GERD or more commonly known as Acid Reflux can have many different causes. One simple cause would be the action of the lower esophageal sphincter. There is a ring of muscle that is around the end of the esophagus where it meets up with the stomach. This is called the LES (Lower Esophageal Sphincter).
When people eat or drink the LES then allows the food to pass into the stomach and that muscle ring closes off so the food does not come back up. The food coming back up is what is called reflux. Anyone that has acid reflux (GERD) may have some issues with LES. It may have a weak contraction, or it is just too relaxed giving you a very good chance of reflux. The longer the LES stays open or relaxed, the easier acid reflux can occur.
One more source of (GERD) is a hiatal rupture. Some people with indigestion have Hiatal hernias as well as some do not. Hiatal hernias are not a pre-requisite for heartburn, but a large number of individuals with heartburn DO have Hiatal ruptures. A hiatal hernia interrupts the location of the LES. The LES should be on a level with the diaphragm, but due to the hiatal hernia, the LES is pushed up and lies in the chest. This is a problem since the diaphragm is a big part of aiding the LES to prevent reflux. Now the pressure of both the LES and the diaphragm not functioning as a strong unit is a serious issue. The hiatal rupture contributes to the reflux because of the lowered pressure.
Is Acid Reflux and Heartburn the Same Thing?
While GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux disease) is commonly known as Acid Reflux, GERD is actually considered to be the more chronic and severe version of acid reflux. Heartburn on the other hand is just the symptom of acid reflux and GERD.
Heartburn can also be caused by a hiatal rupture because of the hernial sac or cavity. The area of the cavity is near the esophagus. Acid gets entrapped in the sac. Since the cavity is so close to the esophagus, when the LES relaxes, it is very easy to reflux.
The hiatal hernia can bring about heartburn in a third way. Generally, the esophagus attaches to the stomach at an angle creating a flap of tissue. The hiatal hernia brings about the flap ending up being deformed as well as consequently, it is useless to stop the acid reflux.
Indigestion is most typical after someone eats a meal. It is always much better to be vertical when eating so gravity can assist the acid to move right down into the belly. Big meals are also not recommended for individuals with heartburn.
There are various reasons people may have acid reflux. Discovering the cause may assist in your mission to soothe some of the pains of acid reflux.
What Foods or Drinks Cause Acid Reflux?
While this can vary from person to person, here are a few food items and can cause acid reflux in almost anyone.
- Coffee and Caffeinated Drinks
- Orange Juice
- Red Wine
- Black Pepper
- Citrus Fruits
- Raw Onions
- Spicy Foods
Fats and Oils can cause acid reflux but if they are used sparingly they can be ok.
- Salad Dressing
- Cream Sauces
- Sour Cream
What Foods or Drinks Can I Eat To Help Stop Acid Reflux?
While this is not a completely exhaustive list, these foods should help to stop you from having heartburn or acid reflux. Also avoiding any unhealthy or junk food will help immensely in cutting back and virtually eliminating acid reflux.
- Non-citrus Fruits
- Plain Oatmeal
- English Muffin
- Salad & Soup
- Grilled Chicken Breast
- Sauteed Mushrooms
- Cream Cheese
- Tortilla Wrap
- Baby Carrots
- Sweet Potato
- Tuna Salad On Pita
- Cottage Cheese
One final thought to keep in mind when picking out foods to eat is to look for high-fat foods and AVOID THEM. Fatty foods or fried foods can cause the LES (Lower Esophageal Sphincter) to relax. When this happens the acid from your stomach is allowed to move back up your esophagus, thus causing acid reflux and burning pain in your throat.