GERD (Heartburn) Prevention: 5 Dietary Things To Avoid

Today I would like to share a few facts with you about a condition called gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD for short. GERD occurs when the contents of your stomach pass through your lower esophageal sphincter and back into your esophagus. This causes a painful burning sensation that feels like it’s situated behind your breastbone as it moves up to your throat. For this reason, GERD is more commonly known as acid reflux or heartburn.

Most people only experience GERD occasionally. However, as many as 15 million Americans suffer from it on a daily basis. While there are several factors that play into the development of GERD, there is currently no known cure.   

Related: “Phytochemicals: Uncover the Super Food Craze & Boost Your Health”

That said, much of the illness can be managed through lifestyle and dietary practices. Why go for drastic treatment methods if all that is required is to limit certain foods in your diet? 

With this in mind, below are 5 dietary choices that may be contributing to your GERD related symptoms:

Too much alcohol can cause GERD.

Alcoholic beverages

Whether it be a fine wine, beer, or small shots of liquor, alcohol consumption will lower stomach muscle pressure and increase the frequency of GERD symptoms.

Too much coffee can cause GERD.

Caffeinated beverages

Much like alcohol, caffeine makes it easier for stomach contents to move up into your esophagus. The most common culprits are coffee and sodas, although energy drinks can be problematic as well.

Related: “How To Successfully Drink Healthy Beverages”

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Dustin Moore, MS, RD
As an educator and dietitian, my role centers on the question of, “what is the purpose of having good health?” and I believe the answer is to maximize the freedom there is to life. I desire that problems or struggles with health be minimized or better managed to let you pursue life to the fullest. Education of individuals, whether they are patients, students, dietetic interns, or the general population gives me direction and drive. Whatever is related to the wellness and longevity of life in individuals is something I am interested in teaching and discussing. For this reason, I make it my mission to help everyone understand and apply the principles of nutritional science, and provide them with the right resources to make good decisions. I received my bachelor’s degree in dietetics at Brigham Young University and then completed my master’s degree and dietetic internship at CSU-Long Beach. In addition to cooking, teaching, writing, and staying up to date on current events related to health, I love archery, weight lifting, spending time with my wife, and arguing about which Batman comic needs to be brought next to the big screen.