Sixty percent of the adult population will experience some form of it within a 12 month period… And 20 to 30 percent will have weekly symptoms according to a
2008 Statistical Brief by The Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project.
It’s called gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD for short. But it’s more commonly known as heartburn – even though heartburn is actually a symptom of GERD. Other symptoms include a dry cough, having trouble swallowing and asthmatic-related problems.
It results when the muscles at the entrance of the stomach are relaxed allowing a back flow of food, stomach acid and digestive enzymes to flow up your esophagus.
And while heartburn is unpleasant, the more pressing reason to avoid GERD is that it can lead to more serious health problems such as asthma, pulmonary fibrosis and even esophageal cancer.
Here are some tips on how you can reduce your chances of experiencing GERD and what you should do if you suffer GERD-like symptons.
First off, avoid fatty foods. They tend to relax the stomach muscle entrance area. Foods like chicken wings, french fries, deep dish pizza, donuts, brownies, chocolate, mint, potato chips, creamy salad dressings and so on should not be on your menu. Also say “no thank you” to fried foods. And if you experience GERD-like symptoms, avoid spicy foods.
Stay away from acidic type foods like citrus fruits (especially oranges, grapefruits, limes,…