Gerd is a gastroesophageal reflux disease that is very common and 20% of adults are facing this. It’s basically a digestive problem in which the backflow of food occurs from the stomach to the mouth. When we talk about cereal-based carbohydrates it includes monosaccharides, disaccharides, oligosaccharides, starch, and non-starch polysaccharides. Studies show that all these components cause bloating, abdominal pain, discomfort, and diarrhea. Lifestyle plays an important role in this because an unhealthy lifestyle leads to the severity of the condition of GERD, which gives the way to many other disturbances in the body that affects normal functioning in the body.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease is a common disease that affects a large community in society. It is more common in the western world with a prevalence of around 10%-20%, while in Asia, it is 5% lesser compared to the Western countries. In the past 10 years, there is an increasing trend in the prevalence of GERD in Asian countries. Gastroesophageal reflux is a simple physiological process that occurs several times in a day in a healthy person. It’s the relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter for swallowing which gives a way for the gastric contents to enter the esophagus. Gastroesophageal reflux disease occurs when this process of relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter is not going as normal.
There are four types of gastroenterology reflux disease.
- Mild gastroesophageal reflux disease
- Moderate gastroesophageal reflux disease
- Severe gastroesophageal reflux disease
- Precancer or cancer
Causes of gastroesophageal reflux disease are parasites, too much gas, low stomach acid, caffeine, hiatal hernia, skipping meals or irregular eating habits, obesity, tight-fitted clothing, low chloride diet, spicy or fatty food, magnesium deficiency, too much exercise, H. Pylori, wrong posture, larger meals, medication, cigarette smoking, acidic beverages, pregnancy, stress, alcoholic beverages, fasting or starving. There is a definite relationship between obesity and gastroesophageal reflux disease. If you are overweight then the chances of gastroesophageal reflux disease are increased. Job in bending situation is also the cause. Heavy weight lifting and oversitting also increase the effects of gastroesophageal reflux disease.
Most common presentations of gastroesophageal reflux disease are heartburn, unexplained chest pain, painful burning sensation, painful swallow, backflow of gastric content into the mouth (not associated with nausea), chronic cough, asthma, regurgitation of food or sour liquid, the feeling that food is caught in your throat, vomiting, sore throat, weight loss, the pregnant woman is more prone to suffering heartburn or acid reflux. Some patients experience gastroesophageal reflux disease symptoms primarily in the evening, which has a greater impact on quality of life as compared to daytime symptoms. Excess saliva and blood in stools were also included.
Carbohydrates are one of the major components of the diet that provides maximum energy as compared to other components like fats and protein. When we talk about cereals, cereals are grasses that are cultivated for the edible components of their grain, like rice, wheat, millet, maize, and sorghum. All of these are rich sources of carbohydrates. According to the dietary guidelines carbohydrates contain a 40% to 55% portion in the diet, and according to these guidelines, the majority of carbohydrates that are preferred are complex carbohydrates.
Cereal based carbohydrates have a very strong relation with gastroesophageal reflux disease. Because of the time body can’t absorb certain carbohydrates, which these carbohydrates sit in the gut and ferment, causing bloating. That type of carbohydrate is fermentable carbohydrates. More acid reflux symptoms occur with the high carbohydrates diet. As we discussed earlier that carbohydrates produce gas in the stomach, this is the main reason that triggers acid reflux. Research shows that a diet high in fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and Polyols (FODMAP) produces more gastroesophageal reflux disease symptoms, especially early or the first 15 mins after eating lunch than the low fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and Polyols.
A complete history is required for the treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease. There are many ways that are used for the treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease that includes, including surgery, medication treatment, and lifestyle interventions. Medications that are used are antacids (treat heartburn), H2 blockers, endoscopy and others. Surgical therapy is considered for people who have failed medical management, and for those who faced complications of gastroesophageal reflux disease, and also the people who are at risk of life-threatening complications of gastroesophageal reflux disease.
The first step in gastroesophageal reflux disease management is the changes in the lifestyle including diet. Because the main factors that increase the chances if gastroesophageal reflux disease is the excess use of caffeine, alcoholic beverages, smoking, and stress. Meal size also plays an important role in this matter. All the lifestyle interventions are discussed further.
Weight management is an important factor in lifestyle interventions. Because due to obesity there are more chances of gastroesophageal reflux disease. Gastroesophageal reflux disease has a strong relationship with obesity, especially in the women. So, it’s compulsory to maintain weight to lessen the risk of complications of gastroesophageal reflux disease.
Regular physical activity is the key to the healthy lifestyle. Its the common intervention in all the disorders or diseases. Physical activity like walking, light jogging, simple stretching, yoga and swimming is the good options for the patient who is suffering from gastroesophageal reflux disease.
Alcohol and smoking both are the triggering factors of acid reflux. Because both things damage the esophageal mucosa. A patient suffering from gastroesophageal reflux disease if still smokes then the gastroesophageal reflux disease complications leads towards the throat cancer. It’s necessary to quite smoking and alcohol, and by doing this patient notice the relief in complications.
Semi insolids and thick liquid diet is preferred in this situation. Good hydration is also matters. 5-6 servings of fruits and vegetables are recommended but make sure that the fruits are not citrus. Best recommended fruits are banana, guava, peach, pineapple. Vegetables and fruits preferred in steamed, boil and raw form rather than in the juice form. Add complex carbs in diet but not too much because it increases the risk if symptoms like bloating, heartburn. Include the high fiber diet. Prefer watery foods. Use lean sources of protein and a healthy fats in the diet. Eat small portions of diet rather than larger meals.
Avoid late-night eating and also avoid to go to the bed right after the eating meal. Also make sure that don’t eat larger meals that take maximum time for digestion, it increases the chances of acid reflux. Make a habit to eat before 3 to 4 hours of sleeping.
Gravity plays an important role in the relief from the acid reflux, through this the night-time symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease can be controlled. Must elevate the head side. Make sure that you are making a high position for the head not for the neck. It keeps the stomach acid into the stomach. Secondly try to sleep on your left side, in this way stomach acid doesn’t go towards the esophagus.
Giving body stress means that making the severity of the complications of gastroesophageal reflux disease. Stress also affects other factors like sleep, diet, and a complete lifestyle. Managing stress should be the first priority for lifestyle interventions. (Iqbal et al. 2021)
Gastroesophageal reflux disease is very common due to an unhealthy lifestyle. Cereal-based carbohydrates show the maximum severity in the symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease. If cereal-based carbohydrates are managed in the diet, the gastroesophageal reflux disease symptoms can be controlled. Lifestyle modifications and interventions are the keys to the prevention and management of gastroesophageal reflux disease.