January 29, 2010

Foods to Prevent GERD and IBS

Posted in Category : Foods that Heal

It is estimated that more than 42 million people visit their doctor each year complaining about some type of gastrointestinal problem. Gastrointestinal disorders can manifest themselves in symptoms ranging from mild stomach upsets to life-threatening cases of chronic diarrhea. Fortunately, gastrointestinal ailments can be controlled by opting for the correct nutritional choices. Two of the most common gastrointestinal ailments are Irritable bowel syndrome and Gastroesophageal reflux disease.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is considered to be one of the most common gastrointestinal ailments experienced by people. Even with the advances in medical science, IBS is considered to be a poorly understood disease. An individual affected by IBS displays symptoms including recurrent abdominal pain, bloating, general discomfort with changes in the frequency as well as the consistency of bowel movements etc. Young women are more likely to be affected by IBS, although it can affect individuals of any gender, at an age.

While the exact cause of IBS is yet to be determined, most experts believe the condition is brought on by a hypersensitive gastrointestinal tract which is easily affected. High fiber foods such as broccoli, apples and whole grain breads are considered to be effective in resolving the symptoms of IBS by helping to make the stools soft, thereby preventing constipation. Studies have also shown that probiotics, which are live microbial organisms present in foods such as yoghurt, could also be effective in tackling IBS.

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is another condition that occurs in the gastrointestinal tract. This condition which is also referred to as heartburn is brought on by the stomach acids rising into the esophagus due to the relaxation of the sphincter that protects the esophagus from the extremely acidic contends of the stomach. Whilst there are no specific factors responsible for this condition, it is usually believed to be brought on by excessive smoking as well as obesity.

Normally smoking and substances such as alcohol, coffee, citrus fruits and fatty foods are known to aggravate this condition. Symptoms of GERD could include chest pain, problems with swallowing, wheezing and coughing, and the regurgitation of certain foods. Individuals suffering from GERD are therefore advised to avoid the consumption of alcohol, coffee, chocolate, citrus fruits, and fatty foods. It is also highly advisable to engage in some sort of physical exercise, particularly if you are overweight or suffering from obesity. It is very important, that you seek expert medical attention as soon as possible if you think that you may be affected by GERD.