How prevent acid reflux – what to eat and don’t eat

Today I want to discuss ways to prevent acid reflux, foods that prevent acid reflux, how to treat acid reflux at home  and how to reduce acid reflux naturally. As a side note, keep in mind that the terms “acid reflux”, “GERD” and “heartburn” all mean the same thing.

Ways to prevent acid reflux

As I’ve discussed in earlier articles, acid reflux disease or GERD happens when the stomach returns its contents back up the esophagus. During normal digestion, the lower esophageal sphincter muscle (LES) open to allow food to travel down to the stomach and closes to stop food and stomach acid from flowing back up the esophagus. GERD happens when the LES is weak or relax when it shouldn’t which allow the contents of the stomach to flow back into the esophagus.  Heartburn is the what you feel from the “reflux” of the stomach acid backing up into the esophagus. How do we prevent this from happening?

There are prescripton medications and over the counter drugs many of which have bad side effects. There are natural remedies which you can use such as CBD oil (which I’ve written about previously) and Aloe based products which I will discuss further.

However, the best way to prevent acid reflux is to understand what you eat and be conscious of the foods which cause you distress. We are all different and different foods affect each of us differently

Foods that prevent acid reflux 

To repeat, we’re all different so these are foods that generally affect most people who are having acid reflux problems.

    • MIlk. This one is controversial. Some people suggest drinking milk relieves the symptoms because it supposedly coats the stomach and helps slow down the action of the stomach acid. It is suggested that you use low fat or non fat milk.  I finally gave up mild recently after a life-time drinking a glass or more and discovered that it relieved some of my symptoms. I have switched to almond which is a reasonable substitute. If you drink milk and have acid reflux you may want to stop the mild for a time and see what happens
    • Turmeric. If you haven’t heard of this spice you might want to google it as it has been a traditional natural remedy. It is the spice that gives curry its yellow color and has been used in India for thousands of years. Its therapeutic benefits include anit-inflammatory, antioxidant, and even anticancer effects. You can add it to various foods such as scrammbled eggs, roast vegetables and rice.
    • Try decafe coffee. Decafe coffee can potentially soothe acid reflux symptons. You should also look for coffees from beans with lower acidity. The darker the roast the better and coffees from Mexico and Sumatra are supposed to be lower in acidity
    • Try the Mediterranean diet.  This diet is all about fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, beans, olive oil and fish.
    • The best fruits and vegetables are dark green leaf, berries, apples and citrus.
    • Avoid high fat foods such as hamburgers. Researchers have found that eating meat increases the prossibility of having acid reflux

Natural treatments for acid reflux

Aloe based product
This will help your acid reflux

Elavate your head and upper body when you sleep. An easy way to do this is with a wedge shaped pillow.

Aloe Vera.

Aloe vera has been used for centuries to relieve pain and inflammation and is often used for sunburn relief, but it can also help relieve heartburn. The anti-inflammatory properties that ease a sunburn can soothe an irritated esophagus and alleviate the symptoms of acid reflux.

Apple cider vinegar.

    • Add 2 tsp of Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar to ¼ cup of water and drink. Repeat every 5 minutes until heartburn subsides.
    • Many people will even take a shot of it before meals to pre-empt the acid reflux.

Some people suggest chewing to increase the saliva production in the mouth to help with degestion.

Trying sleeping with your head raised or on an incline.

A last resort is to try plain old Arm and Hammer baking soda. Mix a teaspoon or so with as glass of water and drink it. It should calm your stomach.

Conclusion

These are just a few suggestions that you may try and figure out which ones work best for you.

Please leave you comments by clicking on the comment link at the top left side of this article. I will get back to you with answers to any questions

 

 

 

 

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Acid Reflux and CBD Oil – Does it work, is it safe?

CBD oil is the latest big thing in alternative health care and if you haven’t heard about it or tried it you will be hearing more about in the coming year.  This article will discuss what CBD is (and is not), how to use it and how it will help your acid reflux

What exactly is CBD Oil?

Cannabidiol or CBD is a part of the cannabis plant which is non-intoxicating, i.e. it doesn’t’ get you high. The chemical in the plant that creates the high is called THC and by law, the percentage of THC is allowed in CBD oil is 0.3%. CBD oil is one of 104 chemical compound found in the cannabis plant. It is usually mixed with a carrier oil, usually hemp seed or coconut oil. Cbd oil can provide a range of health and medicinal benefits in many different ways. It does so by tapping into how our bodies function physiologically and biologically. Cbd is an excellent option for people seeking relief from inflammation, pain, anxiety, psychosis and other conditions without the negative effects of making you feel lethargic or “high”.

