An acid reflux diet will help you improve the backflow from the stomach to the esophagus. The condition is known as GORD which stands for gastro-oesophageal Reflux Disease. In most cases of the disease, you need to see the doctor. A first visit should be programmed if this happens to you a few times per week.
What causes acid reflux?
Acid reflux is typically caused by a weak, lower oesophageal, muscle. This muscle has a simple, yet important role. It opens when the food passes to the stomach and closes after that. It basically stops the acid traveling back to the esophagus. If this muscle is weakened, it will be difficult for the acid not to travel to the esophagus.
The interesting part is that no one knows exactly what causes this muscle to be weakened as the condition is not specific to elderly people. Research has managed to outline some possible causes or factors which can influence the condition:
One of the most common situations which influenced acid reflux is pregnancy. This may be caused by the increased pressure on the stomach. A change in hormonal levels is also one of the possible cause which may cause the condition.
Being overweight can also put extra pressure on the stomach. It is believed that obese people can suffer from the extra pressure which can weaken the oesophagal muscles.
Foods which take longer to digest
It is believed that certain types of foods which require more time to digest and need more acid for a proper breakdown can cause the symptoms also. These foods could be some types of meats, like red meat and even some fats which also take a long time to digest.
Some kinds of prescribed medication have also been linked to high acid production. The medication can be used for high blood pressure treatments, angina treatments, and some anti-inflammatory drugs. If you are under any kind of treatment or have been recently, make sure you check the side effects list or discuss it with your doctor.
These causes can work separately or together to cause increased levels of acidity in the stomach. If you`re unsure you can always check a list of possible symptoms. These symptoms can include, but are not limited to:
- Heartburn – a sensation of burning in the chest area which might occur after eating. This is not only specific to elderly people as younger sufferers might also know the discomfort
- Bad breath – especially after eating
- Feeling or being sick – to the high acidity levels
How to improve acid reflux with a diet
You can try improving the condition by yourself. You can do this with medication also as you can ask your pharmacist for the best solutions to your particular case. Starting from this you can begin avoiding some foods which might cause a higher acid in the stomach.
Foods to avoid
As we`ve seen above, there are some types of foods which take a long time to digest and also need more acid. You should avoid fatty foods like:
- Deep fried foods – French fries, onion rings, nuggets etc.
- Fatty dairy products – butter, sour cream, full-fat cheese etc.
- Some meats – hard to digest meats like beef and all other deep fried meats
- Most desserts – ice cream, pudding, cakes etc.
- High acidity fruits – lemon, oranges, grapefruit etc.
Foods to eat
In you get the basics down everything should become easier after a few days. Although there is no official diet for acid reflux, you can eat some foods which have been proven to ease the stomach and fight against acid.
Green vegetables – known for the fiber and mineral content, green vegetables can represent a good foundation against acid reflux. You can consider green beans, asparagus, broccoli, soy or lettuce. Make sure you don`t mix these vegetables with high acidity topping such as lemon zest.
Oatmeal – the traditional breakfast is one of the best meal ideas for acid reflux. Oats are very high in fiber which means it can absorb the acid in the stomach having a calming effect. The high fiber content also has a positive impact on the digestive system.
Healthy fats – found in nuts and almonds, healthy fats are crucial to the body. You can even look at avocados and coconut oil for a source of healthy fats. You should always check your local health food store for a mix of nuts and almonds which can be eaten plain or combined with foods like salads. One theory on nuts suggests you should eat the types which are grown in your country as the body is already used to the types through heredity.
Egg whites – if eating oats every day is something you want to avoid you can switch to an eggs breakfast. You can even separate the egg whites as the yellow part is high in fats and may be harder to absorb. Eggs are a complete source of protein and they might help your body not lose any muscle mass trough this period.
Ginger – with high anti-inflammatory properties, ginger is used as a natural treatment for heartburn and gastric problems. Its anti-inflammatory value recommends it for a boost of the immune system. You can eat it raw, once you slice it or use it in teas where you boil it with water.
After a few days in which you don`t see an improvement you should talk to a specialist. Acid reflux is still being studied as there is no concrete evidence on what causes the weakening of the lower oesophageal muscles. You can always look for the list of symptoms if you are unsure if you have the condition. As a precaution method, you should also avoid eating foods that take a long time to digest like highly fatty foods.
If you visit a specialist make sure to let the doctor know about any pre-existing conditions and especially any medication you might have been taking before the symptoms occurred for a detailed perspective on the right approach towards treatment, and most definitely you should ask for the best anti acid reflux diet.