Nutrition Guidelines for Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)/Heartburn
Many people complain of pain or a burning sensation in their chest and/or throat during and after meals. These sensations, the symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), are often referred to as "heartburn."
Warning: Although GERD/heartburn is unrelated to heart disease, some symptoms of heart attack (myocardial infarction), including chest pain that may radiate to the left arm, shoulder, or neck, are similar to the symptoms of GERD/heartburn.
In particular, the principal symptom of a heart attack -- chest pain that steadily worsens - may be mistaken for severe GER/heartburn, angina, or simply indigestion. If a heart attack is suspected, call your doctor immediately.
Heartburn is caused when stomach acid flows upward (reflux) from the stomach into the esophagus, the tube that carries food from the throat to the stomach.
Stomach-acid reflux occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) -- a ring of muscles at the lower end of the esophagus -- fails to keep the esophagus properly closed. (When it is functioning properly, the LES relaxes to allow food to pass through to the stomach but remains constricted otherwise.)
When stomach acid comes in contact with the walls of the esophagus, an uncomfortable pain or burning sensation behind the sternum can result, sometimes radiating toward the mouth.
The condition is often referred to as GERD when stomach-acid reflux is frequent or severe enough that it significantly disrupts a person's lifestyle and/or damages the esophagus.
If you suffer from severe or long-lasting symptoms of GERD/heartburn, you should consult your doctor. But if your symptoms are mild or infrequent, a combination of dietary therapies, lifestyle changes, and over-the-counter medications may relieve your discomfort.
The most common medications used to treat GERD/heartburn are antacids.
Dietary Therapies for Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)/Heartburn
Dietary therapies may be helpful in treating mild or infrequent Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)/heartburn by improving the constriction of the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), decreasing irritation in the esophagus, and reducing the frequency and volume of reflux.
Improve Constriction of the Lower Esophageal Sphincter (LES)
The dietary suggestions below may help to improve the constriction of the LES:
Decrease Irritation in the Esophagus
The following dietary tips may help to decrease irritation in the esophagus:
Reduce the Frequency and Volume of Reflux
You may be able to reduce the frequency and volume of reflux by taking the following preventative steps:
Lifestyle Changes for Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)/Heartburn
Simple lifestyle changes may help in the treatment of mild or infrequent Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)/heartburn. If you have GERD/heartburn, try following the strategies:
The above opinionated views and information serves to educated and informed consumer . The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. .It should not replaced professional advise and consultation. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions
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