Acid reflux occurs when the acids that can be found in the stomach get into the esophagus because the valve that separates the esophagus from the stomach cannot close properly. These acids are very strong, and they can severely damage the esophagus’ walls. They do not damage the stomach's walls because it is protected by a special membrane.
Acid reflux is pretty serious, it can cause pain in the chest area, and if it is left untreated the esophagus will become very erroded and gastric acid will also reach the lungs, where is can cause coughing and asthma, and the mouth, where it corrodes the teeth.
Diet has an important role in both treating and preventing acid reflux, and an acid reflux diet is not expensive or hard to follow. The idea is to reduce the acids inside the stomach and to keep it from filling, which can cause the food and acid inside it to reach the esophagus.
Here is what you can eat and what you should avoid:
You can eat all the cereals and vegetables you want. They contain a lot of vitamins and nutrients that help the body fight not only acid reflux, but other illnesses too.
You should definitely stop smoking, because tobacco smoke damages the esophagus’ walls and weakens it. You should also avoid chewing gum, because when you chew the stomach starts to produce acids that it won't use and that can get into the esophagus.
If you are overweight you should try to loose some of your weight, and avoid fatty food, because at overweight people the levels of gastric acid are higher.
The foods that are know to help acid reflux advance by stimulating the acid production are: chocolate, milk, chewing gum, fatty foods, spicy foods, alcohol and garlic. Coffee can irritate the esophagus so try not to drink any.
Also try to avoid wearing tight clothing that can press the stomach, because this way the acid inside it is almost forced to leave the stomach. Furthermore, if you lie down right after you eat you help the content of your stomach came back, so try sitting on a chair for a few minutes, depending on how damaged the valve that separates the stomach from the esophagus is.
If you follow the advises mentioned above you can prevent acid reflux, and your treatment will be more effective, but also consult your doctor and take the medication that he prescribes you if you want to be fully cured.
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