Acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a simple, yet sometimes quite painful disease that can be both painful and chronic. The GERD diet is a part of a total treatment plan that includes both lifestyle changes and medication as well as dietary changes.
A diet plan is necessary to both reduce pain and allow healing in the affected areas of the esophagus. The changes in this particular diet include eating less and eating foods that are tolerated and thus eliminate the painful symptoms of acid reflux.
The GERD diet is only one part of an acid reflux treatment plan. A diet is used to prevent advancement of the disease and allow for healing in the affected organs. The diet consist of foods that are mild and do not cause a relaxation of pressure in the stomach, theby opening the lower esophageal sphincter (LES).
The meals are lighter and eating before bedtime is eliminated. These are done in order to prevent acid reflux symptoms during the night.
Before beginning a GERD diet plan you keep a food diary listing foods that are eaten, how much and all symptoms that are felt in addition to the severity of pain. This is used to determine what foods are causing the symptoms and what foods seem to help.
Chewing gum has been found to promote continuous production of salivation. This saliva has a high ph level and it is possible that it can promote a natural antacid effect upon the LES. Therefore, gum chewing on the GERD diet is encouraged whenever possible.
The diet, as stated above, makes use of the completed food diary and eliminates all foods that have previously caused acid reflux. In addition, with the GERD diet it is recommended that all meals are lighter, especially in the evening hours before bedtime. This helps prevent nighttime occurrences. Milk, previously thought by some to prevent acid reflux, has been shown to actually cause it when taken before bed. So drinking of milk before bed is prohibited. Alcohol, is also banned as it has been known to cause acid reflux.
However, coffee, which previously had been automatically eliminated on the GERD diet is now allowed as tolerated, as it has been shown that not everyone is sensitive to coffee. On the GERD diet other foods, also previously prohibited such as peppermint, spearmint, and chocolate as well as hot and spicy foods are also allowed as tolerated. This is because the theory that milk cures ulcers and acid reflux and hot, spicy foods aggravate it has been found to be somewhat of a myth.
The GERD diet is one way you can get relief for your heartburn. It is also an important aspect of acid reflux treatment and it is used to prevent severe complications of your GERD. So, be sure to follow your doctor or nutritionist's advice if they put you on a GERD diet .