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How Acid Reflux and Ulcers Relate to Diet

Nearly everyone will experience heartburn or acid reflux at some time. If you experience acid reflux frequently, you may suffer from Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). Left untreated, GERD can lead to acid burns in the esophagus, a painful condition known as Barrett’s esophagus and even esophageal cancer.
Your stomach has a mucus lining that protects it from the acid that digests your food. Your esophagus, however, lacks this protection and as a result is vulnerable to ulcers if you have acid reflux.
Luckily, many people can manage heartburn and acid reflux by limiting trigger foods and changing other behaviors. Wearing loose clothing and eating no less than two hours before lying down in the evening are both lifestyle choices that can help prevent acid reflux. Many people also get relief by eating smaller, more frequent meals instead of three large meals in a day.
There are many foods that can cause heartburn or reflux. Different people will be susceptible to different foods. The only way to learn your trigger foods is to track your diet and your symptoms. Some foods that can cause heartburn and acid reflux include:

  • Fried foods. The high fat content can cause heartburn in many people.
  • Acidic foods such as tomato and citrus products.
  • Alcoholic beverages.
  • Spicy foods, which can be irritating.
  • Carbonated or caffeinated beverages.

By keeping track of your diet, you can gradually identify which foods you should avoid in order to prevent acid reflux and heartburn. If you have ongoing problems with reflux or heartburn, contact an Albany area doctor to discuss treatment options.


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