While the average person may not have to worry about certain things that they do in their daily life, it’s not the same for a person that has GERD. There are quite a few different habits that are known to have a significant impact on the amount and severity of symptoms of this condition that patients suffer.
A person’s eating and sleeping habits are two of the biggest factors. Believe it or not, the way a person dresses can even have a big impact. One of the most effective ways to gain some control over the GERD symptoms you suffer is simply by making some minor adjustments in each of these areas.
Small Changes to Everyday Eating Habits Can Minimize Heartburn
It is not uncommon for the stomach to expand when a large meal is consumed. This expansion makes it hard for the lower portion of the esophageal sphincter to remain closed due to the upward pressure on it that is caused. For this reason it is important for people suffering from GERD to only eat meals in small portions.
After consuming a meal it is also important to avoid lying down for at least a few hours.. This is because the food hasn’t had time to digest yet and acids in the stomach can work their way up into the esophagus and leading to heartburn.
Pay Special Attention to the Types of Foods You Consume
Knowing the common food and beverage items that are known to cause heartburn will make it much easier to avoid them. There are quite a few foods and beverages that actually stimulate the production of increased levels of stomach acid which often result in episodes of heartburn. Below is a list of some of the most common food and beverage items that should be avoided due to being known triggers of heartburn.
- Carbonated and caffeinated beverages
- Caffeinated and decaf tea and coffee
- Foods containing high levels of fat
- Tomatoes and products that are tomato based
- Alcoholic beverages
- Foods that are fried in oil
- Citrus fruits such as grapefruits and oranges
Replace Heartburn Triggers with Healthier Food Options
Eating healthy is not only beneficial for the overall health of your body, but it is a great way to minimize the episodes of heartburn you experience. Replacing heartburn triggers with some of the healthier food options below will reduce the occurrence and severity of heartburn symptoms.
- Food products that are grilled
- Salad dressings that are either low-fat or no-fat
- White meat
- Vegetables that are steamed
- Meat cuts that are lean
- Baked potatoes
- Chicken, turkey, or roast beef sandwiches that are made with bread that is whole grain
- Soups that are broth based
- Deserts that are light, such as angel food cake
Avoid Cigarette Smoking and the Consumption of Alcoholic Beverages
Cigarettes and alcohol are known causes of heartburn that should be avoided whenever possible. If you are unable to stop completely, you will want to at least cut down on the amount of cigarettes you smoke and alcoholic beverages you drink.