Author Archives: writtenbysumer

The Pregnancy Heartburn Myth: Why Acid Reflux Affects Expecting Mothers and How You Can Lessen Your Symptoms

Expecting mothers often complain about painful heartburn throughout their pregnancies–and it’s often attributed to silly things.

For example, some people believe the amount of heartburn you experience while pregnant will be an indicator as to how much hair your baby will have…or even what gender your baby will be.

The truth is, however, it’s not actually the heart that is “burning”…it’s acid reflux. And, sorry to tell you, but there’s a really logical medical reason it happens, which has nothing at all to do with whether your baby will have flowing locks or not.

If you or someone you know is pregnant and is dealing with painful acid reflux symptoms, keep reading, because today I’m going to share why this condition happens and how you can ease your symptoms naturally.

Check it out…

Why Acid Reflux Affects Pregnant Women

If you’ve never ever experienced acid reflux symptoms, but you’re suddenly dealing with heartburn, regurgitation, burning, sore throats, etc.; you may be wondering “why now?”

After all, you’ve got enough other unpleasant symptoms to worry about with being pregnant…it’s really unfair you have to deal with acid reflux as well.

Yet, the majority of women who bear children tend to experience acid reflux at some point during their pregnancy.

There are two main reasons this occurs–and no, they have nothing to do with the wives’ tales about heartburn that you may have heard floating around.

The first reason is hormone changes.

Acid reflux occurs when your lower esophageal sphincter (LES) doesn’t completely close after food consumption. This allows for food and stomach acid to travel back up your esophagus.

When you experience hormonal changes due to pregnancy, the hormones can cause your esophagus muscles to relax more than they should. This leads to uncomfortable acid reflux symptoms.

The second reason acid reflux occurs in pregnant women is due to the growth of a baby in the uterus.

As a baby grows, he/she takes up space which, in return, moves and shifts the body’s organs.

This increased pressure and absence of normal space can cause food to travel back up your esophagus, once again causing acid reflux issues.

How to Naturally Soothe Acid Reflux Symptoms During Pregnancy

I personally don’t believe medications are the safest solutions to managing acid reflux…especially if you’re pregnant.

Instead, here’s what I recommend…

Solution #1 – Eat Small Meals throughout Your Day

If internal pressure is what’s causing you to suffer from acid reflux symptoms, eating small meals throughout your day might greatly reduce your acid reflux symptoms.

Eating small meals limits the volume of food matter in your stomach. The less food that’s there, the more difficult it is for the food to be pushed back up your esophagus.

Instead of doing three big meals a day, eat 5-8 small meals and snacks.

Solution #2 – Maintain a Healthy Weight

Most women will gain weight during pregnancy–and that’s a good thing!

But too much weight also contributes to painful acid reflux issues.

If you’re overweight, talk to your doctor about safe ways you can reduce your weight while you’re pregnant.

No matter what your weight is, be sure to continue to include exercise and healthy eating habits into your daily routine so you don’t gain too much weight during your pregnancy.

Solution #3 – Stay Upright after Eating

Lying down after a meal makes it easy for food and stomach acid to travel up your esophagus. If your LES is weakened, without a doubt, you’ll experience painful acid reflux symptoms.

In order to avoid this, I recommend that you stay upright after eating.

To lessen your symptoms even further, I recommend that you…

  • Abstain from eating at least 2 hours before bed.
  • Go for a walk after you eat–movement aids in digestion.
  • Sleep propped up with a pillow.

Looking for more helpful information on managing acid reflux symptoms while pregnant? Here’s some important info on why you should avoid proton pump inhibitors if you’re expecting.

Do I Have Acid Reflux or Heart Attack Symptoms?

Before we plunge into understanding whether you have acid reflux or heart attack symptoms, let me start off by saying this:

If you’re experiencing chest pain or signs of a heart attack, seek medical help right away. Delay can put your life at risk, and I encourage you to call 911 immediately.

Having said that…

Let’s address the fact that, when you think about GERD, images that come to your mind may include…

  • A person clutching his or her stomach in discomfort.
  • A medication commercial featuring a fire-related theme.
  • An ad that promises you’ll be able to enjoy your favorite foods.

Messages like these can lead you to think that acid reflux is mainly a gastric issue related to the foods you eat. The problem is, GERD can involve much more than a burning feeling in your stomach.

