These 7 Foods Are Making Your Acid Reflux Worse


Do You Have Acid Reflux?


The most common symptom of GERD is persistent heartburn. Heartburn is experienced as an unpleasant and painful burning sensation in the esophageal area.






Other typical symptoms are: 


1. Gastric regurgitation, which means an unrestricted reversed flow of gastric or esophageal contents into the throat. This gastric fluid can cause respiratory complications under certain conditions.


2. Odynophagia, which means pain when swallowing.


3. Dysphagia, which means difficulty swallowing, or the feeling of food stuck in the throat.


In addition to the above, about 50% of all gastroesophageal reflux disease sufferers report the co-occurrence of sinonasal symptoms (i. e. symptoms pertaining to the nose and sinuses).


Abnormal GERD symptoms include chronic wheezing and coughing (sometimes referred to as acid reflux related asthma, and are caused by the aspiration of gastric contents into the lungs area), spasmodic noncardiac chest pain and damage to the lungs, often followed by respiratory diseases such as pneumonia and asthma. Intense chest pain may closely resemble that of myocardial infarction that it has often been incorrectly interpreted as a heart attack. However, unlike the symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease, cardiovascular chest pain is usually aggravated during physical exercise.


Finally, acid reflux can also harm the vocal cords (hoarseness, laryngitis, cancer), ears (otitis media), and teeth (enamel decay). Being able to identify those symptoms as GERD related is of great importance to your health and general well being and for the prevention of potential complications. Acid reflux symptoms might serve as evidence to severe overall internal imbalance. In addition to that, neglected gastroesophageal reflux disease can lead to significant physical discomfort and sometimes can results in chronic and even dangerous health conditions, such as esophageal cancer and pneumonia.



What Can You Do?


One thing you can do right away to avoid or ease your gastric relux is avoid certaibn foods which are known to irritate the condition.  Focusing on healthy nutrition that is based on avoiding certain foods while increasing the intake of others has the potential to confer significant long-term health benefits among acid reflux sufferers. Lifestyle and dietary alterations are considered to be an integral and inseparable part of any long-term holistic GERD treatment.

The foods we consume play an important role when it comes to keeping our body’s delicate natural inner balance. Since certain foods and dietary habits have been found to directly and indirectly promote the aggravation of acid reflux, avoiding those foods and adopting specific dietary habits for optimal digestion while suffering from acid reflux could have a tremendously positive effect on your existing medical condition.


Read Your Heartburn and Acid Reflux Options


The following are examples of these types of foods:


1. Coffee and other caffeine containing beverages lead to increased acidity, so avoid large amounts of coffee. Try to limit your daily coffee consumption to two cups or less. It possible, split your coffee cup into two half cups, and reduce coffee drinking before the bedtime.


2. Alcohol can irritate the stomach and relax the LES muscle, leading to increased acidity and reflux.


3. High-fat foods are among the biggest culprits behind GERD symptoms. They take longer to digest and not easily eliminated out of body, thus increasing the chances acid will splash up into your esophagus. The only exceptions are omega-3 fatty acids from fish and fish oil, which are in fact powerful anti-inflammatory agents.


4. Chocolate contains a great deal of caffeine and fat. This may increase acidity and worsen digestion and hence should be avoided. If you are a devoted chocolate enthusiast, go for dark, organic varieties, and eat no more then two to three tiny squares two to three times per week.


5. Milk and milk-based products that contain a big proportion of calcium should also be avoided before bedtime.


6. Peppermint, spearmint and other mints can worsen acid reflux symptoms. Avoid foods that contain strong mints, including mint-based herbal teas.


7. Acidic foods (such as oranges and tomatoes) and cruciferous vegetables (onions, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, spinach, brussels sprouts) promote the opening of the esophageal sphincter, thus increasing acid reflux.


By avoiding or cutting down on these foods, and a healthy motivation to alter your lifestyle, you can be on your way to overcoming gastroesophageal reflux disease and improving the quality of your life and well-being.

Whatever your medical condition is, when you finally decide to improve your quality of life, you can literally choose to cure GERD and prevent its recurrence, by adopting the holistic approach. You have the power to make it happen.


This article is based on the book, “Heartburn No More” by Jeff Martin. Jeff is an author, researcher, nutritionist and health consultant who dedicated his life to creating the ultimate acid reflux solution guaranteed to permanently reverse the root cause of heartburn and acid reflux and naturally and dramatically improve the overall quality of your life,  without the use prescription medication and without any surgical procedures. Learn more by visiting his website.


Heartburn No More™ - Heartburn Cure Book

Heartburn No More is a Proven Drug Free Holistic System for Eliminating Acid Reflux and Heartburn


The Heartburn No More program is an original high quality product and one of the most comprehensive holistic acid reflux solutions I have come across in my research.


