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Things You CAN eat With GERD

So, my sister's coming to visit for about a month. (squeeeeeee!!!) But, she has GERD. I've been studying up on this subject for about six or seven years, but still can only find what NOT to do. After a few years of simply suffering through her symptoms, getting fed up and subsisting only on tortilla chips, she is finally ready for me to teach her how to maintain a healing diet. I know that turmeric has anti-inflammatory qualities, but is it safe for GERD? What about garlic and ginger? Supposedly d-limonene is an amazing thing for eliminating mild to medium symptoms. Can I get d-limonene by simply using orange zest, or do I have to buy a bottle of pills? Mint is bad, right? I know what's good for me, but some of those things can actually aggravate her stuff. I have everything I'm not supposed to give her memorized, like caffeine, chocolate (the poor thing) omega-6es, blah blah. But how about green tea? She says she's willing to try anything, but she's picky on top of everything else, so ginger-mushroom herbal tea is definitely not a good idea. :-) What about temperature? If she ate things at a lower temperature, would that help at all?

I'm especially asking those of you who live with someone who has GERD, or have it yourselves, and have made efforts to maintain the symptoms naturally over an extended period of time. Any help, however, is greatly appreciated. Thank you, in advance.

Comments

( 28 comments — Leave a comment )
krasota
Sep. 30th, 2007 01:28 am (UTC)
My triggers are sugars (HFCS, honey, sugar, fruit, you name it), refined starches, ground meat, simpler starches (potatoes), and mint. Some folks find that fat and grease and dairy are their triggers. We're all different.

Ginger, bananas, and fruit juice will result in instant pain for me. 4% milkfat cottage cheese is a quick soother. Flaxseed oil and salmon candy result in acidic burps of doom.
nobuwa
Sep. 30th, 2007 01:55 am (UTC)
I've been diagnosed with GERD and I honestly don't understand it very well. Does everyone who has it suffer from the same throat problems? If so, I'm not sure what my triggers are.. but I'd really like to understand the whole thing better.

All I know is that I have acid reflux and it's causing it.. and that I need to take two Prevacids everyday.
laceyslostlove
Oct. 1st, 2007 07:05 pm (UTC)
if untreated you will errode your esophogaus
nobuwa
Oct. 1st, 2007 07:13 pm (UTC)
Well, I don't eat foods that bother me, or I try not to. I was just diagnosed with this in July, and I take medication for it.. so its not untreated. I just don't understand it very well.
laceyslostlove
Oct. 1st, 2007 07:49 pm (UTC)
as long as you meds are preventing you from having actual reflux, your throat will begin to heal itself over time. my voice JUST stopped sounding like i'm a heavy smoker (i don't even smoke at all)
nobuwa
Oct. 1st, 2007 07:54 pm (UTC)
My doctor didn't give me a lot of information on it. I've had acid reflux for a long time, but he never told me how long it would take for my throat to heal from this. Do you have any idea?
laceyslostlove
Oct. 1st, 2007 08:44 pm (UTC)
it depends on the person and how extensive the damage is. man what a craptastic doctor :( are you seeing a Gastro or an ENT? a specialist in the field can help with questions. i'm surprised they didn't recommend an endoscopy (even though they are not fun) it would help you determine the damage done.
nobuwa
Oct. 1st, 2007 08:48 pm (UTC)
I go to an ENT. I've had a scope done, and the last time I got it done he said it was a little better than the first time he did it (but he never said how bad it actually was). I go again on the 11th so I'll have to ask him then. Thanks :3
westcoastred
Sep. 30th, 2007 02:36 am (UTC)
Salmon candy? So, do you eat oatmeal? Brown rice? Do you use sugar substitutes? "Acidic burps of doom." *snicker*
krasota
Sep. 30th, 2007 03:05 am (UTC)
No oatmeal (our household is gluten-free), but good oats would be nice for some folks.

I do lots of brown rice, buckwheat, millet, and quinoa. Lots of beans and lentils. No sugar substitutes (they make my baby fussy and gassy and super-urpy), I just keep my intake low and always pair any sugars with fat and protein. I opt for new potatoes and fingerlings instead of russets and don't make a whole meal of potatoes.

