Can I Eat Shrimp if I Have GERD?

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  • April 28, 2015

Millions of Americans are suffering from one or the other digestive disorders, and GERD is an important part of this scenario. Around 25-35 % of Americans are dealing with this hugely troublesome disorder, and out of these around 10 % have to endure the terrible symptoms on a daily basis, while 44 % report symptoms only once in a month. Whatever category that you may fall into, one thing is certain; this disorder can greatly affect the quality of life and it sure is tough to handle.

shrimpConstantly worrying about your diet and maintaining a food journal (as suggested by many doctors and well-wishers) to keep a record of each food item that suits or harms you is by no means a pleasant experience. Even if you learn to live with GERD over the years, there are certain occasions when you are caught off guard. Dining out, eating at a friend’s house, vacations, festivities etc are some of the situations that topple the finely maintained balance.

The saddest part of this entire scenario is that many food items belonging to the customary American diet are blacklisted by medical professionals. This is for the simple reason that such foods have a high chance of aggravating the heartburn, reflux and acidity in such patients with gastro esophageal reflux disorder. This is especially true for people who depend largely on animal sources for food, or for people who eat a mixed diet. Now if you look closely at the list of foods that create acidity in the body, you will find all categories of animal protein being listed here. Now that is real bad news for people who have been accustomed to eating one or two of these proteins during each meal of the day, all their entire lives.

While it is common knowledge that red meats are not a great choice when it comes to heart and general health, seafood that is considered to be safe and healthy (owing to their high content of Omega -3 fatty acids) are also included in the acidic foods list. Shrimp and crabs can be disastrous for people suffering from high cholesterol and also for those suffering from gastro esophageal reflux disorder.

But do not be disheartened reading this. You really cannot tag all acidic foods as culpable of aggravating the acidity or acid reflux symptoms. This is proved and verified by different patients who report different grades of distress after consuming the same food. Additionally, for most people it is the quantity, rather than the specific kind of food that proves to be dangerous. So shrimp can trigger varying degrees of suffering in different amounts. Another important factor that cannot be missed is the ingredients that are used in cooking food. As a result, shrimp cooked in tomato sauce may be much more irritating to the mucosal lining in the stomach than boiled shrimp added to pasta or vegetables in salad.

Finally everything settles downs to your personal list of safe and harmful foods. Even though shrimp is labeled as an acidic food, there is no need to cut it out from your life. If you are not so keen about eating shrimp, then that is a different story altogether. I would suggest keeping it away from your plate if that is the case. But if shrimp is one of your most desired foods, then find ways to accommodate it into your diet in safe ways. You will need to experiment with the quantity, the side dish or accompanying dishes with which you usually consume shrimp and also the ingredients used in cooking shrimp.

Shrimp is considered to be an exotic food by many people and often is on the menu during parties and festivities. Stay safe on such occasions and try to go with other harmless or comparatively stomach-friendly foods on the menu, because restaurant or party food is usually cooked with loads of rich sauces, spices and lots of oil. Even if shrimp is on your safe list, it might trigger an attack of acidity or heartburn when cooked in such manner. Well, that rule applies to all food items on the menu. If you find that there is too much oil, sauce or spice in any of the dishes, it would be worthwhile to steer clear of them.