What is GERD?
As Wikipedia defines it, "Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD), gastric reflux disease, or acid reflux disease is a chronic symptom of mucosal damage caused by stomach acid coming up from the stomach into the esophagus." Basically, what is swallowed to the stomach comes back up the esophagus and causes heartburn, nausea, difficulty swallowing, and the like.
Yes, I have GERD, or Mr. GERD, as I call it. It is not pleasant to have, but there is no getting away from it... at the present. How did I find out about my having GERD? I had to do that nasty barium test (the test wasn't as bad as people told me it would be, but it was not a joyful occasion).
What Causes GERD?
There are many causes for GERD: obesity, hernias, snacking before bed, eating certain foods, and even tight waistbands can cause Mr. GERD to come for a visit... a rather long, unpleasant visit.
What Foods Can Hurt GERD?
Here is a list of foods that seem to trigger GERD "attacks" for me: tomatoes, citrus fruits, chocolate, caffeine (coffee, tea, sodas), fatty foods, and spicy foods (peppers, chiles). CHOCOLATE?! I'm sad, too.
What Can Help GERD?
I have done tons of research on what can help cure GERD. Surgery is an option, but, from what I have heard, not a very satisfactory one. I was told to take bad medications to help GERD. While those medications may help Mr. GERD, they will cause more symptoms in different areas in your body.
Do I want to take some awful medication? NO!
Then how do I keep Mr. GERD away? I will enlighten you as to what helps me when I have an "unexpected party" with Mr. GERD.
Here's what I do.
Take probiotics! Probiotics will boost your immune system and your health. You can find probiotics in foods like yogurt, buttermilk, and pickled or fermented foods.
Be sure to avoid the foods that can trigger GERD!
Eat small meals. I have a schedule that I try to follow: breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, supper... something of that sort. But always keep in mind to eat small portions.
Maintain a healthy diet, drink lots of water, and exercise!
Cinnamon, ginger, and almonds will help neutralize the acid in your stomach.
If you lie down after eating the food will be prone to come up into your esophagus. So sit or stand until your food has digested.
Give your stomach time to digest before bed. It is suggested to eat two to three hours before going to bed. I usually try for three hours.
Some people say that mint will hurt GERD- it causes heartburn. But chewing mint gum is good because it makes you produce more saliva, thus, you will swallow more, helping against reflux.
Organic apples are said to help GERD because apples are a natural antacid.
Apple cider vinegar is said to be very beneficial for GERD, but not just any apple cider vinegar. Go for organic apple cider vinegar, like this stuff.
Honey coats the esophagus and the opening of the stomach. So try a little honey before meals, again, organic honey!
I drink 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar (organic!!! Do I have to pound this into your head?) and 2 teaspoons honey mixed with 8 oz. of water a couple hours before I go to bed.
Always try to brush your teeth no more than 30 minutes before going to bed. You'll want any water you drank to have time to go down and move along before you lie down.