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4 Acid Reflux Diet Myths Even Your Doctor Believes! Why They’re Wrong

By on July 3, 2013
For many of us, heartburn is a common problem–but many of us don’t know that regular heartburn is a symptom of a more serious condition, called acid reflux.

With an estimated 60 million Americans currently suffering from it, it’s also not a rare condition–in fact, it’s so common that acid reflux drugs are now available over-the-counter to keep symptoms at bay.

But ignoring it isn’t a good strategy, according to WebMD.com.

“Usually, acid reflux symptoms cause no complications. In a few cases, continued esophageal damage can lead to scarring, which may cause the esophagus to narrow,” says WebMD.com. “In some cases, cells in the lining of the esophagus develop an abnormal shape and color in response to the constant acid irritation. This is Barrett’s esophagus, which can develop into cancer.”

So what’s the best way to treat it? Surprisingly, it isn’t with medication, although doctors commonly recommend medication to temporarily relieve symptoms. Instead, other doctors, such as Johnathan E. Aviv, M.D., recommend an acid reflux diet.

“Growing numbers of patients are looking for non-drug based ways to address their reflux disease,” says Aviv. “Which brings us to how we can use what we eat and how much we eat to treat acid reflux disease.”

So what’s the best way to keep your acid reflux under control? Surprisingly enough, it has nothing to do with the foods you eat.

How to Keep Acid Reflux Under Control

For many Americans, acid reflux is a common problem–but what’s the best way to keep it under control? To separate fact from fiction, here’s what you need to know about treating it naturally:

  • It’s wrong to believe that eating only certain types of foods will reduce your acid reflux symptoms. In actuality, it also deals with how much you eat–such as a big, hearty meal of pasta or lasagna. Eating too much food increases the likelihood of acid reflux symptoms, so try eating smaller meals instead; it’s better for your stomach. Other studies show that eating smaller, more frequent meals are also correlated with a thinner waistline–which may also reduce your acid reflux symptoms.
  • Some people don’t think your fat or carbohydrate intake matters. But it definitely does–high-fat foods are linked to a higher risk of acid reflux, so consuming too much fat isn’t a good thing. Instead, nutritionists recommend cutting the fat, even the good fats, lower than usual to keep your symptoms in check. As a general rule of thumb, your fat intake should only be 30 percent of your daily caloric intake.
  • You also really need to cut out processed foods, despite what other people say. While most acid reflux diets recommend watching out for caffeine, fried foods, and dairy products, processed foods in general can aggravate acid reflux symptoms due to its high fat intake. Your best bet: Cut out all processed foods; it’s not healthy for you anyways.
  • Watch your weight; it matters too. It isn’t clear why, but overweight and obese people are more likely to suffer from acid reflux; some believe it has to do with their poor diet. What to do: If you are overweight or obese, it’s time to lose weight now, for your health’s sake. Your local healthcare provider can provide personalized tips for making your weight loss a success.

Readers: What are some other ways you keep your acid reflux under control?

Sources:
Acid Reflux SymptomsWebMD.com
Treating Acid Reflux With a DietDoctorOz.com

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