Acid Reflux – GERD FAQ and Full Guide 2

What foods might trigger someone to have acid reflux? “If we talk about someone who’s having some of those symptoms maybe they’re on the cusp of “Should I go to the doctor?” maybe once or twice a week what are some things that they can do to avoid that, of course, avoid the food that causes it I guess that’s probably but what foods might trigger someone having acid reflux?

Dr Brown: “Sure there are some well-known triggers and the first thing that we always recommend to patients are what we call lifestyle modification changes and those are the hard ones because they’re habits that we get into that are hard to break but things that really aggravate reflux are alcohol so really limiting alcohol consumption.”

Why alcohol is the biggest trigger for acid reflux? “Why alcohol is the biggest trigger for acid reflux?”

Dr Brown: “It has an effect to loosen the sphincter mechanism between the oesophagus and the stomach and anything that loosens or relaxes that can cause the acid to come back up other things would include nicotine so smoking can aggravate it caffeine is also a big trigger for people so really limiting caffeine in any form and it can be insidious sometimes you don’t necessarily think that your soda pop or your energy drink is going to have caffeine but you want to try to avoid caffeine in any form”

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Is decaf coffee good for acid reflux? ”And if you’re talking about caffeine, if someone has coffee with no caffeine or has decaf coffee that might be an alternative so even decaf tea and coffee are safe to drink?

Dr Brown: ”Caffeine free or decaf beverages should be okay it’s really the caffeine content that tends to be a problem for folks so minimizing that and then the other thing that goes along with it is not so many particular foods it may not be the spaghetti or the sauce because that can vary individually some people react differently but it’s a healthy eating lifestyle that you want to try to adhere to weight is a big problem in our society we know that and weight plays a big factor with acid reflux so people who tend to be overweight tend to have problems with reflux and if you can keep your weight under a normal range then the reflux will get better as well”.

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Why do we feel more acid reflux symptoms after a big meal? “Why do we feel more acid reflux symptoms after a big meal?”

Dr Brown: “If you think about it, your stomach is just a large sack if you will accommodate whatever you eat and if you over distend it and overstretch it’s going to want to come back up and so we do advise that you avoid eating prior to bedtime and if you think about it if you lay down flat then it’s easier for gravity to allow the contents of the stomach to come up into the chest or the oesophagus so you want to avoid going to bed and laying down with a full stomach”.

What can we do at night to have better sleep and fewer symptoms? “What can we do at night to have better sleep and fewer symptoms? I know we can eat less and not eat right before bedtime but what else? Can lifting the  pillow help a bit?”

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Dr Brown: “Absolutely we’d recommend that as well raise the head of the bed, practically speaking that can be done with some pillows, not ones that are too soft and then smoosh back into them but some firmer pillows and some people have even resorted to putting some type of supports under the posts or the feet of the bed to raise the whole bed up at an angle.

Is Acid Reflux inherited? “Is this something that could be hereditary for you to get from your parents if they had acid reflux or GERD issues and things like that maybe you would? Is acid reflux hereditary? Can you get GERD from your parents?”

Dr Brown: “Not so much, I don’t think there’s a known real strong hereditary component to it”

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