Can a Ketogenic Diet Help People with Acid Reflux?
Conventional Advice for GERD & Acid Reflux
Common recommendations provided for those with acid reflux include:
- Remain upright after eating: For individuals with a weakened lower esophageal sphincter, letting gravity do its job may help reduce the likelihood that food will travel back into the esophagus. This means standing or sitting upright, and not lying down or reclining after a meal. (It also means not eating a large meal right before bed.)
- Eat smaller meals: Smaller meals mean less food in the stomach, and therefore, potentially less likelihood for upward pressure on the LES to cause reflux.
- Avoid acidic, spicy, and fatty foods: While these foods may not be the primary cause of reflux, acidic foods may be more irritating to the esophagus when the LES is weakened. These foods include coffee, carbonated beverages, tomatoes and tomato sauces, lemon and other citrus fruits and juice, hot peppers, garlic, onions, vinegar, and other acidic foods. Chocolate and peppermint may also exacerbate GERD in some people.
- Lose weight if you are overweight or obese: A larger concentration of body mass in the abdominal area may mean increased pressure on the LES, potentially resulting in acid reflux. Certainly, not all overweight individuals experience reflux, and plenty of lean individuals do. So excess body weight is not an ironclad cause of reflux; it’s simply one among many contributors that could be addressed if an overweight individual experiences frequent heartburn.
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