Intermittent Fasting GERD: Can Fasting Improve Symptoms?
It isn’t uncommon for people to experience gastrointestinal issues such as heartburn and regurgitation. Fortunately, there may be a helpful solution for those who have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD): intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting has been gaining popularity as a health and wellness trend, but can it help with GERD? Read on to learn more about the potential benefits of intermittent fasting and GERD.
What is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern that involves alternating between periods of consuming food and not consuming food. During the fasting period, no calorie-containing foods or beverages are allowed. Fasting periods typically last anywhere from 12 to 24 hours, but can be longer.
Can Intermittent Fasting Improve GERD Symptoms?
Our data suggests that intermittent fasting can improve symptoms of both regurgitation and heartburn. Randomized controlled trials with larger sample sizes and longer follow-up periods are needed to confirm these findings. However, there is evidence that intermittent fasting can both improve and cause acid reflux.
A recent U.S. study found that intermittent fasting can potentially reduce acid exposure time, which is the amount of time the esophagus is exposed to stomach acid. The study concluded that intermittent fasting may help with GERD symptom improvement and less acid reflux events.
Furthermore, fasting decreases blood sugar level. Elevated blood sugar levels are associated with increased GERD symptoms. Therefore, intermittent fasting may be beneficial for individuals with GERD, as it can reduce acid exposure time and improve blood sugar levels.
How to Avoid Acid Reflux When Fasting?
When it comes to GERD, it is important to make gradual nutrition and lifestyle changes in order to reduce the risk of developing acid reflux. Here are some tips to help you avoid acid reflux while fasting:
- Eat smaller meals more frequently
- Avoid spicy, acidic, and fatty foods
- Stay away from chocolate, caffeine, and alcohol
- Eat slowly and chew your food thoroughly
- Minimize stress levels
- Avoid lying down immediately after eating
I was challenging myself to stop eating earlier, to stop snacking throughout the day, to reduce “nasty foods” in my diet (who really decides if a food is nasty or not, anyway?). I was trying to find a way to control the GERD symptoms without having to take a daily medication. As a dietitian, I was particularly interested in the potential benefits of intermittent fasting for GERD.
After months of research, I found that intermittent fasting may indeed be beneficial for GERD. While more research is needed to confirm the findings, it appears that intermittent fasting can reduce acid exposure time and improve GERD symptoms. Additionally, intermittent fasting can help reduce blood sugar levels, which can help reduce GERD symptoms.
If you are considering trying intermittent fasting for GERD, be sure to speak with your doctor first. They can help you decide if intermittent fasting is right for you and provide guidance on how to do it safely.
In conclusion, intermittent fasting may be useful for individuals with GERD, as it can reduce acid exposure time and improve symptoms. Additionally, intermittent fasting may help reduce blood sugar levels, which can also improve GERD symptoms. If you are considering trying intermittent fasting for GERD, be sure to speak with your doctor first.
Does intermittent fasting have any positive benefits for those with GERD?
Intermittent fasting may be suggested for patients with GERD symptoms who do not respond well to gastric acid inhibitors, particularly those who are overweight or obese, according to Bonavina. Additionally, reducing inflammation, decreasing the amount of food consumed, and going to bed on an empty stomach may also be beneficial in treating GERD.
Does intermittent fasting contribute to acid reflux?
Fasting can lead to lower blood sugar levels, which can be beneficial for those with diabetes since it can reduce the amount of time that their stomach takes to empty, thereby decreasing the risk of experiencing acid reflux and reducing its duration.
What can I do to prevent acid reflux while fasting?
Drink plenty of water throughout the day and after Iftar.
Consume foods that help balance the pH of the stomach, such as yogurt, cucumbers, apples, bananas, and honey.
Include probiotic-rich foods in your diet, such as kimchi, sauerkraut, and kefir.
Take supplements that contain hydrochloric acid (HCl), such as betaine HCl or apple cider vinegar.
Does having an empty stomach make GERD worse?
If you haven’t eaten in a while, the acid in your stomach can start to accumulate, resulting in acid reflux and heartburn. You may also experience nausea and hunger pains.
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