The Heartburn No More book contains over 180 pages of rock solid content and outlines never seen before clinically proven methods to cure and prevent acid reflux, and has a money-back guarantee.





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Brain Disease Swallowing Problems


Brain Disease Swallowing Problems


Swallowing problems in degenerative brain diseases

People who have degenerative brain diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, other dementias, Parkinson’s disease and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease), often develop swallowing problems (dysphagia) as their disease progresses. This is because the degeneration of the nerves and their complex connections often spreads throughout a person’s nervous system.


Why does swallowing become a problem?

We take swallowing for granted until we have trouble doing it. Most of us have experienced an episode of choking when food or fluids enter the trachea (windpipe). This is called aspiration, and our lungs respond with a fit of coughing to clear our airway.

Swallowing is a complex action that requires the sensory and motor parts of our brain to work together. When we eat and drink, the brain senses food and fluids in our mouth, moves them safely into the esophagus, and protects the trachea at the same time. Food or fluid then moves down the esophagus into the stomach. Swallowing requires 40 muscles working together with both the sensory and motor parts of the brain. A degenerative brain disease can affect a person’s ability to swallow in different ways, depending on which parts of the brain are affected and how quickly the disease progresses.


Swallowing problems are serious

When swallowing begins to fail, it signals that a person’s degenerative brain disease is at an advanced or life-threatening stage. Serious infections (pneumonia and lung abscess) develop in the lungs when food and fluids are aspirated into the airways. Almost half of patients with dementia who develop “aspiration pneumonia” will die within the next six months. 

Oral or intravenous antibiotics may cure pneumonia, but the more frequently infections occur, the more likely antibiotics will be ineffective. This is because the person is repeatedly aspirating either food and fluids or saliva, which is an indication that the disease is progressing. In order to clear pneumonia, antibiotics need the help of an effective cough and a strong immune system, both of which are lacking in this phase of illness. Also, with each infection, the person becomes weaker and can harbor more resistant organisms. Complications such as a C. difficile infection in the bowel can arise from repeated courses of antibiotics.


How can the risk of infection be reduced?

To reduce the risk of aspiration, a speech language pathologist (speech therapist) or occupational therapist with training in this area first conducts a swallowing assessment. Once the specific swallowing problem is identified, the pathologist or therapist recommends strategies for preventing aspiration.



Ensuring that the person is awake, sitting upright and concentrating on eating or drinking is essential for reducing the risk of aspiration regardless of the swallowing problem. Avoiding foods that are particularly difficult to swallow can prevent choking.

Changing the texture of other foods (for example, by mincing or pureeing) and thickening fluids can make them easier to swallow safely.

Try Thick-It Instant Food and Beverage Thickener


Thick-It 36 OZ
Feeding a person in this way has been called “feeding at risk” but a better name for it is “careful hand feeding.”

Despite these measures and vigilant feeding by family or staff in a facility, aspiration and infection can still occur. This is because swallowing problems worsen over time and a person’s chest muscles become too weak to cough. As a result, he or she cannot expel fluid or food, and the airway is unprotected. When this occurs, it is called “silent aspiration.” Saliva too can be aspirated, and bacteria in the mouth can cause infections in the lungs.


Is a feeding tube helpful?

Recurring infections and more trouble swallowing signal advanced degenerative brain disease. Often by this stage, the person is no longer able to understand his or her medical issues. Family members are often asked to step in to decide whether their loved one would accept a feeding tube.


What is a feeding tube?

A temporary feeding tube is passed through the nose and into the stomach. Rarely is a temporary tube used for more than a few days, because it is uncomfortable and easily pulled out. 



A long-term feeding tube called a PEG tube (percutaneous gastrostomy tube) is surgically inserted. A scope is passed through the mouth and into the stomach. It presses the stomach against the abdominal wall and a tube is passed from outside the patient’s body into the stomach.

With PEG tubes, there is a one-in-ten chance of painful ulcers, infection or tube leakage at the abdominal wall. There is a three-in-a-hundred chance of severe complications, such as serious bleeding, perforation of the bowel, secondary pneumonia, or breakdown of the abdominal wall.


How effective are feeding tubes?

Many family members feel a feeding tube may prolong life, improve its quality, and possibly reverse their loved one’s degenerative brain disease. However, multiple studies show that people who have degenerative brain diseases do not live any longer with a feeding tube than a similar group of people who are fed carefully by hand. Studies also show that a feeding tube does not reduce the risk of aspiration. It is still possible to aspirate saliva and develop a serious pneumonia. 

