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Seafood and Acid Reflux in Singapore: What You Need to Know

Seafood and Acid Reflux in Singapore: What You Need to Know

If you love seafood, you might have experienced acid reflux after indulging in your favourite dishes. Acid reflux, also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), is a common digestive disorder that affects many Singaporeans. It occurs when the stomach acid flows back up into the oesophagus, causing symptoms such as heartburn, chest pain, and regurgitation.

Seafood is a common trigger for acid reflux, especially if it is deep-fried, spicy, or acidic. However, not all seafood is created equal, and some types of seafood may be less likely to cause acid reflux. In this article, we will explore the impact of seafood on acid reflux and GERD, as well as the treatment options available in Singapore. We will also answer some frequently asked questions about seafood and acid reflux to help you make informed choices about your diet.

Key Takeaways

  • Acid reflux is a common digestive disorder that can be triggered by seafood, especially if it is deep-fried, spicy, or acidic.
  • Some types of seafood may be less likely to cause acid reflux, such as salmon, tuna, and cod.
  • Treatment options for acid reflux in Singapore include lifestyle changes, medication, and surgery, depending on the severity of the condition.

Understanding Acid Reflux and GERD

If you've ever experienced a burning sensation in your chest or throat after eating, you may be familiar with acid reflux. Acid reflux occurs when stomach acid flows back up into the oesophagus (food pipe) and irritates the lining. This can cause symptoms such as heartburn, regurgitation, and difficulty swallowing.

Symptoms of Acid Reflux

The most common symptom of acid reflux is heartburn, which is a burning sensation in the chest that often occurs after eating. Other symptoms may include regurgitation of food or sour liquid, difficulty swallowing, a feeling of a lump in the throat, and a persistent cough.

What Causes GERD?

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a chronic form of acid reflux that occurs when the lower oesophageal sphincter (LES) – the muscle that separates the oesophagus from the stomach – doesn't close properly. This allows stomach acid to flow back up into the oesophagus, causing irritation and inflammation.

There are several factors that can contribute to GERD, including lifestyle and diet. Obesity, smoking, alcohol consumption, and drinking coffee can all increase the risk of developing GERD. Pregnancy can also increase the risk due to the pressure that the growing fetus puts on the stomach.

In addition to lifestyle factors, certain foods can trigger GERD symptoms. These include fatty or fried foods, spicy foods, citrus fruits, and tomatoes. Eating large meals or lying down after eating can also contribute to GERD.

Understanding the causes and symptoms of acid reflux and GERD is the first step in managing the condition. Making lifestyle changes such as losing weight, quitting smoking, and avoiding trigger foods can help reduce symptoms. If symptoms persist, medication or surgery may be necessary.

Impact of Seafood on Acid Reflux

If you suffer from acid reflux, you may be wondering if seafood is safe to eat. While seafood can be a healthy addition to your diet, some types of seafood can trigger acid reflux symptoms.

Safe Seafood Choices

When it comes to seafood, there are some safe choices that are less likely to cause acid reflux. These include:

  • White fish: White fish such as cod, haddock, and tilapia are low in fat and easy to digest, making them a good choice for those with acid reflux.

  • Shellfish: Shellfish such as shrimp, crab, and lobster are also low in fat and can be a good source of protein.

  • Salmon: While fatty fish can trigger acid reflux, salmon is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which can help reduce inflammation in the body.

Seafood to Avoid

Some types of seafood can be more acidic or fatty, which can trigger acid reflux symptoms. These include:

  • Fried seafood: Fried seafood can be high in fat and calories, which can trigger acid reflux symptoms.

  • Spicy seafood: Spicy seafood dishes can also be a trigger for acid reflux, so it's best to avoid them if you have acid reflux.

  • Fatty fish: Fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel can be high in fat, which can trigger acid reflux symptoms.

In general, it's best to choose seafood that is grilled, baked, or broiled instead of fried, and to avoid spicy seafood dishes. If you're not sure which seafood is safe for you to eat, it's best to talk to your doctor or a registered dietitian.

Treatment Options in Singapore

If you are suffering from seafood acid reflux in Singapore, there are several treatment options available to you. These options include medications, lifestyle modifications, and surgical procedures. In this section, we will explore each of these options in detail.

Medications and Over-the-Counter Solutions

One of the most common treatments for acid reflux in Singapore is medication. Your doctor or gastroenterologist may prescribe proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) or H2 blockers to reduce the amount of acid in your stomach. These medications work by blocking the production of acid, which can help to relieve your symptoms.

