Our expert says:
Acid reflux and heart burn is caused when the stomach produces too much acid (generally due to a condition called gastritis) and this acid pushes up in the oesophagus. You need to have a medical checkup so that the doctor can determine if you are at present suffering from a flare-up of gastritis and if you have any additional problems such as ulcers. Acid reflux and ulcers require medical treatment so please have the checkup. Click on 'DietnFood' at the top of this page and do a Search for 'GASTRO-OESOPHAGEAL REFLUX DISEASE (GORD) & DIET', an article I wrote a while ago. In general here are some pointers regarding excess acid production: If a patient has food in the stomach this give the acid something it can work on instead of attacking the stomach lining. In fact, the use of 6 smaller meals a day is a good idea when suffering from heartburn or gastritis because this would mean that the patient practically always has some food in his stomach to prevent acid erosion. You should split up your main meals into 2 smaller meals each. One of the most important factors in excess acid production and heartburn is stress. If you suffer from heartburn, you will have to experiment with the foods you eat that may cause problems (raw onions, garlic, cucumber, green peppers, very spicy foods and condiments, gas-cold drinks, very fatty foods, etc and all alcohol). This is often an individual reaction and you will have to keep a food diary to see what foods cause this problem and then cut them out. If you find that this is too difficult, then please consult a clinical dietitian (visit the Association for Dietetics in SA Website at: www.adsa.org.za and click on "Find a Dietitian" to find a dietitian in your area), who will help you pinpoint trigger foods and work out a diet that avoids them. To relieve stress I would recommend that you should learn relaxing techniques, how to do deep breathing exercises and some form of physical exercise which is also relaxing, such as yoga. Going for brisk walks in the fresh air also helps to relieve tension.
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