What conditions is CBD used for?

There has been a lot of research into what conditions CBD is used for, many of them sponsored by the US government. This research shows the potential of CBD for a wide range of conditions. These include arthritis, diabetes, alcoholism, MS, Chronic pain, PTSD and Acid Reflux disease

How does CBD help Acid Reflux?

Our bodies have what’s called an endocannabinoid system (ECS) which has many functions including memory, sensations, pain perception and others. The ECS can have a mitigating effect on gastric acid and the inflammation and other damage which is what GERD (acid reflux, heartburn) sufferers feel.

In general, CBD contains a variety of medicinal properties including its ability to help reduce acid reflux.  It does this by helping to regulate the secretion of gastric acids to the esophagus and greatly reducing the secretion of the acids that cause the “burn” in “heartburn”. In addition, its anti-inflammatory power reduces esophogeal discomfort and decreases the movement of the fluids in the stomach and GI tract. Because of the decreased movement and reduction in inflammation, the main symptoms of GERD are treated.

Studies have shown that CBD addresses multiple symptoms at once with very few side effects. Cannabinoids change how the gut feels, it affects the signals the brain sends back and forth to the gut and regulates the functioning of the GI tract.

How safe is CBD oil?

Whenever people discuss new medications and/or therapies, one of the first issues to arise is how safe is it? How safe is CBD oil? The answer is very safe. Initially, there were many stories and negative rumors concerning the safety issue surrounding cannabidiol. However, a report from the World Health Organization finally settled the issues at its 39th annual meeting.  WHO stated once and for all that cannabidiol is “safe, well-tolerated and not associated with any significant adverse health effects.” This non-toxic cannabinoid will not be the cause of a failed drug test nor will it get you high.

Conclusion

CBD oil has been found to be a safe and effective product of the treatment of acid reflux disease with no long-term side effects. It is generally sold as a “tincture” (liquid) in small quantities, usually 1 oz. with an eye dropper to administer it orally by placing it under your tongue for about one minute. It is also available in capsule form and as a cream or salve to use topically. If you mix it with coconut oil you can make your own salve.

I have been using it for about six weeks now and can tell you that it has helped my acid reflux considerably and by applying the salve to my feet it has also reduced the pain of my Peripheral neuropathy symptoms.

Please leave me your comments or questions by clicking on the “comments” link on the left side at the beginning of the article.  I will be sure to get back to you.

 

 

 

 

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How does acid reflux disease effect teeth?

Acid reflux disease creates problems for other parts of our bodies that you may not realize. One of the most important is our teeth which is what I’m going to discuss today.

Erosion

Your digestive health affects your teeth through a process called erosion. Frequent stomach upset i.e. acid reflux can cause a gradual wearing away of the enamel which protects your teeth. The dentists call this erosion and it can affect the appearance of your teeth and cause cavities which are the result of harmful bacteria in your mouth.

How does this happen?

When you eat, natural acids are produced in your stomach which help digest your food. Occasionally, these acids travel up your esophagus and into your throat and mouth. Under normal circumstances, the saliva in our mouths helps to re balance these acids in our mouth and no harm is done to our teeth.

A bit of science: Hydrogen (pH) is the measure of acidity in any substance on a scale of 0 – 14. The lower the number the more acidic it is. So foods with a high pH are not very acidic and therefore should not cause any acid reflux. Your tooth enamel begins to erode at a pH of 5.5. Stomach acid has a pH of 2.0 meaning it is extremely acidic and therefore will cause erosion when it reaches your mouth.

However, for those suffering from Acid Reflux disease these acids, called gastric acids, are traveling up to the mouth throughout the day and it is especially harmful at night when we are sleeping. This is because while asleep we swallow less often and thus produce less saliva

Sometimes the cure is part of the problem as some medicines which are taken for Acid Reflux causes a condition called “dry mouth” which means we are producing even less saliva as we sleep. Our saliva helps to wash out food particles which slows the growth of the harmful bacteria that cause erosion and tooth decay.

 

Acid reflux teeth problems

Acid reflux causes the enamel on both the inside surfaces and the chewing surfaces to wear away. Your dentist will probably notice this during a routine exam and will give you the bad news that this erosion of the enamel is permanent.