In addition to prescription medications, there are also several over-the-counter solutions available in Singapore. Antacids, for example, can help to neutralize the acid in your stomach, providing relief from symptoms like heartburn and indigestion.

Lifestyle Modifications

In addition to medication, making certain lifestyle modifications can also help to alleviate the symptoms of acid reflux. For example, you may want to avoid eating large meals or lying down immediately after eating. You can also try to elevate your head when sleeping to prevent stomach acid from flowing back into your throat.

Other lifestyle modifications that may be helpful include avoiding trigger foods like spicy or fatty foods, quitting smoking, and losing weight if you are overweight or obese.

Surgical Procedures

If your acid reflux symptoms are severe and do not respond to medication or lifestyle modifications, your doctor may recommend a surgical procedure like fundoplication. During this procedure, the upper part of the stomach is wrapped around the lower esophageal sphincter to prevent stomach acid from flowing back into the esophagus.

While surgical procedures are generally considered safe and effective, they are typically only recommended as a last resort when other treatments have failed.

In conclusion, if you are suffering from seafood acid reflux in Singapore, there are several treatment options available to you. Your doctor or gastroenterologist can help you determine which option is best for you based on the severity of your symptoms and your overall health.

When to Seek Medical Advice

Seafood is a delicious and healthy option for a meal, but it can cause acid reflux in some people. If you experience symptoms such as heartburn, chest pain, or vomiting after eating seafood, it is essential to seek medical advice.

Recognising Complications

If left untreated, acid reflux can lead to chronic complications such as Barrett’s oesophagus or even oesophageal cancer. Therefore, it is crucial to recognise the symptoms and seek medical advice promptly.

Diagnostic Tests

To diagnose acid reflux, your doctor may recommend diagnostic tests such as endoscopy, manometry, gastroscopy, biopsy, or x-ray. These tests help your doctor to determine the severity of your condition and develop a treatment plan that is tailored to your needs.

In Singapore, there are many qualified doctors who can help you manage your acid reflux symptoms. Don't hesitate to seek medical advice if you experience any discomfort after eating seafood.

Remember, early diagnosis and treatment can prevent complications and help you enjoy your favourite foods without discomfort.

Frequently Asked Questions

What types of seafood are recommended for individuals with acid reflux?

Seafood is an excellent source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, which can help reduce inflammation and improve overall health. However, not all seafood is suitable for those with acid reflux. Fatty fish, such as salmon and tuna, are recommended as they are low in fat and high in protein. Shellfish, such as shrimp and lobster, are also good choices as they are low in fat and calories.

Are there any particular cereals known to be beneficial for acid reflux sufferers?

Whole-grain cereals such as oatmeal, bran, and brown rice are good options for acid reflux sufferers. They are high in fibre and can help prevent constipation and promote regular bowel movements. Additionally, they can help absorb excess acid in the stomach, reducing the risk of acid reflux.

Which foods can help alleviate stomach acidity swiftly?

Foods that can help alleviate stomach acidity swiftly include bananas, ginger, and green leafy vegetables. Bananas are rich in potassium and can help neutralize stomach acid. Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce inflammation in the digestive tract. Green leafy vegetables, such as kale and spinach, are high in alkaline and can help neutralize stomach acid.

Can you suggest a variety of foods that are suitable for managing acid reflux symptoms?

Foods that are suitable for managing acid reflux symptoms include lean proteins such as chicken and fish, whole grains, green leafy vegetables, and low-acid fruits such as bananas and melons. Additionally, low-fat dairy products such as yogurt and milk can help reduce stomach acidity.

Is it safe to include basmati or white rice in a diet for those experiencing acid reflux?

Yes, it is safe to include basmati or white rice in a diet for those experiencing acid reflux. Rice is a low-fat, high-carbohydrate food that is easy to digest and can help absorb excess stomach acid. However, it is best to avoid rice dishes that are high in fat or spice.

What should one eat during a gastric attack to minimise discomfort?

During a gastric attack, it is best to stick to bland, low-fat foods that are easy to digest. Examples of such foods include bananas, oatmeal, boiled potatoes, and lean proteins such as chicken or fish. It is also important to avoid spicy, fatty, and acidic foods, as these can aggravate the symptoms of acid reflux.