In fact, your GERD symptoms can masquerade as an oncoming heart attack. Keep on reading because, in this article, we’ll look at the similarities and differences between acid reflux and heart attack symptoms so you better understand this topic.

Let’s dive in…

Acid Reflux or Heart Attack: The Similarities in Symptoms

To begin with, both heart attacks and GERD have similar warning signs…which can be a bit unnerving.

For instance, whether you have acid reflux or a heart attack, you might experience chest pain. As Anthony L. Komaroff, M.D., the editor in chief for the Harvard Health Letter, explains…

The nerves that carry pain signals from the esophagus also carry pain signals from the heart, since both the esophagus and heart are located in the chest.

In fact, the Cleveland Clinic reports an astounding statistic, noting that GERD “causes 22 to 66 percent of non-cardiac chest pain.”

However, chest pain isn’t the only symptom shared between these two health conditions. Both heart attacks and GERD also share symptoms such as nausea and shortness of breath.

In the midst of this confusion, the good news is, there are some ways to distinguish between a bout of acid reflux and a heart attack…

Acid Reflux or Heart Attack: The Differences in Symptoms
While GERD symptoms and heart attack symptoms do share some similarities, their outward signs aren’t identical.

For instance, in the case of a heart attack, a person might experience…

(For more information on heart attacks, be sure to check out this resource from the American Heart Association.)

Tired of Thinking Your Acid Reflux Is a Heart Attack?

Maybe you’ve panicked—again and again—over false alarms…only to learn your GERD was to blame.

Maybe you can relate to Jill Moore.

As Jill explained, “Every time I took ambulance rides to the emergency room, I thought I was in cardiac arrest. But really, it was just my acid reflux, which controlled my life.”

Even though Jill took two pills a day (not to mention more medications to counteract the side effects of her prescription)…she wasn’t seeing results.

As Jill said, “I thought there was nothing I could do to eliminate my acid reflux.”

However, today, Jill no longer suffers from debilitating reflux like she once did…and she’s no longer making trips to the ER.

What changed?

Instead of masking her symptoms, Jill took steps to naturally address her GERD and regain her health with my Cure Your Acid Reflux System—an approach designed to reverse acid reflux symptoms without harmful medications.

Ready to find relief from heartburn and pseudo heart attacks? Click here to take the first step toward relief.

The Best Vitamins for Acid Reflux Sufferers

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If you haven’t already explored which vitamins for acid reflux to include in your healing efforts, there’s no time like the present.

Upon receiving a diagnosis for acid reflux, perhaps you’ve made some basic changes to your lifestyle, such as…

  • Avoiding trigger foods.
  • Sleeping in an elevated position.
  • Leaving enough time between eating dinner and sleeping (at least three hours, in case you were wondering!).
  • Wearing loose clothing to relieve pressure on your abdomen.

However, perhaps you haven’t considered how improving your nutrition can support your journey toward a life free of acid reflux or GERD symptoms.

That’s why it’s important to learn about the various foods and their vitamins that serve as excellent healing solutions for acid reflux sufferers.

It’s important to note that eating foods rich in certain vitamins should be the only method you use to achieve the benefits they provide.

When consumed as a pill vitamin, these vitamins can often do more harm than good.

Many people end up taking too high of a dose, and according to Mayo Clinic, “Dietary supplements aren’t intended to be a food substitute because they can’t replicate all of the nutrients and benefits of whole foods.”

Wondering which nutrients to intentionally include in your diet and daily routine? Read on to discover a list of helpful vitamins for acid reflux…

Vitamin B-12, Vitamin B-6, and Folic Acid

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When it comes to vitamins for acid reflux, you can’t underestimate the power of a certain group of B vitamins.

A 2006 study published in the Journal of Pineal Research found that vitamin B-12, vitamin B-6, and folic acid (also a B vitamin) can be used to decrease acid reflux symptoms.

In the study, one group of acid reflux patients took a supplement containing vitamins B-12, B-6, and folic acid.

100% of the participants in this group reported a decrease in symptoms after 40 days of treatment.

Another group of subjects took omeprazole, an over-the-counter treatment for acid reflux. Only 65.7% of the participants in this second group experienced a decrease in symptoms.

With results like that, it’s hard to deny that it would be wise to up your intake of B vitamins.

