A diet and lifestyle change may help to prevent gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), according to a research letter published online on Jan. 4, 2021, by JAMA Internal Medicine. The findings suggest that those who have GERD symptoms may benefit from specific lifestyle changes. The researchers also found that among women with GERD symptoms, those who followed the five lifestyle habits were 40% less likely to have GERD symptoms than women who did not meet any of them. These criteria were: having a normal body weight; never smoking; participating in 30 minutes of moderate or vigorous exercise each day; drinking no more than two cups of coffee, tea, or soda each day; and following a healthy diet. A lifestyle that promotes a healthy diet, plenty of physical activity, and self-care help prevent heartburn and reflux. This simple program can help you reduce your symptoms and keep GERD at bay.
What Do You Mean By Acid Reflux?
Acid reflux and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can cause stomach acid to travel into the esophagus. The esophagus and stomach are separated by a protective muscular ring that normally prevents acid from flowing backward unless there is a significant rise in your body’s pH, which increases when you exercise or are unhealthy. If you have acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), you might feel an uncomfortable burning sensation on the roof of your mouth when swallowing. This is known as heartburn. Acid reflux can also result in uncomfortable symptoms like acid regurgitation. If you have acid reflux or GERD, certain foods and beverages can make your symptoms worse. While many medications are available for treating these conditions, medications do not cure them.
There are various symptoms through which one can identify the occurrence of acid reflux in the body. The symptoms are:
- sore throat
GERD and acid reflux are often used as synonyms, but the thing is that they refer to different things. GERD is the term used when somebody talks about symptoms that occur occasionally. Acid reflux refers to long-lasting symptoms, like coughing, Hiatal pain (abdominal distress), bloating, and heartburn. These can be caused by having a weakened or dysfunctional lower esophageal sphincter that allows stomach acid to flow backward into the esophagus. Over time, untreated GERD can cause inflammation or damage to the esophagus.
Drinks Which Can Be Used To Keep Acid Reflux At Bay
Acid reflux is the most common thing. Common symptoms of acid reflux include heartburn and chest pain as well as upper abdominal pain. Additionally, medications that can lower calcium levels in the bloodstream may raise your risk of both heartburn and pneumonia. Certain beverages may not trigger acid reflux symptoms, while others can help relieve your symptoms. Try sipping liquids instead of drinking them quickly to reduce acid reflux symptoms.
The following drinks may not cause symptoms like heartburn or GERD unless you drink them quickly, which can help trigger these symptoms.
- Herbal Tea: Herbal teas can help improve digestion, soothe GERD symptoms, and provide relief from stomach issues such as gas and nausea. A 2017 study found that an herbal formula including deglycyrrhizinated licorice provided relief from GERD symptoms consistently better than common antacids. Still, there is room for more research to validate the effectiveness of herbal teas. A growing number of people have reported that herbal teas, such as slippery elm, ginger tea, chamomile tea, marshmallow root tea, and licorice tea help relieve GERD symptoms. Still, there is room for more research to confirm the effectiveness of these remedies. When using dried herbs as extracts in tea, it is suggested that 1 teaspoon of herbs per 1 cup of hot water should be used. Steep the leaves or flowers covered for 5 to 10 minutes. If you are using roots, steep for 10 to 20 minutes. For the best results, you can drink 2 to 4 cups per day. It is always a good idea to talk with a doctor before trying new herbal remedies. This is especially true for those who are taking medications, as herbs can interfere with their effectiveness.
- Low fat or skim milk: Cow’s milk can be hard for some people to digest. Consuming full-fat cow’s milk and other high-fat foods may relax the lower esophageal sphincter, which can cause or worsen reflux symptoms, according to a 2019 review of research. The same review found that fats may also reduce gastric motility, which may keep high-fat foods in your stomach longer. If you choose to include cow’s milk products in your diet, consider choosing a milk option with lower fat content.
- Plant-based milk: Lactose intolerance or GERD symptoms? Plant-based milk is a good alternative to dairy products to help keep your GERD under control. You may notice that carrageenan is often used as an additive in many non-dairy beverages, but there is uncertainty as to whether or not this additive can be linked to health problems. There are a variety of these products available, including soy milk and other plant-based milk that have a lower fat content in comparison to most dairy products, making them a safer choice for people with GERD. Check the labels of your non-dairy products and try to avoid carrageenan if you have GERD.
- Fruit juice: You may want to limit the number of citrus drinks and other beverages with high acid content like pineapple and apple juice. The juice from a fruit, such as an apple and cranberry, can be very acidic and may cause acid reflux symptoms. Juices that are less acidic are not as likely to trigger GERD symptoms in most people. Examples of juices with lower acidity include: carrot juice aloe vera juice cabbage juice freshly juiced drinks made with less acidic foods, such as beets, watermelon, spinach, cucumber, or pear
- Smoothies: Smoothies are a great way to get more fruits and vegetables into your diet. One of the best parts about making smoothies is that they are easy to customize with any combination of ingredients you like, like spinach, plant-based milk and more. As a bonus, smoothies often help relieve GERD symptoms by ensuring that you get enough water and nutrients through food rather than through stomach acid-inducing drinks or tablets.
- Water: If you are looking to ease acid reflux symptoms, it is best to stay hydrated with water or another electrolyzed water source. The pH of most water is neutral, or 7.0, which can mildly raise the stomach’s pH. However, water can also help digestion and motility of food out of your stomach and into your small intestine. This may help reduce acid reflux symptoms. A 2019 study found that drinking alkaline electrolyzed water may help gastrointestinal symptoms like acid reflux. This water has a modified pH, which may help neutralize stomach acid.
- Coconut water: Coconut water is an excellent choice for people with acid reflux or GERD. This beverage is a good source of helpful electrolytes, such as potassium. It also promotes pH balance within the body, which is crucial for managing acid reflux.
Drinks To Avoid To Keep Acid Reflux At Bay
Certain stomach-irritating foods can increase the chance of reflux symptoms. Some drinks can aggravate reflux symptoms, which include heartburn and acid reflux. Examples include caffeinated drinks such as coffee and tea, carbonated and citrus-flavored drinks such as soda, fruit juices, and alcoholic beverages.
The drinks which can be avoided to not increase the chances of acid reflux are:
- Certain juices: Some beverages, including juices and soda-pop, contain citric acid or citric acid as a natural flavoring. Citric acid has been known to irritate the esophagus and make reflux symptoms worse, so it is best to avoid these drinks. Other examples of these product types include lemon, orange, tangerine, grapefruit juice, limeade, and tomato products. If you suffer from GERD, it may be best to stay away from high-acid foods such as these. To avoid food sensitivities, it may be best to avoid products made with citric acid because of the irritation potential. Remember that most fruits and vegetable juices contain some glycemic load, so make sure to read labels carefully and choose foods that are lower in both fat and sodium.
- Coffee: If you drink coffee daily, you could be more susceptible to the symptoms of acid reflux. Drinking coffee stimulates increased gastric acid production, making it more likely to rise to your esophagus. This results in heightened acid reflux symptoms, which can lead to heartburn and another upper abdominal discomfort.
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