GERD and Weight Loss: All Things You Need To Know

Changes in weight can be linked to a wide array of medical conditions. Hormonal imbalances occur in the body and this can lead to depression, fatigue, kidney diseases, heart diseases, etc. One such similar health condition that can lead to abnormalities is GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease) or Acid Reflux in the stomach. The bile or stomach acid present in the stomach can rise into the esophagus and lead to a burning sensation. In fact, this bile can also reach the mouth, leaving a nasty bitter taste lingering on your taste buds. The main reason that this happens is that the sphincter muscle situated at the lower half of the esophagus relaxes at the wrong time, leading to stomach acid to rise.

If you face symptoms of such acid reflux scenarios leading to heartburns more than twice a week, then the odds are you are a victim of GERD. Getting rid of this disease requires an individual to restructure their entire diet and focus on a more GERD-based diet. Consuming foods that help combat inflammation can make the job easier. Medicines may help, but only in exhibiting short-term relief from GERD symptoms. Both these forms of recovery can significantly impact the weight of the patient. So, do not worry if you observe fluctuations in your weight while you are suffering from GERD.

There is substantial evidence that excessive body weight can trigger an onset of GERD and worsen its effects over time if an individual’s weight is not brought under control. On the other side of the same picture, when a person begins to lose excess body weight, there is a significant improvement in GERD symptoms.

It has commonly been suggested via experiments performed by GERD researchers that any excess weight gained by the body brings about a circumstance that applies extra pressure on the body. This extra pressure undoubtedly contributes to a greater probability of the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) – a circular muscle in the middle of the stomach and esophagus – to relax. Leading to reflux of stomach acid directly into the chest. Thus, eventually imparting a heartburn sensation within the victim. Do not worry, the term ‘heartburn’ implies that a burning sensation occurs around the chest; nothing directly affects the heart under any circumstance that arises due to GERD.

Excess weight effects –

An occasional instance of heartburn can easily occur in any human being. But being overweight can be a leading cause of GERD. One of the leading medical institutions in the USA known as the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy has identified that one of the most frequently occurring reasons for heartburn can be linked with obesity. Abdominal pressure that rises can promote the stomach acid to leak into the chest much more easily than an LES relaxation instance. Losing weight can totally help alleviate symptoms of GERD.

Risky factors related to Weight Gain and GERD –

Pregnant women can be a victim of heartburns due to GERD that occurred because of excess weight in the body. In the same way, when an individual has just finished eating food and their body has the excess weight of the food, it is when GERD symptoms can arise leading to the rise of bile. Beware as these episodes of acid reflux as the following health conditions can arise –

  • Chronic chest pain
  • Sore throat
  • Vocal cord tumor
  • Chronic irritating cough
  • Asthma

Below is a list of foods that you must avoid. These foods contribute to a greater GERD problem –

  • Chocolate – Due to the presence of Methylxanthine
  • Coffee – Caffeine is a trigger element of GERD
  • High-fat foods – Fatty and fried meals advocate the bile to erupt in the tummy and reach the chest and mouth. Avoid creamy foods, oily foods, salad dressings, fried forms of meat, bacon, potato chips, gravy dishes, French fries, onion rings, etc.
  • Citrus fruits – Due to the high acidic content, fruits like oranges, tomatoes, lemons, pineapples, jackfruits, grapefruits, etc. must be avoided.
  • Spicy food – Garlic and Onions must be avoided too
  • Alcohol, carbonated beverages, milk and mints (especially peppermint)
  • Package / Processed foods – They contain fats such as saturated fats (monosaturated fats and polysaturated fats) and trans fats. These are highly unhealthy fats as they get stuck in the bloodstream while the cells try to give out energy to the body. It also gets clogged in the intestines and leads to a number of health abnormalities in the long run.

Suggestions to undergo Weight Loss so that GERD does not prove to be a long-lasting condition –

There are dozens of weight loss tips that can help you reduce GERD symptoms. Be it exercise, dieting or eating habits, they all make a substantial difference in your fight against GERD –

  • Start by cutting down on your day-to-day calorie intake. Keep away from non-nutritive elements present in foods. Some classic examples are sugar, high in fat foods and calories.
  • Never lie down directly after eating a meal. This can lead to indigestion and also an easy way for the stomach acid to cause inflammation in the chest (as you are in a horizontal position). Going for a short walk after meals advocates in food digestion along with burning excess unnecessary calories.
  • If you have a natural condition that has led to obesity and your diet and exercise have not made any difference, then you must consider getting a liposuction surgery done.
  • Consider eating smaller meals, do not eat fast and do not swallow your food until properly chewed upon.
  • Also, last but not the least, the most effective way to help you lose weight and reduce GERD symptoms at the same time is by taking up a GERD diet plan. Consider eating proteins like egg white. You can skip the high-fat yolk if you like. Vegetables and non-citrus fruits are an exceptional remedy too due to their fiber-providing abilities. Try fruits like apples, bananas, mangoes, papayas, etc. Speaking of fats, as long as you consume healthy fats, you are in the clear. These include mono and polyunsaturated fats like those present in canola oil, sesame oil, avocados, nuts, seeds, sunflower oil, tofu, beans, flaxseed oil. The non-vegetarian lovers can opt for fatty fish such as trout as it should impart great GERD-resisting effects.

Oatmeal helps in providing energy to get through the morning. Carbohydrates present in potatoes, beetroot, radish, etc. act as good ingredients for digestible fiber. Fennel, watermelon, and cantaloupes are low in acidic content and do wonders too. Finally, consider having some amount of probiotic foods every day. They help in restoring the internal balance of the bacterial flora present in the intestines. Probiotic foods would include green bananas, pickles, yogurt, kefir and a fermented tea drink known as Kombucha.

The strong link between excess weight and GERD has already been established. Now you have been given a variety of methods to get rid of the excess weight while maintaining an extremely healthy diet. And you can approach the doctor he can proscribed the best medicines for treatment. Make sure you abide by your set rules if you want to ensure that there is no form of esophageal damage in the future.