Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
Dr. Jorge, author of the best-selling health and cook book, The Acid Reflux Solution, offers advice, information, and even a few recipes to help you live a better life, without sacrificing any of its great pleasures.See all posts »
4th of July Wednesday/Reflux Thursday
I had been “good” for months, following the advice that I wrote in my best-selling book, The Acid Reflux Solution. But on the fourth of July Wednesday, I had a relapse, so to speak. It just goes to show that we’re all human and sometimes you just can’t pass up a fatty meal cooked by a relative for a special occasion. I ate a very heavy meal of pot roast and potatoes and I ate it late to boot. Boy, did I pay the price. I awoke at 2 a.m. with a bitter, acidy taste in my mouth. My acid reflux had returned.
Over 50 million Americans suffer from GERD. I wonder how many of them awakened that night like I did. But before I continue, let’s make sure that we’re talking the same language and have our terminology straight. GERD stands for Gastro-Esophogeal Reflux Disease. Quite simply, this means that the content of the stomach erupts up into the esophagus where it doesn’t belong.
Stomach acid is essential in breaking down food so that it can be digested. (It’s gross, I know, but stay with me). The stomach is made to withstand these toxic materials, but the esophagus isn’t. When this mixture of irritating liquid and food rolls into your esophagus, it causes the sensation that most people call “heartburn.” The day following the fourth of July, my reflux was intense and gave me severe heartburn.
It’s important to realize that having acid in the stomach is natural. The stomach is supposed to make acid. The acid helps break down the food that you eat and is essential in changing minerals that you eat—specifically iron and calcium—so that your body can absorb them. Without acid, you would become iron deficient and develop osteoporosis.
For now, I want to leave you with the three easiest rules that you can follow to avoid acid reflux, or heartburn:
- Eat meals that are low in animal fats.
- Eat small meals.
- Don’t lie down within an hour of your meal.
So what do you think? Can you handle these three rules? If I hadn’t ignored them, I know I would have had a much happier day today.
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