When it comes to knowing which foods contain B vitamins…

  • Vitamin B-6 is in foods such as meat, poultry, beans, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
  • Vitamin B-12 is in animal-based foods such as poultry, fish, eggs, red meat, and dairy.
  • Folic Acid, also called folate, is in beans and green leafy vegetables. Additionally, whole grain breads and cereals may also be fortified with this essential vitamin.

Vitamins A, C, and E

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Antioxidants, such as vitamins A, C, and E, work to protect our bodies from free radical damage.

This is particularly important for acid reflux sufferers because free radicals cause illness and infection that may worsen or trigger acid reflux symptoms.

According to a 2012 study, eating foods rich in these antioxidant vitamins will help relieve your symptoms and generally improve your digestive health.

You may be wondering which foods contain these vitamins.

  • Vitamin A is in squash, carrots, spinach, liver, and eggs.
  • Vitamin C is in broccoli, watermelon, cantaloupe, papaya, honeydew, and mango—all of which have low acidic content. Remember that foods with high acidity, such as oranges and lemons, aren’t the best if you want to avoid heartburn.
  • Vitamin E is in foods such as spinach, olive oil, avocado, nuts, and nut butter.

Whether you’re whipping up a salad with avocado and olive oil or blending a spinach and nut butter smoothie, there are many ways to include vitamin E in your diet.
From vitamin B-12 to vitamin E, make a list of the nutrients we’ve listed in this post, and keep these in mind the next time you go shopping at the grocery store, or farmers market. It’s a great way to complement other ways of naturally minimizing your symptoms.

Lastly–remember that you should be consuming vitamins via the foods you eat–not from taking them in supplement form.

Having a hard time staying away from triggers such as coffee, beef, and tomatoes? Click here to learn about five delicious foods you can substitute for GERD trigger foods!

mother and child

Why Pregnant Women Should Find Alternatives to Proton Pump Inhibitors

Stomach cancer. Dementia. Risk of death.

There’s a long list of potential dangers for the widely popular acid reflux medication known as proton pump inhibitors.

The risks are numerous and serious enough to push anyone with GERD to find alternatives to proton pump inhibitors (PPIs).

However, for some reflux sufferers, the urgency to find a better solution increases even more.

Acid reflux is a common experience for many pregnant women. In addition to those already suffering from GERD, it’s not uncommon for women to experience heartburn flare-ups while carrying a child.

The sad reality is, some of these women take PPIs to treat their symptoms. But, according to recent research, taking PPIs during pregnancy is linked to a health risk for the child.

Keep on reading to discover the results of this recent study…

Asthma—Another Reason to Find Alternatives to Proton Pump Inhibitors

In the beginning of this year, the New York Times announced some important news with this headline…

Antacids asthma

In the article, the authors cited research from the American Academy of Pediatrics, a meta-analysis conducted by over 10 researchers.

For this analysis, the scholars examined eight previously published population studies involving acid reflux medication during pregnancy.

Their conclusions?

The researchers stated they found that “acid-suppressive drug use in pregnancy was associated with an increased risk of asthma in childhood.”

In fact, the New York Times explains that the risk of childhood asthma increased by 34% for PPI users (not to mention a hefty 57% for users of H2 blockers).

Consequences of Childhood Asthma

If you’re pregnant, the potential risk of childhood asthma is a strong reason to search for alternatives to your proton pump inhibitors…now.

You can’t underestimate the potential impact of taking PPIs on your little one’s well-being.

Childhood asthma can…

  • Hinder a carefree childhood—making it difficult for your child to run and play at will.
  • Create classic asthma symptoms, such as coughing at night, wheezing, and fatigue.
  • Force your child to use an inhaler to experience a normal life.

Even worse, WebMD notes that asthma can’t be cured and that “once a person’s airways become sensitive, they remain that way for life.”

And don’t count on your child to outgrow his or her asthma.

WebMD also notes that kids who seem to have outgrown their asthma can experience a recurrence of symptoms as adults.

It’s important to note that both the New York Times and Reuters draw attention to the fact that this study doesn’t create a causative link between these medications and asthma.

In other words, we can’t say for sure that PPIs directly sparked childhood asthma.

But here’s the bottom line: Yes, you can find heartburn relief through PPIs. But the relief you’re experiencing now doesn’t outweigh the possible childhood complications…dangers that research may have yet to uncover.

The risk simply isn’t worth the reward. It’s better to find alternatives to proton pump inhibitors.

