Pepper spices: Hot spices can trigger symptoms of heartburn. Examples include chili powder and white, black, or cayenne peppers. Spices can irritate the stomach and cause heartburn symptoms.
Peppermint: Peppermint, spearmint, and other mints may lead to heartburn. This may be surprising because mints are commonly thought to ease several physical symptoms such as anupset stomach . However, some evidence shows that mints may loosen the muscles that seal the esophagus. This can allow acid to enter it.
Cheese: Cheese is a dairy product that is high in fat. High-fat dairy products can aggravate heartburn symptoms.
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Foods That Could Trigger Acid Reflux
Your favorite foods can trigger acid reflux. Heres why and what you can do.
When it comes to acid reflux, sometimes the foods and drinks we most enjoy can trigger symptoms. Chocolate, fatty foods, caffeine and alcohol are commonly associated with acid reflux. They can cause the Lower Esophageal Sphincter muscles to relax, making it easier for stomach acid to flow out of the stomach and into the esophagus, causing the sensation of heartburn.
The good news is that you might not need to avoid every trigger since these differ from person to person. And if you do need to adjust your diet, there are alternatives that are just as delicious! Heres the rundown.
Fatty foods are a double whammy.High-fat foods take longer to digest, so they stay in the stomach for longer. And the longer food stays in the stomach, the more acid the stomach produces.
On top of that, fatty foods relax the LES, making them a double whammy for acid reflux. More stomach acid combined with a relaxed LES make it easier for acid to flow out of the stomach and cause symptoms.
It might be time to skip the french fries, milkshakes, ice cream, and other fried or junk food. Besides, these foods can contribute to weight gain, another risk factor for acid reflux.
Instead, try replacing junk food, fatty meats and high-fat dairy with healthier options such as oatmeal, low-fat yogurt, whole-grain toast, egg whites , and lean meats like chicken, turkey or seafood.
If all else fails, try medication.
Foods That Could Trigger Heartburn And Indigestion
Each person is unique, and what triggers stomach problems for you may not be what triggers them in someone else. Keeping a food diary is useful for determining what foods trigger your indigestion. Once your food triggers are identified, it is best to eliminate them from your diet completely to avoid experiencing further stomach problems and heartburn episodes. That being said, there are several foods that are known to trigger indigestion in many people, including:
- Caffeinated beverages
- Carbonated beverages
- Tomatoes and tomato juice
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Heartburn And Cheese Nuts Avocadoes And A Juicy Rib Eye
What do these foods have in common? They are all high in fat, according to Chutkan. “These foods may not get as much press as acidic foods when it comes to heartburn,” she says, “but they can be major triggers.” Here’s why: Fat slows down the emptying of the stomach, so there is more opportunity for a big distended stomach — which increases pressure on the esophageal sphincter — to make heartburn more likely.
Chutkan says that doesn’t mean you can never have those foods again. “Don’t have a cheese plate at the end of a meal,” she suggests. “Instead, eat it early in the day when you are not already full.” Remember, a serving of cheese is roughly the size of two dice.
Can Changing My Diet Reduce Gerd Symptoms
Cutting back on foods that are known triggers for GERD including coffee, fatty-rich meals, chocolate, red sauces, alcohol and carbonated beverages can help reduce acid reflux pain.
Additionally, eating smaller meal portions throughout the day and avoiding laying down for at least two to three hours after a meal can also help reduce GERD symptoms.
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Heartburn Triggers: What’s Burning You
The specific triggers for heartburn differ from person to person. Mama Mia’s marinara may always spell trouble for you, but your spouse may lick the plate clean and sit back with a satisfied belly and a smile.
What can lead to heartburn may surprise you. Stay away from foods you know will give you heartburn. It’s not just about the food you eat. How and when you exercise and what you take to relieve your aches and pains may also cause that burning feeling. The key to taming the flame is to understand what triggers your own personal symptoms.
Foods That Help Acid Reflux
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What Foods Trigger Heartburn In Pregnancy
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It can become more severe during the third or fourth trimester when the growing uterus presses up on the stomach. Refrain from eating citrus, spicy, fatty foods, caffeine, and carbonated drinks if you have heartburn, as these can aggravate the condition. Eat a variety of small meals throughout the day.
During pregnancy, heartburn is usually not life-threatening, but it can be painful. Because of hormonal changes during pregnancy, the valve between your stomach and esophagus relaxes. Because of a weakened digestive system during pregnancy, pregnant women may experience heartburn. It is best to avoid heartburn in the first place by trying to prevent it. The condition of heartburn does not provide much enjoyment, but it is usually not serious. Prionization is a pregnancy complication that can cause abdominal or shoulder pain. Pregnancy can be safely treated with the following medications: Tums, Gaviscon, or Ranitidine .