DIET AND FITNESS:

GERD -- Tips To Reduce GERD
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April 14, 2008, last updated July 26, 2014

By Sara Ott, Associate Editor and Featured Columnist

GERD, also known as "gastroesophageal reflux disease", is an
equal opportunity disease.  Anyone --men, women, even
infants -- can have GERD.

GERD happens when a muscle at the back of your esophagus
(the tube that carries food from your mouth to your stomach)
doesn't close all the way, allowing the acids in your stomach to
splash back upwards. The acids leak back, causing acid reflux,
irritating the esophagus.  You experience it as the painful
burning in your throat or chest known as "heartburn".

There is no difference really between GERD and acid reflux. If
you have acid reflux more than twice a week, it is called GERD.

GERD Puts You At Higher Risk for Throat Cancer

GERD is a serious condition.  Recent research suggests that
those of us who suffer from GERD, especially those with few or
no symptoms, are at significantly higher risk for esophageal
cancer. A 2011 University of Pittsburgh study examined 769
patients with GERD, and found that 15% either had a  
condition known as
Barrett's esophagus or esophageal cancer.
Barret's esophagus is a condition in which the cells that line the
esophagus change due to repeated exposure to stomach acid.
People with
Barrett's esophagus sometimes go on to develop
full-blown esophageal cancer.

[Update:

Esophageal (throat) cancer in fact is the fastest rising cancer
incidence in the United States, according to a 2009 study from
the University of Washington. The study, led by Dr. Olivia
Thompson, notes that eating a diet with more fruits and
vegetables can help to decrease the incidence of GERD and
throat cancer.  The study noted that, perhaps because of the
low intake of vegetables and fruit, people with Barrett's
esophagus had low amounts of Vitamin C and selenium in their
blood stream. ]


How Do I Reduce GERD?

























Serious GERD can require medicines or surgery. But you may
be able to reduce or eliminate GERD by changing your diet and
lifestyle.

Foods That Make GERD Worse

1. Alcohol. Hard liquor, wine, beer -- all these can make GERD
worse.

2. Fatty Foods. Avoid greasy meats, fries, even oily salads

3. Spicy Foods. Peppers, cinnamon, cumin, oregano, and all
strong spices can make GERD worse.

LifeStyle Changes That Help Reduce GERD

However, many people can improve their symptoms using these
tips.

1.  Bicarbonate. Mix 1/4 teaspoon in a glass of water.

2. Avoid alcohol and spicy, fatty or acidic foods that trigger
heartburn.

3. Eat smaller meals. And focus on eating dark, leafy greens,
lentils and foods high in fiber.

4. Not eating close to bedtime.

5. Losing weight if needed.

6. Aloe Juice. Some people find that drinking aloe juice helps
GERD.

7. Applesauce. Applesauce helps many people to calm their
stomachs from acid reflux or GERD.

8. Drink plenty of water every day, at least 8 glasses. (Read
more about
how much water you should drink.)

9. Eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day. As
the University of Washington study discussed above found,
eating vegetables and fruits can lower your risk for developing
GERD.

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Eating spicy foods such as peppers can
aggravate GERD.
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