GORD lord, what is reflux?
Aug 31, 2020
What is Gastro Oesophageal Reflux Disease?
Gastro Oesophageal Reflux Disease (GORD) describes a condition involving the burning of the oesophagus. The condition is commonly referred to as ‘heartburn’ or ‘reflux.’ The stomach contains acid, like battery acid, which helps to breakdown food. It is the only part of the body that can tolerate this level of acidity. Pain arises when the stomach acids leak into the oesophagus, which can be quite uncomfortable, even painful!
What are the common dietary causes of reflux?
- Spicy meals.
- High-fat foods or meals e.g. chocolate. Fat requires more acid to break it down. When acid content increases, it can seep into the oesophagus and cause pain.
- Particular fluids, like tea, coffee, and alcohol.
- Large meal portions.
What else can cause reflux?
- The weakening of the oesophageal muscles, caused by ageing.
- A hiatus hernia, whereby the stomach is pushed into the oesophagus.
4 tips for managing reflux.
- Lose weight.
Sit up after a meal.
- People who are overweight tend to experience reflux more often. This is because there’s a lot of intra-abdominal pressure relating to the fat tissue that sits around the stomach.
Wear loose clothing.
- Try to sit up for 2 hours after a meal. That way, you give your body a chance to digest the food and pass through the stomach.
Space out physical activity from eating.
- Wearing tight clothing can put pressure on the stomach.
- Try not to bend after a feed, as this can increase stomach pressure. Inappropriate activities may include gardening, yoga, and weightlifting.
If the symptoms get too painful, your doctor will prescribe an antacid treatment. It is essential to treat reflux seriously, as chronic reflux can lead to conditions like Barret’s Oesophagus and cancer. For dietary advice and environmental strategies contact CQ nutrition. The lovely dietitians will be able to tailor advice regarding reflux and how to best manage the condition.
Written by Annabel Johnston, BAppSc&MDietPrac