One morning, I left art class with what felt like radiating pain down my back , through my shoulders and into my throat. I checked myself into the emergency room to get evaluated. After being whisked away to get an EKG, blood drawn and then observed for the following 6 hours I left with the diagnosis of severe Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease aka-GERD .
The statistics on healthline.com shows that I am not alone. GERD affects 66% of the adult population at some point in time, each year. Some foods called trigger foods can cause GERD.
COMMON GERD TRIGGER FOODS
- chocolate: contains methylxanthine, a chemical that can relax the muscle between your esophagus and stomach, allowing acid to flow into the esophagus
- spicy foods: can increase the production of stomach acid
- high-fat and fried foods: take longer to digest, increasing the risk of a backflow of acid
- citrus fruits and oranges: can cause symptoms
- tomatoes and tomato-based foods: contribute additional acid during digestion
- peppermint: can relax and soothe the valve that separates the stomach and esophagus, allowing reflux
- carbonated drinks: cause bubbles to aggravate the esophagus
- caffeinated drinks: can stimulate acid production
- coffee: is acidic, with or without the caffeine
- alcohol: stimulates the production of stomach acid
For me, my trigger food was…Peanut Butter of all things. The minute I stopped consuming peanut butter – I alleviated all of my GERD symptoms. Everyone’s trigger foods are different. Eliminating the trigger food through trial and error- can help you to find which foods you may be most sensitive to.