Overweight and obesity are risk factors for GERD in women and not so much in men. GERD is a disease with chronic symptoms or mucosal damage produced by the abnormal reflux of gastric contents into the esophagus. Heartburn (burning discomfort behind the breastbone) is the major symptom of GERD because the gastric acid gets into esophagus.
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GERD or Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease is a condition when stomach acid seeps into the esophagus. Esophagus is a tube which leads from throat to the stomach and causes heartburn symptoms, bitter taste in the mouth and regurgitation.
If you eat highly acidic foods like tomato sauces, fatty foods, fried foods, your stomach has to process overabundance of acid. Too much acid pushes back through a valve between stomach and esophagus called lower esophageal spinchter (LES).
GERD can result when you overeat. When you overeat, the foods get backed up and digestive acids infiltrate the esophageal valve to cause burning feeling in the chest. Extra weight puts more pressure on your stomach and esophagus. This pressure opens the LES, when it should be closed. Therefore, this allows the acid to escape into the esophagus tube.
According to new research, Obesity in females raises the risk of GERD, erosive esophagitis and cancer of the esophagus. Having a high body mass index (BMI) in females increases the risk of GERD. A female is defined as overweight when her body mass index is in between 25 and 29.9 and she is called obese when her BMI is greater than 30. Anyone can determine the body mass index by using weight and height.
Reduce the symptoms of GERD:
- Reduce your BMI to reduce the symptoms of GERD. You should make lifestyle and dietary changes to lose weight and reduce the GERD symptoms. You have to follow GERD diet which is similar to healthy diet.
- Avoid foods that make symptoms worse. Acid reflux will be worse during nighttime after meals. Early evening meals can reduce the symptom of GERD.
- Avoid heavy meals during nighttime.
- Eat smaller meals more number of times than heavy meals less number of times.
- Avoid caffeinated drinks like colas, coffee, tea and other beverages.
- Avoid chocolates, spicy foods, citrus fruits and juices.
- Maintain a good posture while sitting.
- Avoid working out, stooping or bending on a full stomach.