Acid Reflux occurs when your stomach begins to excrete its content and acid upward into the esophagus. It comes with a burning sensation in the chest. Causes of frequent reflux include;
- Weak Lower Esophageal Sphincter (LES)
- Hiatal Hernia
- Alcohol or smoking
Acid Reflux, also known as GERD, causes major discomfort and difficulty eating meals and may worsen after sleeve surgery.
Bariatric Surgery and GERD
Obesity is a major cause of Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) and its associated problems. Weight loss, in general, through lifestyle modification & exercise, pharmacotherapy, or surgical treatment has been shown to relieve GERD symptoms significantly. Studies show that Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy (LSG) has been linked to an increased occurrence of GERD.
The restriction in the stomach contributes to a reduction in the emptying of the stomach and an increase in intragastric pressure. However, the reflux does not always worsen with gastric sleeve. For some people, the extra fat in the abdomen creates the pressure that is causing the reflux, or they have an undiagnosed or untreated hiatal hernia. In those people, reflux symptoms can improve with weight loss with sleeve gastrectomy and/or a Hiatal hernia repair.
In Laparoscopic Roux-n-Y Gastric Bypass (LRYGB), the pyloric valve stays in the separated stomach and has no role in regulating food. That is why LRYGB is the most practical bariatric procedure to cure GERD with an equal effect to that of Nissen fundoplication.
Meal Planning Tips to Help Reduce and Treat Acid Reflux
The following meal plan was devised by our nutritionist to help reduce and treat acid reflux symptoms after undergoing weight loss surgery.
- Eat Smaller, more frequent meals. Overeating can trigger acid reflux.
- Stop eating 3 hours before bed; eating right before bed can affect your sleep.
- Start taking a probiotic that has at least 50 billion units. Follow the directions on the bottle.
- Optional: Take 1 TBSP diluted in water or apple cider vinegar in the morning before you go to bed.
- Do not overeat
- Chew food thoroughly before swallowing and eat slowly
Foods That Can Improve Acid Reflux
- Yogurt (low sugar) Whole plain Greek yogurt
- Fermented foods/vegetables (examples: yogurt, cottage cheese, pickled cumbers, pickled garlic, pickled beets, pickled radishes, soy sauce)
- Leafy greens like spinach, collards, etc…
- Salmon & Tuna
- Fair Life Milk (w/ digestive enzyme in it)- can buy where you get regular milk
- Herbal teas- chamomile tea
- Use coconut oil on vegetables and foods
- Lean meats like chicken, turkey, fish, seafood
Sample Meal Plan for Acid Reflux/GERD
- Herbal tea
- 1 ounce of oatmeal or cream of wheat with sliced ¼ banana made with Fair Life milk
- Almonds – no more than 22
- 6 oz. cottage cheese w/ strawberries or
- Tuna, salmon, eggs salad
- Can eat with crackers (no more than 6 or 1 tortilla or tostada)
- One-piece sprouted grain bread (Ezekiel bread) or tortilla with a pat of butter or avocado on it, or make cheese toast.
- Salad lettuce, broccoli, bell peppers, tomatoes, and cucumbers (add nuts or seeds) or
- Best vegetables: squash, broccoli, Cauliflower-mash up the vegetables with sea salt and olive or coconut oil
- Dressing: apple cider vinegar mixed with olive oil for the dressing
- Add a protein like chicken, fish, or turkey (grill or bake)
- Yogurt – high protein, low sugar like Dannon Triple Zero
- A glass of water with freshly squeezed lemon
Foods to Avoid with Acid Reflux
- Sugar substitutes
- Greasy/fried and fast food
- Fatty meats, bacon, and sausage
- Spicy foods, chili powder, and pepper
- Tomatoes and tomato products
- Orange Juice, citrus fruit, and beverages
- Soda or carbonated beverages
- Corn, potato chips, and many grains like rice
- Alcoholic drinks