Nonacidic Fruit And Vegetable Juice
Acidic juices, including pineapple, tomato, and orange juice, can irritate the esophagus, making heartburn worse.
Low-acid fruit and vegetable juices are less likely to cause heartburn. Some people even report symptom relief after drinking low-acid juices.
Examples of low-acid juices include:
- Aloe vera juice
You can blend low-acid fruit with nonfat or plant-based milk and leafy greens into a heartburn-friendly smoothie packed with vitamins and minerals.
What Causes Acid Reflux
There are many reasons as to why the valve at the top of your stomach, the lower oesophageal sphincter, might not work as it should to keep stomach acid in the stomach. Pregnancy, being overweight, and even stress can be factors, but a very common cause is diet-related. The foods that trigger acid reflux may be different between people but, if you suffer from acid reflux and heartburn, there are some common culprits which you may want to avoid.
Nonfat Milk And Yogurt
While the fat content in whole milk can aggravate heartburn, drinking nonfat milk may be helpful. Nonfat milk is thought to provide quick heartburn relief because it can act as a temporary buffer between the stomach lining and stomach acid.
Low-fat yogurt is also a good option to ease heartburn because it has the same soothing qualities as milk. Yogurt also contains probiotics, which can help digestion.
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Certain Foods Are Different For Everyone
Garlic or onions might make some people with heartburn feel worse. Everything is absolutely unique. Keep a meal journal to help you identify the items that give you heartburn and work on compiling a list of safe foods to help you avoid it. Foods on the heartburn food list that are safe to eat include grilled chicken, roasted sweet potatoes, toast, and cottage cheese.
Foods And Drinks To Avoid With Heartburn
Heartburn is a digestive system problem that causes a burning sensation in your chest. It is also known as acid indigestion or pyrosis.
The burning sensation caused by heartburn is often felt behind your breastbone and may be accompanied by other symptoms such as:
- A sour taste in the back of your throat
- A lump in your throat or feeling that you have food stuck in your throat
Heartburn is commonly caused by acid reflux. Acid reflux occurs when the ring of muscle at the top of your stomach, called your lower esophageal sphincter , relaxes too much, relaxes at the wrong time, becomes weak or doesnt close fully.
When this happens the contents of your stomach, including gastric acid, digestive enzymes, bile salts and undigested food, can travel back up into the tube that carries food and drink from your throat to your stomach called your esophagus.
Your esophagus doesnt have the same protection from acid as your stomach, so when your stomach contents push up into your esophagus it gets irritated and you get the burning sensation you feel with heartburn. Other times heartburn is caused by things that you consume that irritate your esophagus on the way down.
Pregnancy and certain medications can bring on heartburn, but its also often brought on by consuming certain foods and drinks. Lifestyle changes are often the first step in preventing heartburn.
To help you get started weve put together a list of 8 common diet culprits that may be causing your heartburn.
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Holistic Dietary Strategies For Gerd
A comprehensive GERD treatment plan needs to consider additional factors beyond basic dietary changes.
For many people with digestive issues, restoring balance to the bacterial flora in the intestines may be beneficial. Eating fermented and prebiotic foods might also help achieve this.
People call the bacteria in fermented foods probiotics. They digestive issues by supporting a healthy balance of microorganisms in the gut. Prebiotics are foods rich in fibers that grow beneficial bacteria selectively.
Foods that naturally contain probiotics include:
Steer Clear Of Spicy Foods
Foods with a fiery, spicy flavor may add some kick to your diet, but you’ll feel that kick burning in your chest again when heartburn happens. Spicy dishes containing a variety of chile peppers and related ingredients like cayenne pepper are well-known heartburn triggers, though some people can tolerate them. Consider dialing down the level of spices in your home-cooked meals and, when eating out, always ask about any spices included in dishes youre ordering.
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Foods That Help Reduce Acid Reflux
Certain foods can trigger or worsen acid reflux, but others can improve symptoms by reducing acid backup into the esophagus. People with GERD should adopt an acid reflux diet that is rich in:
- Lean meats and seafood
- Root vegetables, like carrots and beets
- Green vegetables, including broccoli, cucumbers or green beans
- High-fiber foods, such as oatmeal and brown rice
- Alkaline foods which have a higher pH and are the opposite of acidic foods including melons, cauliflower and bananas
Treatment For Heartburn And Acid Reflux From A Gp
If you have acid reflux, a GP may prescribe a medicine called a proton pump inhibitor that reduces how much acid your stomach makes.
You’ll usually need to take this type of medicine for 4 or 8 weeks, depending on how serious your acid reflux is.
Go back to the GP if your symptoms return after stopping your medicine. You may need a long-term prescription.
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What Aggravates Acid Reflux
Acid reflux occurs when the sphincter at the base of the esophagus isnt working well, allowing fluid from the stomach to enter the esophagus. The worst foods for reflux can worsen painful symptoms, while other foods can soothe them, says UH gastrointestinal surgeon Leena Khaitan, MD
Diet changes can significantly affect acid reflux and allow you to avoid other treatments, Dr. Khaitan says.