The progressive weakness related to degenerative brain disease isn’t because of lack of intake. It is the outcome of the natural progression of the illness. The tube does not affect the progression of the disease nor does it improve a person’s quality of life. 

Many family members want a feeding tube for their loved one because they do not wish him or her to feel hunger. However, a person’s desire to eat lessens as end of life approaches. As well, many people with advanced degenerative brain diseases are not very active. They do not need as many calories as they did when they were mobile.

See End of Life Nutrition



While the feeding tube can get food safely to a person’s stomach, it cannot prevent aspiration of saliva into the lungs. As well, the feeding tube cannot prevent aspiration of food into the lungs if the person has gastric reflux (food passing from the stomach back into the esophagus because of a leaky stomach valve). 


Advantages of careful hand feeding




Careful hand feeding has many advantages over tube feeding. It allows the person to still experience the taste of food and interact with others. Preserving these important parts of eating may result in a higher quality of life for a loved one. Careful hand feeding reduces the use of medications needed to treat the discomfort of the tube.



Careful hand feeding is the simplest and most satisfying way for a person to continue eating. The recommended approach is small amounts of favorite foods. If the person refuses food, then basic mouth care is offered.



How do you make the best decisions?

Dealing with complex decisions in advanced disease can be very stressful for the family. So it is important for family members to support each other through these times.

It also is not uncommon for family members to have differing opinions about what is best for their loved one. This is when it is essential for family members to focus on what they believe their loved one would prefer rather than on what they would wish to see happen. The health care team can help support families through these difficult conversations.

Decisions at this time are best made with the health care team and family working together. The health care team can explain the options available for a loved one, given his or her stage of illness. The health care team can also outline what is and isn’t medically possible and appropriate. The family can give insight into what their loved one would prefer if he or she were able to speak for themselves.

Adapted from an article by Romayne Gallagher MD, CCFP


Recommended Reading:

The Dying Process – A Hospice Social Worker’s Perspective On End Of Life Care: A helpful guide for coping and closure during end of life care

The Dying Process – A Hospice Social Worker’s Perspective On End Of Life Care provides a detailed exploration of issues pertaining to patient and family grief reactions, the duration and preparation for death, closure support needs, understanding pain, pain management and avenues to create a positive death experience for both the patient and family.

Over a decade of work in the hospice field, author and social worker, Dana Plish offers professional insight regarding his experiences with patients and families who are in the dying process.

 He elaborates on the process of death which impacts family coping, patient and family closure, barriers to acceptance, and examines negative and positive death processes. He concludes with ways in which family can aid the patient during life to death transition and support ongoing bereavement and grief needs. Dana comments on patient grief related to the loss of pets and supporting patient closure with their pets when possible.

Dana has worked in the social services field for 30 years and he presents the subject matter in a simple, easy to read and understand format which serves as a practical guide for anyone who has a loved one in the dying process.



Thanks for visiting and reading …

I hope this article provided you some helpful ideas.  I welcome your comments below.





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End of Life Nutrition


End of Life Nutrition






Palliative feeding can be challenging.


When my mom was very ill from cirrhosis of the liver, she required assistance with eating. 


Due to her confusion, sleepiness, lack of coordination and shaky hands, it was important to have someone with her at mealtimes to help out.  At this late stage, mom was too ill to receive nutritional benefit from the food, but eating was still a pleasurable activity, and helped us family members feel that we were doing something to help. 


It is a natural instinct to want to feed someone you love, even when you know intellectually that the person’s body is too ill to make use of the nutrients.  The doctor explained that in the presence of serious advanced illness such as hers, the body obtains energy by breaking down its own muscle and fat, rather than by processing the food.


Being a liver patient with fluid accumulation who was pre-diabetic, she had been on a low salt, low sugar diet with limited fluids for many months.  Now, in Palliative Care, all of Mom’s previous dietary restrictions were lifted.  The  decision to no longer continue curative or life-prolonging therapies meant here was no further benefit in limiting her food choices or fluid intake, and it had become important to allow her to enjoy eating and drinking again.


Fortunately, Mom still had a good appetite, and really enjoyed thinking about, requesting, and eating foods that she had not had in a very long time. And let me tell you, she was not asking for vegetables!  She ate sushi, taco chips, donuts, pizza, fast food hamburgers, candy, butter tarts and drank mango juice.  Providing her with these treats and helping her to enjoy them was a bright spot for all of us.  Although bittersweet, this was an activity which lightened the atmosphere quite a bit.


Mealtimes presented some challenges, though.  Mom’s reflexes were poor, and she would often suddenly lose alertness.


We had to make sure she remained fully awake (sometimes she looked like she was, but was “somewhere else”).  It was explained to us that there was a high risk of asphyxiation if she did not swallow properly, and that would be a very serious situation.




