GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease) is an illness in which stomach acid refluxes back into the oesophagus and causes symptoms.
Particular acidic food, fatty foods & spicy foods will increase your symptoms of GERD. They are as follows.
These foods are high on natural acids. When eaten on an empty stomach, acidic foods tend to irritate the oesophagus and induce signs of heartburn or acid reflux. Some of these acidic foods contain fruit, vegetables and spices such as:
- Foods which use tomatoes in sauces are another source of acid reflux symptoms. Pizza, spaghetti, stews and soups tend to incorporate all three of these ingredients.
- Citrus fruits are other highly acidic food.
Please remember that these foods do not specifically induce GERD, but also cause signs of acid reflux and heartburn. Many of these foods are right for your overall wellbeing, but when you overeat or have a mostly empty stomach, they can cause complications.
When fat reaches the stomach, it activates the release of the cholecystokinin (CCK) hormone, which can cause the lower oesophageal sphincter (LES) to relax. Chronic relaxation or LES dysfunction is what induces GERD. With the LES left more exposed, the stomach contents will reflux the oesophagus and cause pain.
The other issue with high-fat foods is that they take more time to break down during digestion. CCK hormone holds unhealthy food in the stomach for a prolonged period. This is a normal reaction, but the likelihood of acid reflux symptoms increases when paired with the relaxed LES.
This is a list of many types of high-fat foods that you can avoid in the treatment of acid reflux or GERD symptoms.
- Fried food
- Whole-fat milk
- Cream cheese
- Ice cream
- Potato chips
- Fatty meats
Fried foods are especially harmful due to their high levels of saturated fat. It would help if you did not eliminate all fats from your diet because your body does need fat to work correctly. Such safe types of fat are avocados, almonds and olive oil.
Although you don’t have to exclude any of these items from your diet completely, the more fatty foods you can regulate and track, the healthier. Paying attention to your fat consumption will also help you prevent potential health issues such as obesity, heart disease and cancer.
Although there is not an exact medical cause between spicy foods and GERD symptoms, people who suffer acid reflux and heartburn frequently blame spicy foods. What we have yet to discuss is the relation between the acid reflux and the type of food a person consumes depends on the individual.
Some people may experience fewer heartburn symptoms with salty, acidic, or fatty food than others. If spicy food causes acid reflux for you, you should avoid spicy foods such as:
- Black pepper
- Hot peppers (jalapenos, habaneros)
OTHER FOODS AND DRINKS
And as fatty food helps LES to relax, alcohol consumption will do the same thing. Some people, though, would do better with alcohol and heartburn than most.
Other forms of alcohol can also cause more stomach acid and raise the chance of acid reflux. Occasional alcohol consumption will not necessarily help the symptoms; however, regular or prolonged use will occur. If you drink alcohol regularly or compulsively, it will hurt the oesophagus and cause more discomfort during reflux.
While the specific reason why coffee induces acid reflux is being debated, the truth is that certain people feel reflux after consuming coffee. Some experiments have shown that drinking coffee relaxes the LES. Some reviews show that caffeine causes acid reflux. And there is also no correlation in other research.
Soft drinks not only calm LES but also raise the level of stomach acid. This may be due to caffeine in popular cola products that may affect LES and cause acid reflux.
Owing to the controversy about caffeine, inducing signs of GERD or acid reflux, it might be worth avoiding such forms of tea. Black, white and green teas are familiar sources of caffeine and may raise the risk of experiencing symptoms.
Decaffeinated herbal teas will help you relieve the effects of GERD and acid reflux. However, if you use herbal tea, stop mint-based teas. Mint, peppermint, spearmint and other mints can calm LES and increase your risk of symptoms.
Dr Harsh Shah
Liver, Pancreas & Cancer specialist Doctor in Ahmedabad, India