Avoid Foods And Drinks That Cause Heartburn
There are several foods that are known to cause heartburn. The main culprits are chocolate, peppermint, fatty foods, spicy foods, garlic, and onions. Also, acidic foods and drinks like tomatoes, citrus fruit, and citrus juices can lead to heartburn. Coffee and sodas can relax the LES and allow more acid to leak into the esophagus. Alcohol can cause heartburn, too. Avoiding these foods and drinks is helpful in preventing heartburn.
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A Pharmacist Can Help With Heartburn And Acid Reflux
Speak to a pharmacist for advice if you keep getting heartburn.
They may recommend medicines called antacids that can help ease your symptoms.
It’s best to take these with food or soon after eating, as this is when you’re most likely to get heartburn. They may also work for longer if taken with food.
Although antacids help symptoms in the short term, they will not cure the problem and should not be taken regularly for long periods.
If youre pregnant, a pharmacist can advise you about medicines you can take.
How And When You Eat
The LES tends to relax when you lie down, and a full stomach can cause stomach contents to press harder against the LES.
Reasons for why you get heartburn at night include the fact that your digestive system slows down when you sleep. The food in your stomach stays there longer at the same time that you’re lying down in a prime position for food to be refluxed.
With this in mind:
- Try eating six smaller meals each day instead of three larger ones. Or you can try having your larger meal earlier in the day and a light meal for supper.
- Avoid late-night snacking.
- Eat while sitting upright and remain upright for 45 minutes to an hour after eating.
- Don’t lie down or go to bed for two to three hours after eating.
Drinking water may help with heartburn because it aids with digestion. However, drinking too much water at one time increases the volume of stomach contents and can worsen heartburn symptoms.
It is better to drink smaller amounts throughout the day rather than large amounts less often. Another trick is to drink a glass of lukewarm water or decaffeinated tea after a meal to dilute and flush out stomach acid.
Chewing gum after a meal can also help prevent heartburn. It stimulates saliva, which acts to buffer stomach acid while bathing the throat to protect it.
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Should I Ignore Heartburn
Heartburn may seem like a mild nuisance rather than something to be worried about but, if you’re over 50 years and have been experiencing acid reflux for some time or feel the need to keep using over-the-counter antacid tablets, it’s worth getting it checked out.
Cumming warns: “Heartburn can be a sign of an underlying health complaint such as a gastric ulcer or oesophageal cancer and shouldn’t be ignored, especially in older people. Suffering in silence when you have long-term heartburn symptoms could lead to potentially serious conditions being diagnosed later, when they are more advanced with complications, and are harder to treat.”
Indianapolis Doctor Explains How To Avoid Heartburn
Perhaps it is not a coincidence that Heartburn Awareness Week is the same week as Thanksgiving. Many Americans overeat at Thanksgiving dinner and then end up with heartburn or acid reflux.
Dr. Amanda Swingley with Ascension St. Vincent in Indianapolis says some people live with chronic heartburn all year along, but it often takes a holiday like Thanksgiving for them to finally call their doctor about it.
Some people, they wait too long to come in before being seen and theyve got significant inflammation and strictures and some people, it can be very hard to control their reflux and it can be very hard to see them suffer with it because it can be significant. We see quite a bit of increased patients coming in with complaints of heartburn and the traditional symptoms of reflux, such as heartburn. There are lots of symptoms that people might not think are related to reflux like chronic cough, or hoarseness and things like that. So we do see an increased number of that at this time of year with the holidays, said Swingley.
GERD, or gastroesophageal reflux disease, happens when the contents of your stomach moves up into your esophagus. Its also known as heartburn or acid reflux. Its one of the most common diseases gastroenterologists encounter. About 1 in 5 people experience it.
Untreated heartburn that doesnt get better with medicine may lead to cancer, difficulty swallowing, and sores in the esophagus.
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Foods That Could Trigger Heartburn And Indigestion
Each person is unique, and what triggers stomach problems for you may not be what triggers them in someone else. Keeping a food diary is useful for determining what foods trigger your indigestion. Once your food triggers are identified, it is best to eliminate them from your diet completely to avoid experiencing further stomach problems and heartburn episodes. That being said, there are several foods that are known to trigger indigestion in many people, including:
- Caffeinated beverages
- Carbonated beverages
- Tomatoes and tomato juice
Limit Your Intake Of Carbonated Beverages
Healthcare professionals sometimes advise people with GERD to limit their intake of carbonated beverages.
This is because studies have observed that regular consumption of carbonated or fizzy beverages, including soft drinks, club soda, and seltzer, could be linked to a higher risk of reflux .
One study found that carbonated soft drinks, in particular, worsened certain acid reflux symptoms, including heartburn, fullness, and burping .
The main reason is that the carbon dioxide gas in carbonated beverages causes people to burp more often an effect that can increase the amount of acid escaping into the esophagus .
Drinking carbonated beverages temporarily increases the frequency of burping, which may promote acid reflux. If they worsen your symptoms, try drinking less or avoiding them altogether.
