We all get heartburn after eating every so often. But if you have that painful, burning sensation in your chest on a regular basis, you might have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). It’s also called acid reflux disease.
What are GERD risk factors?
You’re at a higher risk for GERD if you:
You can aggravate GERD if you:
- eat large meals
- eat close to bedtime
- eat fatty or fried foods
- drink coffee
- drink tea
- drink alcohol
- use nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like aspirin
acid reflux irritates the lining of your esophagus. People often feel symptoms 30 minutes to 2 hours after eating.
Certain medications can cause GERD symptoms, such as:
- anticholinergics, used to treat a variety of conditions
- bronchodilators, used to treat asthma
- progestin, used in birth control or to treat abnormal menstrual bleeding
- sedatives, used to treat anxiety or insomnia
- calcium channel blockers, used to treat high blood pressure
- tricyclics, used to treat depression
- dopamine-active drugs, used to treat Parkinson’s disease
pressure on your abdomen.
adjustment is to increase your fiber intake and avoid the following foods:
- citrus fruits
- citrus juices
- tomato products
- greasy, fried foods
- carbonated beverages
- spicy foods
- garlic and onions
- full-fat dairy (including sour cream, cheese, and whole milk)
- alcoholic beverages
You can work to reduce the impact of GERD on your life by not only adjusting what you eat, but also the way you eat:
- Eat smaller, more frequent meals.
- Eat your food slowly and chew it thoroughly.
- Practice good posture. While eating, sit upright. Avoid bending over or reaching below your waist for an hour after meals.
- Avoid eating before bedtime. Wait at least three hours after eating to lie down or go to bed.
- Watch for trigger foods that appear to encourage your GERD symptoms.