Can Intermittent Fasting Cause GERD?
Intermittent fasting has become increasingly popular in recent years as a way to reduce body fat, improve metabolic health, and even extend one’s lifespan. However, many people wonder whether intermittent fasting can cause Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). The good news is that intermittent fasting does not cause GERD, and in fact, regularly practicing intermittent fasting may have a positive effect on GERD as well.
What is GERD?
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is a digestive disorder caused by the backflow of stomach acid and other contents into the esophagus. This can cause inflammation, ulcers, and chronic discomfort. Common symptoms of GERD include heartburn, chest pain, and nausea. Left untreated, GERD can lead to serious complications such as esophageal cancer.
Can Intermittent Fasting Cause GERD?
Contrary to what many people believe, intermittent fasting in itself does not cause GERD. In fact, research suggests that intermittent fasting can have a positive effect on GERD symptoms. In one study, participants who practiced intermittent fasting experienced a 0.64 reduction in acid exposure time (95% CI: -2.32, 1.05) and a reduction in GERD symptoms.
Intermittent fasting also decreases blood sugar levels, which can help reduce the risk of developing GERD. This is because high blood sugar levels can cause the stomach to produce more acid, which can lead to increased acid reflux.
How to Avoid Acid Reflux While Fasting
Although intermittent fasting does not cause GERD, there are still some steps you can take to help minimize the risk of acid reflux while fasting. Some tips include:
- Eating fewer meals during intermittent fasting
- Increasing the time between your last meal and bedtime
- Making gradual nutrition and lifestyle changes
- Avoiding foods that are known to trigger acid reflux, such as fatty and fried foods, coffee, and carbonated drinks
- Elevating the head of your bed to help reduce acid reflux while sleeping
By following these tips, you can reduce your risk of experiencing acid reflux while fasting.
In conclusion, while intermittent fasting does not cause GERD, it is important to take steps to minimize the risk of experiencing acid reflux while fasting. Eating fewer meals during intermittent fasting, increasing the time between your last meal and bedtime, and making gradual nutrition and lifestyle changes can help reduce your risk of experiencing acid reflux. Additionally, avoiding foods that are known to trigger acid reflux and elevating the head of your bed can also help.
Could intermittent fasting make GERD worse?
A new study in the United States suggests that intermittent fasting might be an effective way to reduce exposure to acid and improve symptoms of GERD, although it may be difficult for some to adhere to. A group of 25 people with suspected GERD underwent 96-hour pH monitoring.
What can I do to avoid acid reflux while practicing intermittent fasting?
Avoid eating foods that trigger reflux, such as spicy and acidic foods.
Avoid late-night eating and drinking.
Don’t lie down immediately after eating.
Take an over-the-counter antacid or acid-reducing medication, such as famotidine
(Pepcid AC) or omeprazole (Prilosec OTC), before your fasting window.
Does fasting trigger acid reflux?
This can lead to symptoms such as heartburn and
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