And for the last five years, I've needed a PPI (meds) to keep it under control, despite major dietary changes. I'm currently unmedicated while I await a consult with a GI specialist (I'd like to get a baseline for any damage)--I need to give specifics for my symptoms, no matter how icky and sore it makes me feel.
vaysha
Sep. 30th, 2007 01:53 am (UTC)
I had it really bad for a while and the number one thing that made a difference was not smoking anymore.
Then I still had it but milder.
I went out and got really good digestive enzymes.
I got bottled/liquid acidophilous which actually tastes quite good.
I cut back on carbs because suprisingly since they turn to sugar they really triggered me.
I try and stick with only whole grains and brown rice and that seems to help a lot.
I take marshmallow capsules because marshmallow coats all your membranes internally so it helps for things like ulcers, gerd and even for urinary tract.

I found the following herbs and drink them in a tea because they rebalance stomach acids and soothe and heal esophagus and stomach tissue

Meadowsweet!!! i can't impress upon you how great this herb is for stomach acidity
lavender flowers- soothes digestive tract
calendula flowers- heals stomach lining
spearmint ( a small amount for flavoring is good for the stomach and doesnt trigger acid like peppermint does)
chamomile.

Also

I got apple cider vinegar and mixed a tablespoon of it with some honey or agave nectar and a bit of water and drank it each morning. It helped a lot too.

I think that is about it
:)

Sorry about not saying more about food.
Mostly people don't want to hear it.
I still drink coffee- coffee is far less of a problem than carbs were for me. I love pasta and bread and potatoes and I was always reaching for a quick white- a muffin or banana bread- I don't eat fried foods so that wasn't an issue and I am not a pop or fast food girl. I thought I had a good diet but I had way way too many carbs and simple carbs- switching to bulghur and brown rice and really heavy whole grain breads and minimizing them made the biggest difference suprisingly.

I also drink a ton of green tea and things like ginger, black pepper kernels and cinnamon and cardamon , brought to a boil and then simmered with a pot on for 15 minutes. I eat tons of spicyfoods and they are not the problem- things that turn into sugars are. That and getting my digestive system in tip top shape with the enzymes, ac vinegar and acidophilous- those things did the trick.


good luck
:)
westcoastred
Sep. 30th, 2007 03:02 am (UTC)
Ah. Thank you so much. I just sent my mom a list of things to send with my sister. Do you mind telling me which digestive enzymes you take? That tea sounds amazing, by the way!
westcoastred
Sep. 30th, 2007 03:09 am (UTC)
Thanks.
laceyslostlove
Oct. 1st, 2007 07:25 pm (UTC)
probiotics help. please remember though, that all people are different and what some are sensitive to, others are not.
(as below mentioned) normally bread, pasta etc do not upset GERD.
imafarmgirl
Sep. 30th, 2007 03:25 am (UTC)
I find that lavender, chammomile and rose hips makes a nice tea.

Carbs actually help my reflux if it is like bread. Garlic is giving me trouble tonight and the massive doses of steroids I am taking for my asthma.
imafarmgirl
Sep. 30th, 2007 03:22 am (UTC)
I have bad GERD which I do not maintain naturally, but natural stuff helps. I have found source naturals essential enzymes to help. I have tried other brands without success.

No coffee, chocolate, greasy foods, really spicy things, tomato, citrus, milk or mint, if you want to be strict. not all these things help every one.

Ginger can be good tea or gingersnaps or whatever. Green tea is okay for me but I don't like it and drink black even though it is bad. chammomile is good for some people. nux vommica a homeopathic has helped me in the past. Sleeping with the bed head elavated and not wearing tight fitting clothing at the waist also helps. hmm. That is all I can think of.
xo_kizzy_xo
Sep. 30th, 2007 11:50 am (UTC)
That's basically the list of no-nos my coworker has re her GERD.

Her GERD is such that almost anything can trigger it. She usually ends up eating a little of this and a little of that rather than a full-blown meal.

I do know she takes a conventional med to control it, but at the lowest possible dose.

As for drinks, she says anything that's too hot/cold triggers it. Rooom-temperture apple juice is her usual drink.
imafarmgirl
Sep. 30th, 2007 12:54 pm (UTC)
Yes, cold apple juice can trigger it for me, orange juice, coffee, sometimes tea. It just depends. Also drinking a lot of fluid, especially water with a meal will trigger it.

I take three meds to control mine.
romijordanna
Sep. 30th, 2007 06:28 am (UTC)
I have GERD. I chew 2.5 DGL (deglycyrrhizinated licorice) tablets in the morning, and I am usually fine for the rest of the day. The tablets are unpleasant at best, but studies indicate that they are as effective, if not more, than prescribed and OTC medications, and my experience is that that's true. I just came off of about 15 years of medication for the GERD, so I'm pretty excited to be managing this more naturally.

