(NaturalNews) Acid reflux or heartburn is a fairly common digestive problems that is annoying and uncomfortable, but not serious unless it becomes chronic. Then it's called GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux disease), which gets to the point of seriously irritating the esophagus.
Symptoms include chest pains, upper chest or lower throat burning sensations, spontaneous regurgitation, and nausea. These symptoms are the result of stomach acids coming through a not fully closed lower esophagus sphincter and flooding the esophagus.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or spastic colon obviously effects the lower end of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. It usually shows up with lower abdominal cramps, constipation, diarrhea, or a weird combination of both with irregular, sporadic bowel movements and stool consistencies.
Foods that are common triggers for IBS and acid reflux
Both gastrointestinal ailments can be triggered by certain foods or food groups, of which six are common to both and should be avoided if you're prone to acid reflux or IBS:
(1) Fried foods, especially those fried with hydrogenated oils containing trans-fatty acids. These are your common fast food and restaurant varieties.
(2) Meat and dairy, especially fatty meats from factory farms, processed meats, and big dairy pasteurized milk. Some do well with raw milk and cheese and some meat from grass fed free range livestock without antibiotics and growth hormones.
(3) Processed baked goods, including most packaged breads, pastries, cakes, and cookies. They contain refined sugar and bad fats as well as refined, bleached white flour. Sometimes they may contain MSG or HFCS (high fructose corn syrup).
If you are acid reflux prone or suffer from IBS, you may get around this by purchasing baked goods directly from a bakery you trust or make your own with excellent whole ingredients.
Sourdough and/or sprouted wheat, wheat substitutes, such as buckwheat, spelt, or other grains used in baked goods without harmful additives may also be tolerable. Read your labels and ask the right questions.
(4) Coffee and alcohol, both can create acidic responses from the lower esophagus sphincter and the ileocecal valve (ICV), which is the sphincter between the large and small intestines that opens only briefly and shuts most of the time to keep the small and large intestinal fluids from mixing.
ICV syndrome, the ileocecal valve remaining open too long, may be the most overlooked basis of many IBS issues and other more serious digestive diseases. All the other recommendations regarding foods and eating habits are relevant for ICV syndromes.
Apparently, most chiropractors and some and naturopathic doctors (NDs) understand ICV syndromes more than most MDs.
(5) MSG and artificial sweeteners: Sorbital may not be as neurologically dangerous as aspartame and other artificial sweeteners. But it does stimulate IBS symptoms.
It's recommended that you eat mostly soluble fiber foods. Here's that list: http://www.helpforibs.com/diet/fiber1.asp. IBS expert and author Heather Van Vorous explains that non-soluble fibers form a gel that is gentle and consistent to help avoid spastic colon.
Heather adds that you can judiciously mix soluble and insoluble fibers if you start with a base of soluble fiber foods. Follow soluble fiber meals with non-soluble salads instead of starting meals with salads.
Avoid overeating. Stop at 75 percent percent of your capacity. Chewing more and eating consciously and more slowly helps determine when to stop.
Never go to sleep or lie down after a meal. If you must rest, lie on your left side. But it's better to take a walk, which assists your digestion. Try eating three or four small meals instead of one or two big meals.