Do I suffer from acid reflux?
QI get an acidic burning like sensation in my stomach and throat after meals. My GP reckons it might be reflux but I'm not sure which foods make it better or worse. Any advice?
ACertain foods can relax the muscular ring at the lower end of the oesophagus, responsible for acid reflux. Such foods include citrus fruits, tomatoes, garlic, chocolate, tea, coffee and alcohol. Avoid overeating at mealtimes. It's vital that you limit your portions to reduce the burden on your digestive system and alleviate symptoms. Drink liquids like water in between meals but limit intake at meal times.
Reduce saturated fats, processed foods and sugars. Saturated fats and trans fatty acids are commonly found in foods such as cakes, biscuits, margarine, doughnuts, processed and deep fried foods.
Consume good raw oils in your diet. Foods which contain healthy oils are olive oil, flaxseed, oily fish, nuts, seeds and avocados.I'd also recommend that you eat more bitter foods to stimulate digestive function such as rocket leaves, endive, spinach and kale.
Consider herbal teas such as dandelion, peppermint and ginger to support digestion and the production of bile.
Stress can also be a factor with acid reflux so this may need to be addressed.
Elsa Jones is a qualified nutritional therapist who offers consultations at her clinic in Dublin. If you'd like your health query answered in the Herald, you can send your question directly to Elsa, contact details on her website -- www.elsajonesnutrition.ie