While food should ideally be a pleasure, in some cases what you eat can make you feel really bad. That can be the case if you suffer from acid reflux (also known as gastroesophageal reflux) or GERD.
Acid reflux involves the stomach acid flowing backward into the esophagus, which is the tube that connects your throat to your stomach. When you have acid reflux, you may end up tasting food that you’ve regurgitated or sour liquid at the back of your mouth. You also may experience heartburn. GERD is a more severe form of reflux. Signs of GERD include frequent heartburn, regurgitation of food or sour liquid, coughing wheezing, difficulty swallowing and experiencing chest pain, especially when you’re in bed at night.
One option is to make different dietary choices. Foods that have been scientifically proven to trigger GERD are chocolate, deep-fried foods, coffee, alcohol, and mint (including anything that contains mint oil). Fried food tends to be the biggest culprit since they a...
Could marijuana smoking be the cause of GERD?
The effect of marijuana on the
symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease is controversial. A study in 2002
showed that animals given a synthetic marijuana-like substance had an 80%
reduction in transient relaxations of the lower esophageal sphincter, which is
felt to be a significant cause of reflux. By reducing these relaxation
episodes, symptoms of reflux should actually improve. Other smaller studies
have shown that use of marijuana can actually worsen symptoms of
gastroesophageal reflux disease by decreasing resting pressures of the lower
I recently saw my gastroenterologist as my GERD symptoms have been
worse. He has now recommended surgery. I had heard bad things about surgery in
the past. Is this an acceptable option?
A very recent report out of Massachusetts General Hospital surveyed 200 patients that had
underwent laparascopic anti-reflux surgery over a 10 year period. The results
GERD is one of the most prevalent gastrointestinal disorders. Nearly 7% of persons in the U.S. experience heartburn daily, 20% experience it monthly, and 60% experience it intermittently. Incidence in pregnant women exceeds 80%. Scientists do not know why GERD occurs. Some cases of acid reflux disease are related to a condition called "hiatal hernia." A hiatal hernia occurs when the upper part of the stomach is above the diaphragm. The diaphragm helps the lower esophageal sphincter keep digestive enzymes and acid from coming back into the esophagus. Although no one knows why GERD occurs, there are several factors that are thought to contribute to the disorder. These factors include alcohol use, obesity or overweight, pregnancy, and smoking. Certain foods that may irritate the digestive system can also contribute to GERD, though there's plenty of contradictory evidence as to whether or not certain foods actually cause GERD symptoms. Foods that have been reported to ca...
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