As the surface starts to wear away you may notice a variety of symptoms:

    • Pain and sensitivity from hot, cold or sweet drinks
    • a yellowish discoloring of the teeth
    • teeth start to look rounded or looked like they have been sanded with sandpaper
    • pitting or “cupping” of the teeth
    • problems with existing fillings
    • greater risk of cavities
    • in extreme cases, it can lead to abscess
    • most extreme it can lead to tooth loss

Protecting tooth enamel

What strategies can you use to protect your teeth and tooth enamel and get relief from symptoms? Here are a few ways:

    • Using sugar free gum. Chewing sugar free gum encourages more saliva production. As stated above, saliva helps to neutralize the stomach acids which are in your mouth as well as washing away food particles and the bad bacteria. You may want to look for natural sugar free gum.
    • Certain kinds of toothpaste will help. Look for fluoridated toothpaste as well as desensitizing ones. These can help strengthen the tooth enamel
    • Avoid the foods we’ve talked about in earlier posts: alcohol, smoking, eating before bed time, etc.
    • If you’re suffering from acid reflux see your dentist more frequently so he can monitor your teeth erosion and discuss ways to prevent erosion, dry mouth, etc.

There are many problems with Acid Reflux

Aloe based product
This will help your acid reflux

As you can see, Acid Reflux, heartburn, GERD, whichever term you want to use, is a serious health issue that needs to be taken care of. In future posts, I will look at Acid Reflux and how it affects other parts of our bodies. Everything from back pain to issues involving pregnancy.

A bit of trivia: The first cases of acid reflux were reported over 200 years ago and it was believed that it was the result of industrial hazards.

Please leave me your comments or questions by clicking on the “comments” link on the left side at the beginning of the article.  I will be sure to get back to you.

 

 

 

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My experience with Acid Reflux Disease

Today I’m going to write about my experience with acid reflux disease and how to prevent acid reflux

My experience with acid reflux disease

It is my experience that we should define our terms. What do we mean when we call acid reflux a disease? It is to some extent a misnomer as it is not really a disease in the sense that there is a cause such as a virus which can be treated with medication which kills the virus and you get better or cancer which can be treated with drugs and radiation. Acid reflux is more of a condition which can be controlled through a variety of approaches that I will begin to discuss in this blog.

As I stated in my first blog on this issue, I started suffering from acid reflux many years ago as a young adult and it has stayed with me to one degree or another throughout my adult life. From my research, I have learned that there really is no known reason why one person is affected and another is not. My wife and I eat essentially the same foods and she seldom has any reaction to things that absolutely destroy my stomach and I must avoid.

Initially, I just suffered from this awful pain because I had no idea what it was and the doctors weren’t much help. Eventually, I discovered certain over the counter products which provided relief and I was able to keep it under control to a limited degree. Then I discovered that my diet was the culprit.

The Zone Diet Plan

Over the last twenty or thirty years, there have been many diet crazes, plans, and ideas that have come and gone. One of them was/is The Zone Diet plan by Dr Barry Sears. For the details of this plan, you can google it and study it in depth or read his book: “Enter the Zone” by Dr Barry Sears. Here are some highlights and basic principles and how it helped my acid reflux disease as well helped me lose a lot of weight.

The first thing Dr Sears teaches is that you need to change your lifestyle in order to be successful. You need to do the following:

Give up all white foods. That means all foods made from refined white flour and sugar. Wow! That’s a lot of stuff

    • Bread. I know, how do you stop eating bread. Also, cake, cookies, pastry, doughnuts, etc
    • Other white foods: potatoes, PASTA!, rice, everything white

Next, he says that when you go to the supermarket only buy what’s being sold along the outside edge of the market and nothing from up and down the aisles. Think about that for a moment. What he’s saying is to eat only fresh fruits and vegetable, some meat, fish and chicken. Eggs are okay as are nuts, olives, avocados. And use butter and olive oil in your cooking. Thus, you have eliminated from your diet all the processed foods which contain lots of sugar and flour and untold chemicals which are doing us harm. You now have a healthy diet.

 

He goes on to explain exactly how to eat a balanced, Zone Plan meal. A balanced meal is protein, carbohydrates and fat. Everything you eat is one of those three things and the key is understanding that you must eat them in the correct proportions. Simply stated it is a piece of protein (meat, fish, chicken) about the size of the palm of your hand and twice that amount of fresh fruits or vegetables and some fat in the form of nuts, olives, olive oil, etc. There is more to it than this brief description as explained in his book.

How did this work for me?

I followed this plan faithfully for about two years. In the first year I lost 45 pounds and never was hungry between meals and, most importantly for the purpose of this discussion, I never had a single incident of Acid Reflux disease. Not one. After a lifetime of having practically everything I put in my mouth causing a painful reaction. Why does this work? Dr Sears explains it in great detail in his book(s) and it is far too complex for me to try to explain here. All I can say is that this radical change in my lifestyle worked for me.

