Even though food is essential for human life, we know that not all food is created equal. There are good-for-you foods and bad-for-you foods. By focusing on the good-for-you foods you can conquer acid reflux and heartburn forever.
It can be pretty difficult to change your eating habits overnight. If you are a junk food junkie, take heart, you can gradually move toward natural healthy foods and weed out fatty, preservative-laden foods from your diet.
If you have been diagnosed with GERD (gastro-oesophagal reflux disease) or if you suspect you may suffer from it, it’s time to make some positive changes in your eating plan. When we eat foods with too much fat or eat big meals, the acids in our digestive system go to work, as they should, trying to digest and extract all the nourishment from these foods. Often big meals and fatty foods will place pressure on the muscle at the lower end of the throat (the LES or lower oesophagal sphincter) and cause the acid in the tummy to back up into the lower oesophagus. This will damage the throat over time and cause pain if not treated.
Indicators of heartburn are the feeling of burning around the breastbone area, and in the lower oesophagus, bad acid tastes in the mouth, burping excessively, bad breath plus trouble catching your breath and swallowing your food.
If you suffer from these problems on a regular basis, more than twice a week, you most likely have GERD. Your physician is the only one who can tell you for certain and assess any damage that has already been done.
Your physician will be likely to recommend avoiding these foods and beverages:
– caffeinated drinks
– alcoholic drinks
– fruit juices
– spearmint and peppermint
– spicy foods
– citrus fruits
– tomatoes and tomato-based products
– fatty foods
– fried foods
Eating healthy with an acid reflux diet will get rid of heartburn for good. You will feel so much better when not suffering from GERD symptoms, that you (almost) won’t miss the junk foods you normally crave. You must overcome the cravings as soon as possible since continual acid reflux will take its toll on your health.
Make a meal diary each day so that you can see the cause of your heartburn. Whenever you feel reflux occurring, write down the circumstances of what you were doing and what you ate most recently. Post your findings prominently in your kitchen.
Make sure to have a clear goal in mind and make one or two changes at a time. Get rid of the excess fat and preservative-laden foods in your diet, and give up drinking and /or smoking as soon as you can. Get into the habit of eating several small amounts of food several times per day, so that you don’t allow yourself to get hungry and tempted. You can’t make all the changes overnight but start today and you will get there soon.
Use any heartburn symptoms as warnings to persevere in following your diet and you will soon build up your resolve and self-control. Getting healthy is definitely worth the trouble of giving up a few bad habits. When you look back on this time, when you are feeling great and are justifiably proud of yourself, you will know it was worth the ‘sacrifice’.
Antacids may make you feel better in the short term, but they are a bad idea to get into a habit. Try the organic methods and begin making your positive changes.
Eating healthy, small meals, drinking lots of water and exercising regularly will improve your overall health right along with the elimination of GERD. It’s never too early to get started – do it today!