Finding a Better Solution Than Your Proton Pump Inhibitors

If you’re in the process of researching alternatives for your PPIs, you’re in the right place.

There is a way to ease your acid reflux, find relief, and avoid medications such as PPIs and H2 blockers.

The Cure Your Acid Reflux Program is a physician-supervised program designed to naturally repair your digestive system.

Instead of placing a Band-Aid on your symptoms, you’ll work on making the right health choices, supporting healthy bacteria, and more.

Discover how the Cure Your Acid Reflux Program can replace your acid reflux medications here.

Is There a Link between Anxiety or Stress and Acid Reflux Symptoms? What Research Says.

Stress and work

Acid reflux symptoms come from having too much stomach acid, and the answer is taking PPI medication, right?

Wrong.

The reality is, heartburn can involve more factors than stomach acid…and treating your symptoms isn’t about popping a PPI pill twice a day.

In fact, research shows there’s a link between anxiety or stress and acid reflux symptoms.

Perhaps you have a stressful work environment. Or maybe you find yourself carrying a burden because your child is experiencing academic challenges or a friend is suffering from an illness.

If you’re experiencing stress and you have signs of reflux, it’s time to reconsider your symptoms…and what you’re doing to find relief.

In this article, we’ll look at three research publications that demonstrate a link between anxiety or stress and your acid reflux symptoms. And we’ll explain how you can address your heartburn symptoms…naturally.

#1. “Can Acute Stress Cause Esophageal Hypersensitivity in Healthy Individuals?”

In this short piece, Yu Kyung Cho, writing in the Journal of Neurogastroenterology and Motility, notes that “[s]tress is able to alter esophageal sensitivity.”

Cho goes on to cite a study where researchers looked at the impact of corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH). According to the scholars, this hormone given through an IV “mimics stress-induced physiological changes.”

After giving 20 participants CRH, the researchers discovered that, in response to electric stimulus, the patients had increased sensitivity in their esophagi. This was a finding that Cho stated “[emphasized] the important role of stress in esophageal sensitivity” and had meaning for functional heartburn and GERD.

Bottom line: If you have symptoms of acid reflux, stress may play a role in the pain and discomfort you’re experiencing.

#2. “Mind Over Gut: Reviewing the Role of Psychological Intervention in Acid Reflux Management”

This article makes the case that there’s a link between the mind and your reflux symptoms. To prove this point, the author cites a number of studies…

  • One research study revealed that anxiety is associated with more severe pain behind the breastbone.
  • Another research study revealed that stressed mice developed an esophageal abnormality, which led to enhanced acid exposure.
  • In yet another study, high anxiety and other symptoms “were predictors for poor response to acid suppressing therapy.”

Bottom line: There’s a clear link between mental factors and symptoms of heartburn. If you experience stress…and you have acid reflux…you can’t ignore this brain-gut link.

#3. “Associations among Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, Psychological Stress, and Sleep Disturbances in Japanese Adults”

stress anxietyPublished in the Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology, this article draws a clear connection between stress and acid reflux symptoms.

For this study, researchers used a questionnaire for participants. After collecting the data, the answers in the questionnaire revealed a positive association between stress and acid reflux symptoms.

Bottom line: While this study didn’t show a causal link (e.g., that stress causes acid reflux symptoms), it did show that there’s a connection between what’s going on in your mind and what you’re feeling in your tummy.

Addressing Your Stress and Acid Reflux Symptoms

There’s a link between anxiety or stress and acid reflux symptoms…it’s one reason why treating your heartburn isn’t as simple as taking harmful medication.

If you’re on GERD medication—but you’re also under stress—here are a few tips to naturally reduce your psychological strain:

  • Make a concerted effort to get enough sleep. Lack of sleep amplifies already stressful challenges and makes decision-making difficult.
  • Limit or eliminate your caffeine intake. Caffeine is known for its ability to contribute to anxiety, so opt for an herbal cup of tea over your cup of morning joe.
  • Get outside, and get active. There’s nothing like healthy exercise to reduce your stress levels. You don’t have to run a marathon—simply get outside to go for a walk.

It’s important to reduce stress in your life. But it’s also important to address physical challenges associated with acid reflux symptoms, such as improving your digestive health.

At Cure Your Acid Reflux, we’ve done just that. Our Cure Your Acid Reflux Program creates a clear path for addressing your symptoms, healing your gut, and finding relief from pain.

