Acid reflux is a painful condition experienced by millions of people every year. In fact, many feel the incidence of acid reflux is on the rise and attribute the increase primarily to the modern diet which is packed with foods high in fat, sugar, caffeine and preservatives – all food components that have been linked to acid reflux. Many physicians suggest the key to successfully managing acid reflux disease is a modified diet, and this is normally the first treatment option attempted.
Acid reflux is basically severe, recurring heartburn, which occurs when stomach contents are pushed upward out of the stomach and into the esophagus. Because the stomach contains very powerful acids used in food digestion, this reflux causes severe pain, and when prolonged, can permanently damage esophageal tissues.
Reducing Symptoms by Changing your Diet: Foods that Cause Acid Reflux.
Most acid reflux sufferers can find relief by eliminating foods that cause acid reflux from their diet. Generally, those with acid reflux disease should avoid high fat foods (such as fried foods, high fat meats and high fat dairy products) as well as foods that are high in acid. Acidic foods that cause acid reflux include citrus fruits (i.e. lemons, grapefruits and oranges) as well as the juices made from them, and high acid vegetables like tomatoes and raw onions. Some beverages can cause (or at least aggravate) acid reflux disease, including sodas, coffee, tea and most other caffeinated beverages. Chocolate is also a common food that causes acid reflux.
Not to despair! There are many foods that are permissible when dieting to avoid acid reflux. Those with the disease can indulge in lean meats, fruits like apples and bananas, and vegetables like carrots, peas, green beans and baked potatoes. Most grains are also acceptable, including whole wheat bread, white bread and both brown and white rice.
An added benefit of eliminating foods that cause acid reflux disease is that these foods typically have a high caloric content. Following the acid reflux diet then, may cause you to lose weight, which is normally a good thing for most acid reflux sufferers – being overweight, and especially being obese is associated with aggravated acid reflux symptoms.
As always, you should consult your doctor before starting a new diet plan. If eliminating the foods that cause acid reflux does not completely eliminate your symptoms, your doctor can suggest other changes and both over the counter and prescription medications may also help.