But when it occurs frequently, it could be indicative of a more serious condition called gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD. Since this malady affects about 20 percent of Americans, it’s important to know the facts.
“That may not be true,” says Dr. Kyle Staller, a gastroenterologist at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital. “The foods that trigger heartburn are different for everyone.” He suggests keeping a journal to determine which foods cause symptoms.
Get to know your spice threshold. Don’t lie down for two to three hours after a meal. It’s even best to sit upright rather than slouching.
Opt for baked dishes instead of fried foods. Pastries can be hidden sources of fat, so choose healthy whole grains instead. Low-fat dairy is a great source of calcium and vitamin D that also will help prevent GERD symptoms when substituted for full-fat options. GERD is a digestive disorder in which stomach acids, food and fluids flow back into the esophagus. It can occur at any age and may be temporary or a long-term issue.
People with acid reflux may notice their symptoms acting up after their morning coffee. This is because caffeine is a known trigger of acid reflux.
And, a visit to the doctor is advised. There will always be some people with reflux symptoms who need drug treatment, such as those with stomach irritation or ulcers.
Stomach acid has long been blamed for acid reflux, heartburn and other ills. But now some experts are starting to think that the problems may lie not just in the acid coming up from the stomach but in the food going down. A common dietary trigger of heartburn is consuming excess fat, which can be found in fried foods or certain meats like beef or lamb. Opting for leaner protein sources can potentially help to prevent acid reflux. Complications can occur when GERD is severe or long-standing.
The LES tends to relax when you lie down, and a full stomach can cause stomach contents to press harder against the LES. Also, your digestive system slows down when you sleep. The food in your stomach stays there longer at the same time you are in a prime position for the food to be refluxed.
Oatmeal is quick, tasty, and can be the perfect breakfast food if you have issues with acid reflux. According to Healthline, other types of milk can be high in fat content, and some high-fat foods may actually make heartburn worse. Almond milk, or other types of plant-based milk like soy, flax, cashew, or coconut, will not only alleviate symptoms, it can be a better alternative for people who suffer from lactose intolerance. Elevate the head of the bed or mattress 6 to 8 inches. This helps prevent acid reflux especially when sleeping.