Get off ineffective and dangerous GERD medications…and get on the path to relief when you enroll in the Cure Your Acid Reflux Program.

 

Heart burn

3 Facts You Need to Know about Nonerosive Reflux Disease (NERD)

Heartburn. Acid reflux. A fire in your tummy.

When you think about your painful symptoms, the name “nonerosive reflux disease” probably doesn’t come to mind.

But the fact is, if you have any acid reflux symptoms, it’s time to get familiar with this critical topic.

Nonerosive reflux disease (NERD) isn’t a popular name. But understanding NERD is critical for acid reflux sufferers across the nation…and, in this article, we’re going to unpack why.

Whether you’ve had reflux symptoms for years or you’re just beginning to realize there’s a problem, keep on reading. We’re looking at 3 important facts to know about nonerosive reflux disease.

1. Nonerosive reflux disease (NERD) is a type of GERD.

First things first, there’s a difference between nonerosive reflux disease (NERD) and GERD.

If you do a bit of research, you’ll find that NERD is considered to be a subset of GERD. In other words, GERD is the large umbrella for both NERD and classic acid reflux symptoms.

However, NERD is a distinct category of GERD for an important reason.

According to Verywell, nonerosive reflux disease occurs when you have GERD symptoms…but there simply isn’t any evidence that acid reflux is damaging your esophagus.

When you have NERD, it will feel as if acid is scorching your esophagus. But when a physician performs an endoscopy, he or she won’t find the typical damage.

2. If you have acid reflux, there’s a good chance you have nonerosive reflux disease.

Acid reflux—that doesn’t leave a trace of acid reflux—doesn’t sound exactly normal.

As you read about nonerosive reflux disease, this subset of GERD might seem like a rare disorder.

But make no mistake. NERD is far too common.

According to this article in Gastrointestinal Motility Disorders

“NERD is the most common phenotypic presentation of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), accounting for up to 70% of all patients with heartburn symptoms.”

While the definition of what falls under NERD has evolved over time, here’s what you need to know. If you have heartburn that simply won’t go away, there’s a good chance that NERD or a health challenge causing similar symptoms are the cause of your troubles.

3. Nonerosive reflux disease should impact your PPI decisions.

Antibiotics

If you’ve had acid reflux and made a trip to the doctor, a bottle of PPIs may be sitting in your cabinet.

After all, doctors regularly prescribe PPIs to GERD patients…despite dire risks, such as stomach cancer, dementia, and even death.

Maybe you walked away from your doctor’s appointment, thinking that PPIs would erase your symptoms. The problem is, you’re finding that your acid reflux pain keeps coming back…over and over again.

If you haven’t found the relief PPIs promised, here’s what you need to know.

Having a daily dosage of PPI medication that offers little comfort isn’t uncommon. In fact, medical experts have a name for you—you’re a PPI nonresponder.

What’s more, this could be an indication that you have nonerosive reflux disease.

According to one source…

“Most patients with GERD who do not respond to a PPI have either nonerosive reflux (NERD) or functional heartburn.”

While some may argue that PPIs are ineffective because they’re given to supposed NERD sufferers—who actually don’t have GERD—here’s the bottom line…

You can take PPIs for acid reflux symptoms…and never find relief.

Finding Help for Your NERD

It doesn’t matter whether you have GERD or NERD…chronic acid reflux or mild symptoms.

The reality is, you don’t have to suffer from acid reflux pain or take risk-increasing medications.

You can find relief…naturally.

With the Cure Your Acid Reflux Program, you’ll enjoy a physician-supervised program to repair your digestive system and address your gut health.

Reduce the discomfort of your GERD or NERD, and enroll in the Cure Your Acid Reflux Program.

couple working out at the gym

Why and How Exercise Can Reduce Acid Reflux

 

From changing your sleeping position to adapting your diet, it’s a known fact that lifestyle changes can significantly reduce acid reflux symptoms.

With symptoms such as heartburn and indigestion, acid reflux and GERD sufferers are pretty keen on trying any and all suggestions to minimize flare-ups.

One recommendation to naturally reduce acid reflux is to begin or increase your weekly exercise regimen.

If you’re someone who’s always been an exercise fan–whether it be going to a local yoga class twice a week or swimming laps at the gym every morning–that’s great.

However, if you don’t currently have an enthusiasm for exercising, it’s understandable that you would be a bit more hesitant to dive into fitness.

