Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is a digestive disorder that is caused by the return of the stomach’s contents back up into the esophagus. This usually happens when the lower esophageal sphincter, or the ring of muscle between esophagus and stomach.
There are several ways you can do to prevent the reflux of stomach acid into the esophagus, which can permanently damage the esophageal lining. While taking medication or surgery might be necessary for some people, following these diet and lifestyle habits will help relieve GERD:
One of the leading causes of GERD is being obese. When you are overweighted, your abdomen is pressed by extra stomach fat, pushing gastric fluid up into your esophagus. If you are obese or at risk of obesity, losing a few extra pounds might help you prevent GERD.
Avoid food that causes reflux
These foods below should be avoided when you are at risk for GERD:
- Fatty foods
- Spicy foods
- Acidic foods, like tomatoes and citrus
- Caffeinated drinks
- Carbonated drinks
Eat smaller meal
Divide your food intake throughout the day. Instead of having two big meals for lunch and dinner, consider having 4 -5 smaller meals per day. This will help relieve pressure on the lower esophageal sphincter.
Don’t lie down after eating
Normally, gravity helps keep acid reflux from developing in your stomach. That’s why you shouldn’t lie down immediately after you eat. If you stretch out for a nap after your meal, chances are you are harming your esophageal sphincter.
Elevate your bed
Similar to the previous tip, elevating the head of your bed can also help prevent acid reflux building up by utilizing gravity force. Make sure that your whole upper body is elevated and not just your head.