I drink coffee every morning and eat generally healthy food, generally not swimming in grease, generally small to moderate portions, but I do have my days. On the worst days, all I have to add is a Tums or two, and I'm fine. And if I would just cut out the coffee D: I wouldn't need those Tums at all.

When coming off of the meds, I did experience a rebound effect, and to get me through it I used the DGL, slippery elm, marshmallow root, and ginger. All in supplement form. Bananas also help. Oh, and papaya enzymes (chewable and tasty) with meals are also helpful.
eslee
Sep. 30th, 2007 10:01 pm (UTC)
Everyone has different triggers, so that's probably why it's so hard to find definitive good or bad things. Here's what a nutritionist recently wrote up for me. Several of them I'd never heard before:

"Common triggers: spicy foods, fatty or fried foods, alcohol, coffee, citrus fruits, chocolates, carbonated beverages, tobacco, onions, high-sugar foods, and tomato-based foods. Ulcers, gallbladder problems, stress, allergies, and enzyme deficiencies can be contributors.
Possible treatments:
Aloe vera juice aids in digestive tract healing
Chamomile tea can relieve irritation
At first sign of heartburn, drink a large glass of water
Juicing potato, fresh cabbage or celery and drinking daily
Eat smaller more frequent meals & chew well.
1 TBS apple cider vinegar
Fresh papaya or pineapple to aid digestion
Don't eat 3 hours before bedtime or before lying down
Elevate head of bed
Manage/Avoid stress and anger

Supplements: acidophilus; quercetin + bromelain; B complex; brewer's yeast."
laceyslostlove
Oct. 1st, 2007 07:26 pm (UTC)
i would never EVER recommend pineapple as treatment-it's far more acidic and orange juice.
eslee
Oct. 1st, 2007 07:57 pm (UTC)
As I said, YMMV on everything with GERD. I could eat pineapple all the livelong day and be fine & oranges don't seem to bother me either, but a bit of orange juice will tear me up. Pineapple is considered an alkalizing food, which is part of the reason it is sometimes recommended to be tried for GERD.
laceyslostlove
Oct. 1st, 2007 08:45 pm (UTC)
honestly, since i went vegan i can eat whatever i want, no matter how acidic it is.
but..i can't assume that person is and when i was not, pineapple was the worst for me. ew, that and yogurt.
deskrabbit
Sep. 30th, 2007 10:36 pm (UTC)
My friend improved her GERD tonnes by eliminating dairy.
paleo_huntress
Oct. 1st, 2007 12:09 am (UTC)
I had severe GERD...
---and I took Protonix every day and practically lived on Tums.

When I stopped eating grains the GERD went away. My doc told me that I'd have it forever- she was wrong. Most people associate certain foods with GERD due to their acidity or fat content... Spaghetti, donuts, lemonade, tuna salad sandwiches. The one thing these foods all have in common is the high sugar/starch levels. Nothing has a greater impact on acid production than insulin response.

People who suffer with GERD actually produce less acid than those with healthy stomachs- and proton-pump inhibitors (Protonix) make that even worse.

Mercola.com- How to Treat GERD
"Much to their amazement, researchers reported that in spite of continuing to smoke, drink coffee, and other GERD-unfriendly habits, in each case the symptoms of GERD were completely eliminated within one week of adopting a very low-carbohydrate diet (about 20 grams per day). The patients were able to stop all antacids and prescription stomach medicines and this improvement continued even after they liberalized their carbohydrate intake to a more tolerable 70 grams per day."
aftiel
Oct. 1st, 2007 10:40 am (UTC)
Slippery elm powder (perhaps a few tablespoons mixed with warm water and a small amount of stevia or some other mild sweetener, to the desired consistency) works well, for the same reasons that marshmallow (mallows in general are healing to the mucous membranes) root can work very well and it's nutritious as well. Make sure to "chew" it well enough before swallowing, to make the most of the mouth's carb digesting enzymes, instead of just gulping it like pudding, though.
laceyslostlove
Oct. 1st, 2007 04:06 pm (UTC)
i have GERD. well...refractory, the stop beyond.
don't do garlic or ginger. mint is bad. caffeine and choc are bad too. green tea is okay, not acid like coffee.

i'd stick to whole foods, fresh fruits and veggies, don't fry anything or make anything super spicy. also, oddly, if she isn't vegan, i'd stay away from cheese/meats that are high in fat as fat agitates the condition worse.
( 28 comments — Leave a comment )

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