In this post, we’ll provide you with an overview for why and how exercise can help reduce acid reflux symptoms along with what types of exercise you should try to lessen your symptoms.

Once you’re equipped with this knowledge, it’s easier to feel more motivated to prioritize fitness in your life.

Read on to find out more!

Why Exercise Is Important in Decreasing Acid Reflux

woman jogging at sunset

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Of course, exercise is a beneficial lifestyle factor in the lives of everyone–whether they have acid reflux or not.

The reasons that exercise is particularly important for GERD sufferers have to do with the affect that weight can have on the lower esophageal sphincter, also known as the LES.

Weight puts pressure on the LES, which prevents it from opening and closing at a fast enough rate.

If the LES functions at a slower pace, acid is more likely to pass through the LES and travel back up through the esophagus–creating the dreaded symptoms of heartburn and indigestion.

Therefore, obesity is a common factor when it comes to GERD–but you don’t need to be obese for there to be an effect.

Researchers in one study found that, “even in subjects with normal body weight, the risk of heartburn increased with weight gain despite the fact that the body mass index remained in the normal range.”

The researchers also determined that simply losing 10 to 15 pounds can reduce heartburn by 40 percent.

Types of Exercise That Reduce GERD Symptoms

Feeling motivated to become more active yet intimidated by the prospect of exercise?

No need to feel as if you need to immediately transform into a fitness junkie that can drop and do 50 pushups on command.

Taking baby steps will ensure that your fitness routine will become a sustainable practice and routine in your lifestyle.

For example, the best kinds of exercise to reduce acid reflux include…

  • Walking
  • Tai chi
  • Light jogging
  • Water aerobics and swimming
  • Stationary cycling
  • Upright yoga poses

In addition to helping you burn calories and lose weight, these exercises boost your immune system.

This is key because a healthy immune system works to rid your body of bacteria–including bacteria in your digestive system.

In particular, H. pylori (HP) is bacteria that, according to Sepalika, can be found in the lining of your stomach and affects approximately 66% of adults.

A study published in The Journal of the Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons found that “significant evidence suggests the potential role of HP infection in the development of GERD.”

It’s also important to note that there are several exercises that can actually worsen acid reflux. These include…

  • Vigorous aerobic exercise, such as running and heavy cycling.
  • Weight lifting, since it often puts internal pressure within your abdomen and can affect your LES.
  • Anything that involves lying flat or bending down, since the pull of gravity can affect your LES and cause more heartburn and indigestion. This can include certain Pilates or yoga poses, as well as surfing. In fact, according to a study in the Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine, acid reflux was “significantly higher” in surfers versus non-surfers at a ratio of 28% to 7%.

Remember, don’t expect yourself to immediately become a pro at any type of exercise you try. Take it one step at a time.

If you make it a sustainable practice over time, you’ll begin to see how exercise can reduce acid reflux.

That said, exercise isn’t the only lifestyle modification needed to reduce acid reflux.

Learn more about how food can significantly affect your GERD symptoms.

Green smoothies

5 Food Substitutes for GERD Triggers

Going grocery shopping.

Ordering delivery on your lunch break.

Going on a date at a fancy new restaurant.

Getting together with friends for a potluck.

There are countless occasions in our lives in which food is involved. It’s no wonder that when we’re told to rule out certain foods or add in food substitutes to our diets, things can get complicated.

Several decades ago, attempting to eat a certain way might have raised eyebrows or elicited a “come again?” from a waiter.

However, these days, people are becoming more educated on food sensitivities, and it’s easier to adjust their diets to coincide with their bodies’ unique dietary needs.

If you suffer from acid reflux or GERD, you know all too well that certain foods will activate pesky and uncomfortable symptoms such as indigestion and heartburn.

However, rather than lamenting the fact that you can no longer consume your grandmother’s famous tomato sauce, you can choose to be proactive in finding delicious food alternatives that won’t trigger your GERD symptoms.

Here are five food substitutes to replace common GERD triggers.

#1: Instead of White Rice…Try Quinoa.

quinoa

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White rice, among other grains such as wheat and corn, is highly acidic and acid-forming.

On the other hand, grains such as quinoa, amaranth, and wild rice are alkaline-forming, which won’t trigger GERD.

Quinoa also has the benefit of being super high in protein and has twice as much fiber as other grains–a healthy option overall!

