Gastroesophageal reflux disease is a chronic condition when the stomach content may flow back into the food pipe (esophagus). It is also known as chronic acid reflux.
What does GERD feel like?
A person with GERD may have symptoms such as chest pain, difficulty in swallowing, nausea, bad breath, sore throat, and reverse movement of stomach content.
The reflux or reverse movement of stomach content is due to the weak or relaxed valve in the lower part of the food pipe. A normal valve closes tightly after the food enters the stomach but in the relaxed condition the food may move backward.
GERD can occur as a result of various factors. There may be certain kinds of foods that can trigger the GERD problem. Which foods cause GERD is not known but there are some dietary intake which is advised to stay away from if you have GERD.
Fatty foods and deep fry foods
Foods such as potato chips, cheese, butter, french fries, ice cream, creamy dips, pakode, puri, etc must be avoided. These foods can increase the acid reflux symptoms.
Fruits and vegetables
Eating fruits and vegetables is always recommended but in acid reflux, it is important to ignore certain kinds of fruits and veggies. Pineapple, citrus fruits, tomatoes, garlic, and onions may cause acid reflux or worsen the symptoms of acid reflux.
Drink or beverages
Alcohol, coffee, carbonated beverages, and citrus juices can trigger the symptoms of GERD. The trigger may differ from person to person. So, pay attention to foods or drinks that cause GERD problems and stay away from those.
Some can tolerate spices well and in some, it may cause pain in the abdomen and burning symptoms. People with gastrointestinal disorders have poor tolerance toward spicy foods. Spices have an irritating effect on the parts of the esophagus and this causes acid reflux.
Dairy products made from cow milk are the most common trigger of GERD (acid reflux). It can worsen the symptoms of GERD so try to avoid dairy products. You can dry low-fat or no-fat dairy products or may replace them with other alternatives.
According to the studies eating chocolate causes the release of serotonin. It causes relaxation of the valves and causes upward movement of stomach acid. The acidic nature of chocolates can irritate the stomach and esophagus.
Carbonated drinks may include soda, energy drinks, alcoholic drinks or juices, and even water. These carbonated drinks are acidic and contain caffeine, both of which have a deteriorating effect on GERD symptoms. Carbonated drinks may not trigger GERD symptoms in all but when it does, better avoid them.
How to identify trigger foods
After having a meal, it is not easy to identify which food was a trigger causing acid reflux. Given below are the measures that can help you track the food causing acid reflux or worsening the symptoms of GERD.
Maintain a diary of what you eat
Record everything you eat and drink and also the portion of food you are eating. note down the days when you have acid reflux, this way you can track the food causing GERD symptoms.
Gradually change your diet
You need not cut the trigger food immediately. Eliminate a part of food gradually and one at a time. If eliminating a food does not make a difference you can get it back in your diet.
If managing GERD requires you to eliminate your favorite food, no need to get disappointed. Instead, take it as an opportunity to discover the varieties of food options you have.