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Healthy Diet Plans >>  Diet Profile >>  Facts About Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

Gastro esophageal Reflux or GERD

What is Gastro esophageal Reflux? Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease is also known as GERD, and more commonly, Acid Reflux. It occurs when contents of the stomach, including stomach acid, pepsin and bile, move backwards into the esophagus; the esophagus is a tube that connects the throat to the stomach. The stomach contents reflux because the little valve between the esophagus and stomach tends to open up or doesn’t close in time.

Gastroesophageal reflux is a life-long condition.
If you are prone to it, chances are you may experience recurring episodes. While there is no permanent cure for gastroesophageal reflux, symptoms can be controlled and managed. At the same time, if the condition is left untreated, it can lead to health complications. This is because repeated episodes of acid reflux damage the tissue lining of the esophagus. It leads to severe inflammation of the esophagus; this condition is called esophagitis. It further adds to discomfort experienced. In extreme cases it can lead to permanent damage and increases the risk of cancer.

Symptoms, Treatment And Diet For Gastroesophageal Reflux

Symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux include indigestion, heartburn, sore throat, bad breath, trouble swallowing, acid burps, sour taste in the mouth, and a chocking sensation among others.  

Everyone suffers from acid reflux at one time or the other. However if condition is chronic, it is best to consult a doctor. In cases of severe acid reflux, individuals experience heart burns that can last for up to two hours. This is an incredibly uncomfortable and painful experience.
Treatment for gastroesophageal reflux ranges from simple over the counter antacids to a combination of prescribed medicines to control the reflux. In the case of severe acid reflux surgery may be required. Along with the medication, lifestyle changes and diet can go a long way in overcoming acid reflux.
Diet – Incorporating a healthy and balanced diet helps control the reflux. It also reduces the frequency between reflux episodes.
Follow the basic nutritional chart and include all food groups in the meal. Cut down on pre-cooked and packaged meals; eat home cooked fresh food, with lots of greens and fruits.

Certain foods are known to aggravate symptoms. Cut down on spicy food. Also avoid caffeine, onion, garlic, tomato and citrus fruits.
It also helps to eat small, frequent meals; the bigger the meal, the more acid is needed to digest the food. In addition keep a gap of at least three hours between your last meal and bed time. This means the stomach isn’t producing acid when you lie down, allowing you to sleep comfortably.
Submitted on March 31, 2010