5 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Managing GERD Symptoms

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Sufferers of acid reflux and GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) are quite familiar with that burning feeling in their stomachs. People who have been diagnosed likely know what foods to avoid, such as citrus, coffee, chocolate, tea, mint, onions, garlic, and other spicy foods. 

That being said, there are ways to aggravate heartburn, acid reflux, and GERD even outside of what you eat. GERD is a complex condition affected by a number of factors. Here are some of the mistakes you might have made as a person with GERD:

1. Ignoring the “how” and “when” of your eating habits

What you eat is definitely included in the things that can aggravate your GERD, but it is not the only factor. For example, even if you eat all the right foods, eating too much can aggravate your sensitive condition, triggering indigestion and reflux. 

Not eating at regular intervals can also lead to binge eating at the end of the day. 

The way to fix this is to eat evenly-spaced, smaller meals more frequently throughout the day. A good rule of thumb is to eat every three to four hours. Two to three ounces of protein accompanied by one slice of whole-grain toast and a half-cup serving of vegetables should be sufficient for these small meals.

2. Not drinking enough water

Sufferers of the condition often require diets that consist of over 35g of fiber per day. While this can help the digestive system’s various functions, it can cause constipation if not accompanied by the appropriate amount of water. 

Constipation, despite being the butt of many jokes, is a serious matter that can aggravate your condition because of the increased gastric pressure and decreased intestinal motility. 

Make sure to drink your fill of eight to ten glasses of water per day. It is also important to note that the body sometimes mistakes thirst for hunger. In the event that you get a random craving in your stomach for something to eat, it might just be your body telling you to hydrate.

3. Eating too much fat

Fat, whether from meat or other sources like avocado, can put you at risk for GERD. Fat takes longer to digest, and as such, stays in the stomach longer. Even if consuming healthy fat, it is important to consume it only in the right amounts. 

4. Not getting enough fiber

Vegetables and fruits are good for sufferers of GERD, but the inexperienced may end up reducing their intake of the right nutrients by eating the wrong fruits and vegetables in the wrong amounts. 

Make sure to include leafy greens and non-starchy vegetables in your daily intake. High-fiber whole grains such as quinoa, oats, and brown rice also help. One to two servings of legumes and beans per week is also recommended.

5. Overconsuming the medicines

Antacids such as TUMs can neutralize stomach acids, but consuming them too frequently can cause constipation. The increased intake of calcium in antacids can also be counterproductive, as it stimulates the secretion of acid. An over-reliance on antacids can even cause kidney stones in severe cases.

Make sure to limit your use of the medicine, especially as your body has a tendency to develop resistance.


GERD is a gruesome, terrible opponent that must be faced on a number of fronts. You can avoid aggravating your condition by following the advice in this article, in addition to listening to your doctor and executing your diet properly. 

If you want to learn more about GERD and all the ways you can better handle it, we at Reflux Away have the resources you need to improve your health and happiness overall. Check out our other posts for more useful information.

If you’re looking for GERD treatment, visit our Heartburn No More website today to see how we can help!