This blog begins with some Food for Thought. Before we bring you the answers from last week’s GERD lifestyle Quiz, we have a Very Special and Genuine July Fourth Wish for you:
Happy Independence Day from the Digestive Disease Consultants of Orlando!
The Doctors and Professional Staff from DDC Orlando, Bring you their Best Wishes
On our July 4th Holiday! Happy Birthday to the USA!
We Hope You Have a Star-Spangled Week!
Food for Your Heart: Independence Day
Fun with food, fireworks, family and friends are the traditions of the July 4th Holiday. Independence Day will bring you many opportunities for parties, cook-outs, barbecues, and community gatherings.
Most of the time, when we speak of food on this blog, we actually mean “food,” as in nourishment and nutrients for your body. There will certainly be plenty of that at your picnics and parties. (We do have one word of caution: indigestion.)
However, once in a while, we speak of food for thought, as in an expression of ideas or concepts. Therefore, we went in search of words and special messages, for the occasion of Independence Day. Our hope is that this food for thought will inspire you, so that in a moment of quiet thought, you can consider the real meaning behind all the celebration and fun of July 4, 2017.
President Ronald Reagan stated, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same. Or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”
Food for Your Head: Answers to the GERD Quiz
In our previous blog, we told you a story in the manner of a scenario from the life of case study patient, Elena, as she faced her preliminary diagnosis of GERD. We challenged you to figure out the lifestyle changes she had begun to make in the early days of that basic diagnosis by her primary doctor. Thus, it seems appropriate to give you a special list of lifestyle changes associated with GERD.
Suggested Lifestyle Changes in Behavior When You Have GERD
1. Nix That Nicotine:
Elena ceased smoking a short time before her official diagnosis. In her case, it had become almost as painful as eating fatty food. She would even experience reflux after taking what was previously a satisfying drag off a cigarette. Later she learned about the anatomy behind her difficulty. Nicotine slows the action of the Lower Esophageal Sphincter
2. Quit the Coffee:
Caffeine is a known trigger among many who suffer with GERD. Elena found her favorite cappuccino gagged her with recurring reflux. After discovering she was not lactose intolerant, she knew coffee was the culprit.
3. Tackle the Calories:
Some doctors believe that the most helpful behavior for relieving symptoms of GERD is maintaining a healthy weight.
Elena’s 38 extra pounds were certainly no help for her reflux distress. She could almost feel the extra pressure from the pounds.
Mayo Clinic states, “pounds put pressure on your abdomen, pushing up your stomach and causing acid to back up into your esophagus. If your weight is healthy, work to maintain it.” She set a reasonable goal of losing a pound a week and bought a calorie counting AP for her Smartphone, to help her keep track of the food she ate.
4. Farewell to Fried or Fatty Fun Foods:
Due to the food journal, she discovered that fried, fatty and spicy food gave her severe heartburn, as did her favorite morning orange juice. She struck these foods as well as wine and chocolate from her menus—and it was easier said than done. She had loved the “fun” of her favorite wines and after dinner liqueurs, but alcohol was a trigger for her problem.
5. Lose the Leggings:
Elena was surprised that clothing style made a difference in how well she could control her GERD. She discovered her favorite little black dress and her Lycra leggings were exerting pressure on her lower esophageal sphincter as well as her abdomen.
Eliminating this element of her behavior was a lot easier than the above items 1-4. Elena said, “Great! Now I have given up Food, Fun, and Fashion!” However, she smiled because she and her family knew the changes were worth the effort.
6. Help from the Head of the Bed:
In our story, Elena’s husband crafted a way to raise the head of the bed on wooden blocks. Thus, Elena could lay down comfortably and sleep better without digestive pain and reflux. This simple procedure to position the esophagus, helps many GERD patients to rest better.
Food For Thought: Your “To-Go” Order:
In our next blog, we will tell you about Elena’s progress in these lifestyle changes and the types of medications that normally help patients like her. Follow her journey as she faces some serious medical tests. Will changing her food, fashion and fun be enough to improve her condition? For the answer to that and other GERD questions, we hope you will join us to read the next blog.