People diagnosed with GERD must prioritize their health and avoid food that can worsen the symptoms. The person must consult with a nutritionist, who can help identify the triggers and guide regarding the mandatory dietary changes to help manage the symptoms and enhance their physical health.
GERD and Its Symptoms
GERD is a condition in which the fluid in the stomach refluxes back to the esophagus. It can cause ulcers, which may lead to serious illnesses, such as esophageal cancer. It is essential to avoid the triggers that can worsen the condition. The symptoms of GERD include:
- The person experiences chest pain mostly at night.
- The person may suffer from dysphagia. Dysphagia is a condition in which the person struggles to swallow food.
- The person suffers from persistent coughing.
- The person suffers from a sore throat, and the remedies are proven ineffective for treatment.
- The person experiences regurgitation of food
It is essential for the person diagnosed with GERD to avoid triggers. The food items that correlate with worsening the symptoms of GERD include:
- Fried and Fatty Items: Fried items keep the person feeling full for a longer time. Therefore, it can cause reflux; and the person may suffer from heartburn. The person must limit the fat intake and avoid eating fried items at night. Even if the person is consuming fried food, the portion size should be small.
The fried items include French fries, fried chicken, and burger patties. Similarly, the fat items consumed by most people include; whole milk, cheese, ice cream, and creamy dips. These items can cause the person to experience the symptoms and cause extreme discomfort.
- Spicy Food: Individuals with gastrointestinal disorders should avoid spicy food. Consuming spicy food can cause unbearable abdominal pain and heartburn. Spicy food consists of capsaicin, and they irritate the esophagus, which leads to acid reflux. People should avoid adding peppers and garlic in their everyday food if diagnosed with GERD.
- Some Fruits and Vegetables: Certain fruits and vegetables can cause the person to suffer from symptoms of GERD. The patient needs to be aware of their dietary intake of fruits and vegetables, which may contribute to the worsening of their symptoms. The person should limit the intake of citrus fruits and pineapple. The citrus fruits include lemons, lime, oranges, etc. Additionally, the person should avoid using tomatoes and garlic in preparing the everyday meal.
- Medications: The use of certain medications can compromise the functioning of the lower esophageal sphincter. The person may suffer from the symptoms of GERD. If the person notices that the use of medicines is causing GERD symptoms, then it is best to consult the specialist and take the alternatives. The medications known for causing GERD symptoms include; theophylline, tricyclics, calcium channel blockers, aspirin, and iron supplements.
- Beverages: Individuals diagnosed with GERD must notice their caffeine tolerance. They may notice that after they consume caffeinated beverages, their symptoms worsen. However, some people with GERD have high caffeine tolerance. It varies from individual to individual. Beverages that can trigger and worsen the symptoms include; carbonated soft drinks, alcohol tea, and coffee.
- Chocolate: Chocolate contains theobromine, cocoa, and caffeine that can cause acid reflux. It can hinder the functioning of the lower esophageal sphincter. Therefore, people diagnosed with GERD must limit their intake of chocolates. Additionally, they should avoid desserts with a combination of mint and chocolate as it may worsen the symptoms and cause unease.
People who are diagnosed with GERD, who are unable to manage their symptoms must consult a dietitian in Islamabad. The dietician will help the person make relevant changes in the lifestyle and dietary intake. Additionally, the specialist will help the patient know about the food that can cause discomfort and worsen the symptoms.