These are some things to keep in mind with palliative feeding:

  • Ensure the person is sitting comfortably and upright to make swallowing comfortable.


  • Provide finger foods when eating with cutlery has become difficult.


Image result for finger foods for dementia patients
  • Use a spoon whenever practical as opposed to a fork.


  • Offer small amounts of food, placed at the front of the mouth, allowing the person time to swallow before offering another bite.




If your loved one is experiencing a complete lack of appetite, on the other hand, it is important to remember that people with advanced illnesses can be comfortable with little or no food intake for weeks or months. That is because people who are seriously ill often do not experience hunger or thirst in the way that healthy people do. Forcing someone to eat in these situations can make them feel nauseated and may contribute to feelings of distress.


Family and friends often find a person’s complete lack of appetite and weight loss worrisome. It is a natural instinct to encourage the person to eat and drink more, thinking that the person will feel stronger and live longer, but if your doctor has told you that this is not the case, you must come to terms with this.  This is the time to let the patient make the decisions about what to eat, when to eat or whether to eat or drink at all.



If you are feeding someone who doesn’t have much appetite, here are some tips to consider:



  • Prepare several small meals during the day, as opposed to three larger ones.
  • Avoid spicy foods if the person can no longer tolerate them.
  • Avoid cooking odors if they are troublesome.
  • Do not be surprised if the person craves certain foods some days, and has no interest in them on others.
  • Try not to get frustrated if the person asks for a certain food and then loses interest by the time the food arrives.
  • Let the person decide how much, what, and when they will eat.
  • Recognize that individuals with serious illnesses often become full quickly, sometimes after just a few bites of food.
  • Try not to push the person to eat more, as a feeling of fullness, nausea or vomiting may result.
  • Try not to make mealtimes a time of tension about eating and food. Rather, focus on sharing time together.
  • Remember that a rejection of food is not a rejection of you.
  • Unless a health provider asks for updates on weight, do not routinely keep track of weight.




We often brought meal replacement drinks for my mom in the hospital and hospice for when she wasn’t eating much.  Of course, it did not change the trajectory of her disease, but she enjoyed them (and we felt good about it).

(left) Boost Very High Calorie Nutritional Energy Drink






Some other items that made things easier for all of us:


Maddadapt II Built-Up Cutlery For people with upper extremity weakness or reduced range of motion. These stainless steel utensils feature built-up handles for people with arthritis, weak grasps or other hand limitations. Their contoured shape makes them easier to hold and use.



Spillproof Kennedy Cup with Lid – lightweight spill-proof drinking cup that is used with a straw. The patented design allows the cup to be easily filled with up to 7 ounces of warm or cold liquid. Once the lid is screwed on the liquid will not spill out even if the cup is turned completely upside down. This means an end to messy spills and new independence to those who have difficulty using conventional cups.




Metal Pill Crusher Easily crush hard-to-swallow pills into powder that can be mixed into food or drinks with this heavy-duty die-cast crusher. The chrome-plated zinc with aluminum and stainless steel fillings is corrosion resistant and built to last.




Terry Crumb Catcher Bib




Pivot Tilt-top Overbed Table (U-Base) – this unique table top tilts with the angle of the mast to provide a flat surface regardless of the angle of the mast. It also closes flat for easy under-bed storage. The U-shape base (sometimes referred to as C-Base) overbed table not only provides a convenient table for bed-bound seniors, but also accommodates most room seating by leaving room for your feet while seated in a chair or wheelchair.








In summary, remember that nutrition is almost always compromised in the final phase of progressive terminal illness, and that providing calories cannot change that because the body is not able to use them for energy or to build muscle, fat and so on. 


It is a natural instinct to encourage the person to eat and drink more, thinking that the person will feel stronger and live longer, but this is simply not the case.  From personal experience, I can tell you that this can be a very difficult concept for loved ones to internalize.  


Even if  high-calorie supplements are provided, they won’t make a difference. As I learned from the hospice care team, the recommended approach to feeding at the end of life is to “feed for comfort.” Simply provide small amounts of favorite foods as requested by the patient.




Recommended Reading:

 A surprisingly warm and informative resource on hospice and other end-of-life care options. Individuals approaching the end of life, and their loved ones, face many challenges–but as hospice nurse Karen Whitley Bell reassures us, this difficult time also offers an opportunity to explore and rediscover a richer meaning in life.
Drawing on her years of experience, Bell has created a comprehensive, insightful guide to every aspect of hospice care and the final stages of life.  For people in hospice care, as well as their friends and families, this is an indispensable reference, a trustworthy source of comfort and spiritual healing.



Do you have any thoughts or experience with end of life or palliative feeding?  Please share them in the comments section below.





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