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How A Doctor Can Help
If you have heartburn two or more times a week and changes to your diet or eating pattern haven’t helped, consult a doctor. A gastroenterologist can perform tests to measure the acidity in your stomach and see if frequent acid reflux has damaged your esophagus.
GERD is often treatable through a combination of lifestyle changes and medication. But persistent symptoms of reflux need thorough evaluation by a gastroenterologist who can find the underlying cause and discuss available treatment options.
A Few Lifestyle Changes Are Worth Trying Before Resorting To Drugs For Controlling Gastroesophageal Reflux
If you are sounding a little hoarse and have a sore throat, you may be bracing for a cold or a bout of the flu. But if you’ve had these symptoms for a while, they might be caused not by a virus but by a valveyour lower esophageal sphincter. That’s the muscle that controls the passage between the esophagus and stomach, and when it doesn’t close completely, stomach acid and food flow back into the esophagus. The medical term for this process is gastroesophageal reflux the backward flow of acid is called acid reflux.
Acid reflux can cause sore throats and hoarseness and may literally leave a bad taste in your mouth. When acid reflux produces chronic symptoms, it is known as gastroesophageal reflux disorder, or GERD. The most common symptom of GERD is heartburnpain in the upper abdomen and chest.
Three conditionspoor clearance of food or acid from the esophagus, too much acid in the stomach, and delayed stomach emptyingcontribute to acid reflux, says Dr. Jacqueline Wolf, a gastroenterologist and associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and author of A Woman’s Guide to a Healthy Stomach: Taking Control of Your Digestive Health.
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Got Heartburn What To Eat For Acid Reflux
About 25% of people experience heartburn symptoms regularly – a number which is skewed low because it only accounts for those who report issues to their doctor. In 2020, Americans spent almost $5 billion to alleviate their symptoms.When chronic, its known as gastroesophageal reflux disease , an acid reflux condition.The most common symptoms of GERD are heartburn and regurgitation, when the contents of your stomach come up into your esophagus, says Jeffrey Kwan, MD, a gastroenterologist with PACT Gastroenterology Center and Hartford HealthCares Digestive Health program.> Schedule a swallowing and reflux consultation.
How Can I Prevent My Symptoms Of Gerd
As you can see, there are many types of foods to avoid if you have GERD or acid reflux disease. However, you may or may not experience symptoms after eating one of these foods as each case is different. This list of foods is meant to give you general guidelines of foods to avoid.
With that being said, the most reliable way to know which foods you should avoid is to keep a food journal. Pay attention to what you eat, then record whether or not you experience symptoms after.
You should also pay attention to which situations lead to your symptoms. For instance, do you experience symptoms in the morning before youve eaten, or after a large lunch? Or, perhaps you notice symptoms at night after eating a late dinner or dessert.
If you have more questions about preventing GERD or acid reflux symptoms, talk with your doctor. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, your doctor may give you a prescription to help soothe your heartburn.
Prescriptions usually include histamine-2 blockers , proton pump inhibitors , and promotility agents. These are usually short-term prescriptions for acid reflux treatment while you make dietary adjustments.
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Foods Safe For Heartburn
When eating out or cooking at home, consider having these foods that are less likely to trigger heartburn:
- Lean cuts of meat
- Sandwiches with turkey, chicken, or roast beef on whole-grain bread
- Grilled or roasted foods
- Baked potatoes topped with low-fat salad dressing
- Salads with lean protein and low-fat or no-fat salad dressings
High Fat And Fried Foods
High fat foods, especially fried and greasy foods, may contribute to heartburn by reducing the tone or tension in your LES, which makes it easier for the contents of your stomach to rise back up into your esophagus.High fat foods can also slow how quickly your stomach empties , which can lead to an increase in pressure on your LES and heartburn.Examples of high-fat, fried or greasy foods include:
- Spirits, for example, vodka, gin, or rum
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Foods That May Cause Heartburn
Foods commonly known to be heartburn triggers cause the esophageal sphincter to relax and delay the digestive process, letting food sit in the stomach longer, says Gupta. The worst culprits? Foods that are high in fat, salt or spice such as:
- Carbonated beverages
“Moderation is key since many people may not be able to or want to completely eliminate these foods,” says Gupta. “But try to avoid eating problem foods late in the evening closer to bedtime, so they’re not sitting in your stomach and then coming up your esophagus when you lay down at night. It’s also a good idea to eat small frequent meals instead of bigger, heavier meals and avoid late-night dinners and bedtime snacks.”
Reduce Or Avoid Alcohol Use
Alcohol can also weaken your lower esophageal sphincter as it can contain carbonation and acidity. It also can lead to erosion in your esophagus and worsen reflux causing heartburn.
While this condition isnt typically dangerous, you should consult a doctor if it occurs frequently or consistently interferes with your life. This is because long-term heartburn, known as gastroesophageal reflux disease , erodes the esophagus and can lead to issues such as a long-term cough, laryngitis, ulcers and inflammation in the esophagus. Excessive alcohol use can also cause high blood pressure, diabetes or lead to stroke.
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