The next time you’re selecting a grain for the base in a veggie dish, think twice before grabbing white rice and go for something like quinoa.

#2: Instead of Coffee…Try Ginger Tea.

Ginger Tea

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Having a daily cup of joe is a ritual that’s deeply ingrained in many cultures around the world.

If you consider yourself a coffee addict, you may have a hard time giving it up.

However, caffeine tends to relax the esophageal sphincter, allowing acid to flow back up through the esophagus. Dealing with the resulting unease and discomfort in your body is never quite worth it.

If you must satisfy your need to enjoy a warm and cozy beverage in the morning or evening–opt for ginger tea with honey.

In addition to reducing the likelihood of stomach acid flowing up through the esophagus, ginger also reduces inflammation in your gastrointestinal tract.

Sounds like a win-win all around!

#3: Instead of Beef…Try Fish.

pan fried salmon(Source)

When it comes to the consumption of protein-rich foods, your mind may drift to beef or other meat sources.

However, beef and other meats that are high in protein and fat can take longer for your body to digest, which puts pressure on your lower esophageal sphincter for a longer time.

The result? Increased instances of acid reflux.

On the other hand, fish and poultry are both lean proteins and are often recommended for acid reflux sufferers.

That said–everyone’s body is different–so if you notice that fish or poultry still triggers your symptoms, try switching to plant-based proteins such as soy and sprouts.

#4: Instead of Orange Juice…Try a Banana-Kale Smoothie.

Banana and Kale smoothie

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Perhaps you have cravings for something sweet in the mornings, and you typically fulfill these cravings with a glass of OJ.

I’m sorry to tell you that due to their high acidity, citrus-based juices are not your friend if you want to minimize GERD symptoms.

Not to worry–there are plenty of other delicious juices and smoothies you can enjoy that aren’t acid-producing in the way citrus fruit juices are.

For example, a banana and kale smoothie is a sweet non-citrus alternative that can help you start your day off on the right foot.

If you want to give it a try, check out this banana and kale smoothie recipe!

#5: Instead of Tomato Sauce…Try Pesto.

Pesto sauce

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Tomato sauce may have been your go-to when it came to eating pizza or pasta, but with the high acidity of tomatoes, which often leads to heartburn, I strongly advise you seek alternatives.

Fortunately, there are other sauce options that can be equally tasty–such as pesto.

With the combination of basil, olive oil, pine nuts, and garlic, pesto provides a wonderful aromatic scent in addition to a tasty kick to a range of dishes.

Whether you add it to pasta or pizza or spread it on a sandwich, there are various ways to incorporate pesto in your meals.

Making dietary changes for your health may feel like a burden, but feeling better in your body is always rewarding.

Beyond the foods listed above, probiotics are terrific options for people who suffer from GERD or acid reflux. Here are five probiotic options to add to your shopping cart this week!

motherhood, pregnancy

4 Ways to Soothe Acid Reflux During Pregnancy

The nine months of expecting a child is a thrilling time for soon-to-be mothers (and fathers!).

From decorating a baby room to selecting a name, there’s a range of exciting elements that occur over the course of the nine months in preparation of welcoming a son or daughter into a family.

However, as per usual, good things in life also come with a few less-than-ideal aspects–one of which can be acid reflux.

Expectant mothers-to-be often experience heartburn and indigestion that come along with acid reflux due to the fact that they have higher levels of progesterone, which is the hormone that relaxes muscles in pregnancy.

Along with relaxing the uterus during pregnancy, progesterone also relaxes the stomach valve that keeps acid out of the esophagus.

You can guess what happens next–stomach acid easily passes up through the esophagus, causing the uncomfortable symptoms of indigestion and heartburn.

Here are four ways to minimize these symptoms during pregnancy, enabling you to have a more enjoyable and comfortable experience in the nine months before your child is born.

#1: Wear loose-fitting clothes.

heartburn, loose clothing, pregnancy, acid reflux

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If you’re determined to continue to wear tight-fitting jeans during your pregnancy, you might as well give up your goal of minimizing acid reflux symptoms.

Tighter clothing puts more pressure on your abdomen, which increases the likelihood of acid traveling up through your esophageal sphincter.

Instead, opt for wearing looser clothing. With a range of stylish and comfortable maternity wear available online or at various stores, you don’t have to worry about finding appropriate options.

#2: Eat smaller meals–slowly.

