Acid reflux disease, also known as GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disease, can be an uncomfortable and sometimes painful chronic illness. If left untreated, it may result in damage to the esophagus and larynx which can cause other complications such as hoarseness, a cough or even asthma symptoms. That is why it is important to diagnose GERD and treat the symptoms. Part of your treatment can include identifying foods to avoid for acid reflux disease.
Why Are Some Foods A Problem?
Gastroesophageal reflux disease occurs when the sphincter found at the bottom of the esophagus does not close properly, allowing acids from the stomach to come up through the esophagus to the throat and mouth. The result is a persistent burning sensation in the chest and throat, and a sour taste in the mouth. It can become painful enough to wake you up at night, and keep you from relaxing after meals. Many foods and beverages can cause the sphincter in the esophagus to relax, which is why it is to your advantage to avoid those foods when battling acid reflux disease.
Since the types of food that can cause problems vary from person to person, a doctor may recommend that you keep a food diary to help you discover which foods act as triggers in your own digestive system. Often identifying the food to avoid for acid reflux disease is enough to keep your symptoms in check. If dietary changes are effective, you can often avoid medications, surgery, and sometimes invasive procedures that will pinpoint the problem. That is why many doctors may recommend a new diet plan before continuing with further tests and treatment of acid reflux.
Common Food To Avoid For Acid Reflux
Besides a food diary that will help identify particular foods that might be offensive to an individual, there is a list of foods that commonly irritate acid reflux disease. Some acidic fruit juices, such as grapefruit juice and orange juice can be common culprits. Some meats and vegetables can also be a problem, so patients are often advised to refrain from foods like mashed potatoes, raw onion and ground beef. Unfortunately for acid reflux sufferers, dairy products like ice cream and milk shakes are included on the taboo list, as are popular dished such as spaghetti with sauce and macaroni and cheese. The good news is that a patient that is finding relief from painful symptoms often doesn’t mind avoiding the foods that make acid reflux disease worse.
Other potential problems to avoid are coffee, alcohol, chocolate and any fatty food. Stay away from big meals, and avoid lying down right after eating. If these simple diet modifications can keep acid reflux symptoms at bay, you can avoid other treatments such as medication and surgery. Dietary changes are certainly worth the try.