Does your GERD Diet Need to Be Gluten-Free?

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If you are suffering from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and frequent heartburn, the results of a recent Italian study, offering a new twist on dietary restrictions for patients with painful reflux, may be of help. A small study conducted by Italian researchers has uncovered a link between a gluten-free diet and a decrease in GERD symptoms. The study included 29 patients known to be gluten intolerant and on gluten-free diets who suffered from acid reflux and a control group of 30 patients with GERD but no apparent gluten allergies.

Treatment with medication decreasing acid production showed superior results in the group of people on a gluten-free diet. They also had fewer reflux symptoms than the control group that was not on a gluten-free diet.

Some medical professionals see a link between the symptoms of patients with celiac disease, a severe allergy to gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye, and the similarity of the symptoms suffered by those with GERD. This possible association between gluten and GERD lead to the Italian study.

Although the recent research suggests a relationship, other health professionals see no link between gluten intolerance and GERD. Most medical professionals do not recommend the avoidance of gluten-containing foods to patients with GERD. Known culprits aggravating reflux include spicy, fatty, and acidic foods. These, along with caffeine, chocolate, mint, and alcohol are commonly avoided by patients with GERD.

If you suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease and heartburn, trying a gluten-free diet for six weeks can help determine if gluten is aggravating your condition. Gluten-free breads, pastas, and many other products are readily available in Albany, Georgia and across the nation as awareness is increasing about gluten intolerance and its effects.

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