That was about twenty years ago. Since that time I have tried to eat according to the basic Zone principles but it is admittedly very hard to sustain over time as life is full is too many temptations and sometimes you just have to have a piece of Pumpkin or pecan pie at Thanksgiving or a slice of cake at someone’s birthday or anniversary party. Through this experience, I learned what foods cause problems and which I can safely eat and if I start to gain a little weight that by going back to The Zone I can lose it again.

What else works

Here are a few other ideas you can try:

    • Eat six small meals each day instead of three big ones. This will keep your stomach from getting too full but you still get the calories and nutrition that is needed
    • Eat slowly. When you eat fast the food can pile up in your stomach. When
      Aloe based product
      This will help your acid reflux

      you eat the stomach sends a message to the brain that you are getting full. When you eat too fast the food piles up too fast and interferes with these messages.

    • Try not eating two hours so before bedtime. Also, try eating your largest meal earlier in the day.
    • Raise the head of your bed so you are sleeping on a slight incline instead of being flat. Put small blocks under the legs of the head of the bed.

Conclusion

Not everything works for everyone and there are a lot of ideas and strategies for combating this condition. As those of you who suffer from acid reflux disease know all too well, it is an extremely painful condition. When that acid starts flowing back up your esophagus you think your whole insides are on fire. These are just a few basic ideas that have worked for me and other people. I hope they will help you. Please leave comments or email me with any comments or questions or related topics you’d like me to cover in future posts.

Please leave me your comments or questions by clicking on the “comments” link on the left side at the beginning of the article.  I will be sure to get back to you.

 

 

 

 

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Acid Reflux disease, also known as heartburn or GERD

Acid reflux, also familiar to many of you as severe heartburn and to the medical community as GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), stems from the fact that I have suffered from it for almost all of my adult life.

My interest in acid reflux disease

For the first few years, I had no idea what it was, only that my stomach and esophagus would burn something awful for hours after eating. In those days, the only acid reflux treatments that were offered were things like Tums and Mylanta which didn’t really help me and seldom relieved my symptoms. It never occurred to me, or my doctor, to try changing what I ate.

Eventually, I found a doctor who began prescribing medications and I started to educate myself about the condition primarily from articles that would occasionally appear in magazines and newspapers. Okay, so here’s how old I am. This was all before there was such a thing as the World Wide Web i.e. the internet, Google, WebMD, Wikipedia, etc. There was no way to do the kind of research we take for granted today where a few clicks can bring up massive amounts of information on just about anything.

Some medical talk

It’s probably a good idea to provide just a little medical information about the condition. The definition of acid reflux is when stomach acid gets pushed up into the esophagus, the tube that carries food and drink from your mouth to your stomach. Although it is normal and harmless for this to happen as burps and belches and it usually has no serious symptoms. But when it happens too frequently it burns the inside of the esophagus then you have a serious problem. It is estimated that 15-20% of all adults have some form of acid reflux or GERD.

Heartburn is the most common form of acid reflux, a painful, burning feeling in the chest or throat. About 20%-40% of people diagnosed with heartburn have the more serious form known as GERD. One of the ways this happens is that the diaphragm, a muscle located above your stomach doesn’t strengthen as it is supposed to and thus doesn’t close the sphincter muscle properly and allows the stomach acids to back up into esophagus. Ouch!

What can cause acid reflux?

If you research the literature, you will find many theories to go along with many remedies. Studies show, among other things:

  • Being overweight puts pressure on the diaphragm which causes it to not function properly which is one reason pregnant women suffer from the condition.
  • Some scientists suggest that undigested carbs remaining in the stomach too long cause too much bacterial growth and thus bloating and gassiness.
  • Alcohol. Some studies show that drinking wine and beer increases reflux symptoms by increasing stomach acid and relaxing the lower sphincter thus impairing its ability to clear out the acid.
  • Eating too fast, eating certain foods. Eating a large meal and then lying down.
  • smoking
  • Certain drugs. Such as:
    • Pain relievers like ibuprofen (Advil and Motrin) and aspirin
    • Blood pressure drugs called calcium channel blockers
    • Antihistamines for allergies
    • Sedatives, including benzodiazepine
    • Certain antibiotics, including tetracycline
    • Oral osteoporosis drugs
    • Opioids
  • Stress and anxiety also appear to play a role but exactly why and how is another subject of studies and discussion.