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Similar to the way that wearing tight clothing can put pressure on your abdomen, contributing to heartburn and indigestion, eating large meals has the same negative effect.  

Therefore, rather than eating three large meals a day, aim to eat five or six smaller-portioned meals.

Additionally, rushing through your meal won’t do you any favors.

Try to eat your food at a relaxed pace, enjoying each delicious bite. This will also help ensure that you don’t unintentionally overeat.

#3: Don’t eat right before sleeping.

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I get it–life can get busy, and sometimes you find yourself eating at the end of the day, just before you head to sleep.

However, it’s best to allow your body the time to digest food before lying down to sleep. Otherwise you may find yourself awakening to painful heartburn in the middle of the night.

Aim to eat dinner two to three hours before bedtime, and you’ll be golden.

#4: Sleep upright.

Once you have digested and are ready for bed, it’s important to note that the position in which you sleep matters.

Elevate your head and upper chest so that they are higher than your abdomen. Doing so discourages acid from following upwards into your esophagus.

Incorporate the four tips above in your day-to-day life, and I guarantee you’ll experience less instances of heartburn–making your pregnancy experience more enjoyable!

Looking for the perfect pillow to help you achieve the ideal sleeping position? Learn about an excellent option in my post This Acid Reflux Pillow Can Work Wonders.

Stomach Cancer: One of Many PPI Risks

 

It’s no secret that proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) carry a number of dangers for your health.

PPI risks range from death to dementia, and you’ll find a number of disturbing studies on PPIs in medical literature.

Despite this fact, doctors throughout America commonly prescribe PPIs to acid reflux sufferers. As NPR reports, the estimated number of Americans taking PPIs is in the millions.

And, the reality is, many PPI users either don’t know—or don’t acknowledge—the possible consequences of popping that daily pill.

If you regularly take PPIs, don’t let this be you.

No matter how severe your GERD is, it’s critical that you understand PPI risks and make informed decisions about your health.

In this article, we’re covering another one of the PPI risks that recently hit the headlines—stomach cancer. But, most importantly, we’ll show you an alternative for your acid reflux challenges.

Adding to the List of PPI Risks—Stomach Cancer

If you have acid reflux, you probably turned to PPIs to minimize your painful symptoms.

But there’s another reason you might have decided to take PPIs, especially if you have chronic GERD—you didn’t want to raise your risk for esophageal cancer.

If avoiding cancer was a motivating factor…

Then you’ll want to read the results of a study from the British Medical Journal Gut, a study that reveals a link between PPIs and gastric cancer risk.

As PubMed Health explains, this study “identified everyone who’d had successful treatment for H. pylori infection in a Hong Kong database, and followed them for an average of 7 years.”

The results?

Researchers reported that they found a correlation between PPIs and stomach cancer risk for patients.

What’s more, PubMed Health explains that this “risk was higher for people taking them [PPIs] long term and daily – an eightfold, or 834%, increase in risk.”

Important Considerations in the Study

  • Like any study, this research involves a number of important considerations and limitations. Before you draw your conclusions, here’s what PubMed Health had to say…
  • The evidence didn’t prove that PPIs cause gastric cancer. (In other words, there’s a link but not causation.)
    The research population was predominantly Chinese, and “Asians are known to have a higher risk of developing stomach cancer than other populations.”
  • H. plylori “is known to raise the risk of stomach cancer.” (However, be sure to take this statement from PubMed Health in consideration with other facts. For instance, the researchers stated their study included H2 blockers—another type of acid reflux medication used to treat H. pylori infections—and found that these didn’t increase gastric cancer risk.)

PPI Risks and Your Health

Despite any caveats the study may include, one fact is clear…

This study casts the safety of PPI medications into doubt.

Even without a causative link, this study makes another case for PPI risks—risks you should seriously consider if you rely on proton pump inhibitors for your GERD.

The good news is, there’s no need to increase your risk for cancer, dementia, heart issues, or other health problems….simply because you don’t have options other than PPIs.

If you’re looking for a solution to your acid reflux problem that helps you avoid taking dangerous medications or placing yourself in danger of PPI risks, try the Cure Your Acid Reflux Program.

Our program helps you address the underlying issues behind your GERD, guiding you step-by-step to heal your gut, improve your symptoms, and—ultimately—get off your PPI medications.

Enroll in the Cure Your Acid Reflux Program today!