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.
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.
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