GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) is a chronic ailment that affects millions of people worldwide. It happens when stomach acid returns to the oesophagus, creating symptoms such as heartburn, regurgitation, and discomfort. While many factors contribute to GERD, there are several that are less well-known and can exacerbate the problem. In this post, we'll look into some surprising causes of GERD symptoms, throwing light on factors you might not have considered before, with the help of experts from a gastroenterology surgery hospital in Gurgaon.
Fatty foods and fried treats
Indulging in high-fat and fried meals, a guilty pleasure for many can cause problems for people with GERD. These foods take longer to digest, putting more strain on the lower oesophagal sphincter (LES), the muscle that connects the stomach and oesophagus. When the LES weakens, stomach acid increases and is more prone to flow back into the oesophagus, producing irritation and pain. Consider lean protein foods, healthy grains, and a variety of fruits and vegetables to help treat GERD.
Citrus Fruits & Juices
Citrus fruits are high in vitamin C and antioxidants, but their acidity can aggravate GERD symptoms. Oranges, grapefruits, and lemons, as well as their juices, can cause heartburn and oesophagal discomfort. If you have GERD, minimize your intake of these fruits or choose less acidic options like apples and pears.
Caffeinated and carbonated beverages
Carbonated and caffeinated beverages, such as soda and coffee, can relax the LES, allowing stomach acid to flow more easily into the oesophagus. Furthermore, these beverages can raise GERD symptoms which are exacerbated by increased stomach acid production. To ease your digestive system, choose herbal teas, water, and non-citrus-flavoured beverages.
Spearmint with Peppermint
While minty odours may appear to be comforting, they can actually relax the LES and cause acid reflux. Peppermint and spearmint, which are commonly found in candies, gums, and teas, should be used in moderation by those suffering from GERD. Choose flavours that are less likely to worsen your symptoms, such as ginger or chamomile.
Tomatoes and Products Made From Tomatoes
Tomatoes are highly acidic and can trigger stomach acid production, exacerbating GERD symptoms. This means that tomato-based goods like spaghetti sauce, ketchup, and even pizza can be hazardous. Consider this if you can't envision life without these necessities like choosing low-acid tomato types or experimenting with alternatives such as pesto.
Hot and spicy foods
The heat in spicy foods is caused by substances such as capsaicin, which can irritate the oesophagus and exacerbate GERD symptoms. If you are sensitive to spicy meals, you should avoid or limit your consumption. Instead, use milder spices and herbs like oregano and basil to season your dishes.
Chocolate is a delicious treat, but it contains caffeine and fat, both of which are acid reflux triggers. Additionally, cocoa contains theobromine, which might relax the LES. While a chocolate treat now and then is fine, it is vital to take it in moderation to avoid increasing your GERD symptoms.
Alcohol can relax the LES and increase stomach acid production. Beer, wine, and liquor can all aggravate GERD symptoms. If you must consume alcohol, do so in moderation and seek less acidic options such as white wine instead of red wine.
Foods High in Sodium
Salty foods can cause bloating and fluid retention, exerting pressure on the LES. This can result in more acid reflux. Reduce your sodium consumption to manage your GERD by avoiding excessively processed foods, canned soups, and salty snacks.
Eating Late at Night
Eating close to bedtime can be harmful to GERD patients. After a meal, lying down allows stomach acid to flow back into the oesophagus. To lessen discomfort, attempt to eat your last meal at least three hours before bedtime, and consider elevating the head of your bed to reduce overnight reflux.
Understanding the triggers that can aggravate GERD symptoms is critical for proper management of the condition. While some meals and habits may appear to be harmless, they can have a major impact on the frequency and severity of acid reflux. You can lessen the discomfort associated with GERD and improve your overall quality of life by making conscientious dietary choices and adopting healthier habits. If you feel you have GERD, you should see a gastroenterology surgeon in Gurgaon for a proper diagnosis and advice on how to manage the illness.
Dr. Amit Mittal, Head Of the Department and Senior Consultant
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