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Gastroesophageal reflux: the role of diet.

Did you know that your diet may play a role in your risk of developing gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)? Although this condition can have many causes, dietary factors can contribute to GERD symptoms. In this article, we’ll look at some of the foods and nutrients that can help reduce your risk of GERD. We will also give you some tips to establish a diet adapted to GERD. So if you’re looking to improve your digestive health, read on!

WHAT IS GASTROESOPHAGEAL REFLUX?

Gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, is a digestive disorder that affects the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), the muscular ring located between the esophagus and the stomach. Normally, the LES relaxes to allow food and liquids to flow down the esophagus into the stomach, and then contracts to prevent reflux. However, in people with GERD, the LES relaxes too much or doesn’t contract properly. This allows stomach contents and acid to back up into the esophagus, causing heartburn and other symptoms. GERD is a chronic condition, which means it lasts more than two weeks. People with GERD often have bouts of heartburn several times a week or more. In some cases, GERD can lead to serious complications, such as inflammation of the esophagus (esophagitis) or ulcers in the esophagus. Treatment for GERD usually involves lifestyle changes, such as avoiding trigger foods and eating smaller meals and taking medications. Surgery is an option for people who do not respond to other treatments.

WHAT IS A SPECIAL DIET FOR GERD?

The GERD diet or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) diet is designed to counteract acid reflux into the esophagus and reduce associated symptoms such as heartburn, nausea, and abdominal pain. The basic principle of the GERD diet is to avoid irritating and fatty foods in favor of easily digestible foods.

The main aspects of the special GERD regimen are:

  • Maintaining an ideal weight and possibly adopting a diet for people who are overweight (in fact, voluntary weight loss would reduce symptoms for a long time).
  • Smokers are strongly advised to limit or even stop smoking (tobacco delays the healing of esophageal injuries and compromises the proper functioning of the sphincter).
  • Chew food slowly and distribute food.
  • Reduce alcohol consumption and especially do not drink it on an empty stomach.
  • Avoid eating three to four hours before bed and raise the head of the bed.

What foods should be avoided in people with gastroesophageal reflux disease?

Gastroesophageal reflux involves eliminating certain foods, either because they are irritating or because they promote excess weight and abdominal pressure.

Irritating foods

By increasing inflammation, irritating foods are likely to make GERD symptoms, such as burning or pain, worse. They should be avoided to prevent possible irritation of the lining of the esophagus and to protect it from harsh acidic juices. Here is a list of foods to avoid in case of gastroesophageal reflux disease:

  • Coffee, including decaffeinated;
  • The tea ;
  • carbonated drinks;
  • The chocolate ;
  • The alcohol ;
  • Tomatoes;
  • citrus and citrus juices;
  • spices;
  • mint products

On the other hand, it is preferable to replace these products with:

  • herbal teas;
  • still water; Y
  • Herbs ;
  • Fruits that are better tolerated.

It is essential to consume many other fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C.

THE ADVANTAGES AND BENEFITS OF THE GERD DIET:

  • good night sleep

Reflux patients most often complain about how the reflux disturbs their sleep. Whether it keeps you from falling asleep, wakes you up, or just makes you uncomfortable.

  • better overall health

Most of the dietary adaptations recommended for the treatment of reflux will also have a positive effect on your general health.

  • Fewer doctor visits

A balanced diet ensures that the body gets enough of the nutrients and energy it needs, which can limit visits to the doctor.

* Presse Santé strives to transmit health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE, the information provided can not replace the advice of a health professional.

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