Rice, Chilis, GERD and IBS
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is characterized by chronic symptoms of abdominal pain, bloating, and constipation or diarrhea (or both). As many as 15% of people in the United States suffer from this disorder, which is treated both with medications and also with dietary adjustments. Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is defined as chronic symptoms of acid reflux from the stomach into the esophagus: heartburn is the most common symptom. It is also treated with medications and dietary adjustments.
It's easy to get answers about health and nutrition! Just send your question by email to firstname.lastname@example.org and Dr. Harlan will respond to selected questions of general interest. Answers will be posted in the Ask Dr. Gourmet newsletter (sign up now!) and archived in the Ask Dr. Gourmet section of the website.
I recently read your information about incorporating nuts into your diet. Are nuts okay to eat if my doctor says I may have GERD/Barretts? If so, are almonds the best selection? In an effort to cope with my daily heartburn, I have changed my diet and lost 20+ pounds. I was slender already and did not want to lose weight. In fact, as a 5' 10" and 125 lb. male I would actually like to gain weight. I know nuts may provide "healthy" fats, but are there other things I can do to add healthy weight? Your thoughts are appreciated.
Nuts should be fine for you to eat. They do contain a lot of fat, but used in small amounts should not provoke your GERD. Any nuts are fine, but with acid reflux it's a good idea to snack on them in small amounts. You might try no more than 1/2 cup at a time.
Because they are high in calories, nuts and seeds may help you gain weight, but we know that the monounsaturated fats are really good for you. Take your pick of any favorite nut.
Thanks for writing,
Timothy S. Harlan, MD, FACP