There are a variety foods which typically cause acid reflux. Here are just a few:

  • Citrus bothers some people but not others
  • Bananas. These affect everyone differently and for me they were one of my most avoided foods. For others, they are recommended as a cure. Go figure.
  • Coffee
  • french fries and other deep-fried foods. (sorry fired chicken lovers)
  • potato chips
  • butter
  • whole milk. It took me years to finally be convinced that milk, cheese, ice cream were causing me distress
  • pizza

There many others that the experts recommend staying away from and for most people it is a trial and error process. Most the things we really love, comfort foods, are some the worst ones to eat. No more hot pastrami and cheese with Russian dressing and cole slaw. That one is a real killer!

Some Treatments for acid reflux disease

There are a variety of ways to treat acid reflux disease, everyone reacts differently. First of all, if you are having a serious problem you may need to consider life-style changes having to do with what you eat, how much eat, when you eat and even how you sleep. As you can see from the above list, it’s really all about food.

Most people start off with various over the counter antacids which can be effective at least for a while. These include Mylanta, Rolaids and Tums. My experience has been that one thing works great for a while and then stops working and I had to find something else. Here are the typical drugs that are usually prescribed:

  • Foaming agents (Gaviscon) coat your stomach to prevent reflux. This is over the counter and I’ve been using it for years either before I eat or afterwards when I would start to feel the reflux starting. It usually works within an hour or so. It is pill that you chew up and swallow, very chalky and doesn’t taste that good but you get used to it
  • H2 blockers (Pepcid, Tagamet, Zantac) decrease acid production. These are three over the counter meds most people use and they are available in generic form for a lot less money
  • Proton pump inhibitors (Prilosec, Prevacid, Protonix, Aciphex, Nexium) also reduce the amount of acid your stomach makes. These are the prescription meds for when it really gets bad.

There are also natural remedies that work well for some:

  1. Organic Apple Cider Vinegar boosts the immune system, aids digestion, and decreases the number of bad gut bacteria that cause acid reflux disease.
  2. Fennel Seeds.
  3. Aloe Vera. This is my favorite and I will be providing more information
    Aloe based product
    This will help your acid reflux

    about this one in a future post

  4. Ginger.
  5. Peppermint.

Conclusion

I’ll conclude this post by pointing out that acid reflux disease, also known as heartburn and GERD is a serious condition which afflicts millions of people. If left alone it can create serious problems in the throat, esophagus and stomach. The pain is usually such that not many of us can ignore it and seek some sort of treatment.

Please leave me your comments or questions by clicking on the “comments” link on the left side at the beginning of the article.  I will be sure to get back to you.

 

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About Joe

Hi, I’m Joe.

My interest in health care

comes from my twenty-five-year career in the nursing home industry. I was a licensed nursing home administrator for nearly ten years followed by 15 years during which I created and ran a chain of eighteen nursing homes in five states. Out of this grew an understanding of the problems of ageing and how difficult health issues can become.

As a result of dealing with the elderly and others with serious illnesses, I became familiar with our health care system as well as learning about how nutrition and drugs affect individual health.

I also have an understanding of the government’s involvement in the health care industry and how it affects people’s lives and the problems associated with running a business essentially controlled by the government through Medicaid and Medicare.

In the years since I left the health care issues, I have been involved in other businesses. For the past twenty years, I have been a real estate broker, another business requiring direct, daily contact with people and helping with the problems of housing in our society.

My life’s experience

has been in helping industries where I dealt directly with individuals, one on one. I have always tried to help those I came in contact to have a better understanding of what they were facing. Whether it was a parent or other relative facing the decision of putting someone in a home or the individual him or herself accepting their new circumstance, I have always tried to be as helpful as possible.

One of the ways I have tried to be helpful to those I worked with has been through education. Whether helping them to know as much as possible about the decisions they were facing or accepting where they were.

The same is true in my real estate career. My goal was always to be sure my clients knew as much as possible about the area they were moving to and to fully understand the process of purchasing a house. This was especially true when I worked with young, first time home buyers. I felt an obligation to educate as thoroughly as possible about the in and outs of buying and financing a new home

The goal of this site

To provide education and information about our ever-changing health care environment. To find and share information about new developments in health care, new products, new services, new ideas stemming from new research.

I will be writing about concerns that have an effect on our health plus ways in which we can help ourselves remain healthy.

If you ever need a hand or have any questions, feel free to la comment and I’ll be glad to try to help you.

All the best,

Joe

The Goal of This Site

Flexoffers

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