Sodas And Carbonated Beverages
Many people find they get heartburn after drinking sodas and carbonated beverages.
Research suggests that these drinks may relax the esophageal sphincter and increase the acidity of stomach acid two risk factors for heartburn .
In fact, soft drink consumption is considered a major contributor to heartburn that occurs at night, which is known as nocturnal heartburn .
Some studies have found a link between drinking soft drinks and worsened symptoms in people with GERD.
For example, an older study found that people who consumed carbonated beverages had a 69% higher risk of developing reflux symptoms like heartburn .
If you experience heartburn after drinking soda or other carbonated beverages, its best to limit your intake or cut out carbonated drinks completely.
Sodas and other carbonated beverages may cause heartburn by relaxing the lower esophageal sphincter. If sodas or other carbonated beverages give you heartburn, consider cutting back or avoiding them completely.
How To Figure Out Your Gerd Triggers
There are other foods and drinks that might cause issues with GERD, including mint and carbonated beverages. Some people may have their own specific GERD trigger foods that are less common, so be mindful that something not listed here may be causing your discomfort, Dr. Poppers says.
To determine what bothers you the most, it’s a good idea to keep a diary in which you record what you eat and when you have GERD symptoms.
“It’s always better to try to identify and mitigate or minimize triggers rather than to jump to therapies, medications and otherwise,” Dr. Popper says. He advises patients to work with a registered dietitian to develop the best diet for GERD and beyond.
There are many foods you can eat with the condition, so don’t despair that so many of life’s pleasurable foods and drinks might be on your don’t-eat-for-now GERD list, Dr. Popper says. By modifying your lifestyle and getting effective treatment, you might be able to one day return to your trigger foods, possibly in moderation.
Romano agrees: “I always like to suggest to my patients experiencing GERD, rather than thinking about everything you have to take away from your diet, think about what you can add to your diet and lifestyle to make your condition better. In many cases, adopting healthier dietary patterns including high-fiber fruits, veggies, legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains and lifestyle patterns can play a significant role in managing or preventing symptoms.”
A Pharmacist Can Help With Heartburn And Acid Reflux
Speak to a pharmacist for advice if you keep getting heartburn.
They can 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.
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Do Onions Cause Heartburn
It is pretty hard to avoid these flavor-enhancers, but they are well-known heartburn triggers. Eating onions raw is more likely to cause symptoms. One study gave heartburn sufferers a hamburger without onions to eat one day, followed by an identical burger the next with raw onions. The study found that the burger with onions significantly worsened heartburn symptoms.6 Experts suggest anyone prone to acid reflux and heartburn should also avoid garlic, especially in raw form7. If these ingredients do pose problems, antacids can quickly neutralize stomach acid and soothe your symptoms
Is There Surgery To Treat Gerd
GERD is usually controlled with medications and lifestyle changes . If these dont work, or if you cant take medications for an extended period, surgery may be a solution.
- Laparoscopic antireflux surgery is the standard surgical treatment. Its a minimally invasive procedure that fixes your acid reflux by creating a new valve mechanism at the bottom of your esophagus. The surgeon wraps the upper part of the stomach around the lower portion of the esophagus. This reinforces the lower esophageal sphincter so food wont reflux back into the esophagus.
- LINX deviceimplantation is another minimally invasive surgery. A LINX device is a ring of tiny magnets that are strong enough to keep the junction between the stomach and esophagus closed to refluxing acid but weak enough to allow food to pass through.
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Side Effects From Misuse
Many of the side effects of antacids come from not taking them as directed.
Many antacids including Maalox, Mylanta, Rolaids and Tums contain calcium. If you take too much or take them for longer than directed, you could get an overdose of calcium. Too much calcium can cause:
Excess calcium can also lead to alkalosis. In this condition, your body doesnt make enough acid to function properly.
If you feel like you need to use a lot of an antacid for relief, that might be a sign of another condition. If youve taken an antacid according to the directions and havent gotten relief, talk to your doctor.
Antacids can interfere with the function of other drugs. If you take other medications, check with your doctor or pharmacist before using antacids.
Some antacids, such as Alka-Seltzer, contain aspirin. The Food and Drug Administration issued a safety alert about this type of antacid in June 2016. This alert was issued because of reports of serious bleeding related to aspirin-containing antacids.
If you take another medication that increases your risk of bleeding, such as an anticoagulant or antiplatelet drug, you shouldnt take these antacids.
Be sure to talk to your doctor before taking aspirin-containing antacids if you:
Raise The Head Of Your Bed
Try elevating the head of your bed about 4 to 6 inches off the ground to prevent heartburn and reflux. When the upper body is elevated, gravity makes it less likely for stomach contents to come back up into the esophagus. Its important to note that you must actually raise the bed itself, not just your head. Propping yourself up with extra pillows puts your body into a bent position, which can increase pressure on your abdomen and aggravate heartburn and reflux symptoms.
You can raise your bed by placing 4- to 6-inch wood blocks securely under the two bedposts at the head of your bed. These blocks can also be inserted between your mattress and box spring to elevate your body from the waist up. You may be able to find elevating blocks in medical supply stores and some drugstores.
Sleeping on a special wedge-shaped pillow is another effective approach. A wedge pillow slightly elevates the head, shoulders, and torso to prevent reflux and heartburn. You can use a wedge pillow while sleeping on your side or on your back without causing any tension in the head or neck. Most pillows on the market are elevated between 30 to 45 degrees, or 6 to 8 inches at the top.
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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.”
Common Causes Of Heartburn
Have you ever wondered what causes heartburn? Is it really just the result of eating the wrong foods?
When you get heartburn, some of the stomachs juices make their way up out of your stomach and into your esophagus. One substance in particular can cause you a lot of suffering. Hydrochloric acid helps your stomach digest food, but it is a very powerful substance.
Hydrochloric acid is a corrosive substance used in industry to clean metal! Fortunately, your stomach has a protective lining that makes it immune to the acid. Unfortunately, your esophagus does not. Thats why you can experience a burning sensation in your throat, stomach pains, chest pains, nausea, and even shortness of breath when you suffer from heartburn.
So what causes heartburn? There are a lot of different reasons. In some cases, the esophageal sphincter muscle isnt functioning. Normally this muscle pinches itself shut and prevents stomach acid from surging upward.
Sometimes heartburn can be caused by a hiatal hernia. But by far the most common reason for heartburn is a trigger food. Which foods should you stay away from to avoid an attack of heartburn?
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How Does My Lifestyle Help Or Hinder Acid Reflux
Your lifestyle may make symptoms worse, for example, those who smoke, are over-weight, suffer from high levels of stress, take certain medications including non-steroidal anti-inflammatories or anti-histamines or are in the latter stages of pregnancy are more likely to experience acid reflux. However, always speak with your GP before making any significant changes and certainly prior to altering your use of prescribed medication.
Making lifestyle modifications is the first line therapy for most sufferers. One of the most effective changes for those with night-time symptoms, is elevating the bedhead or using a wedge-shaped pillow. For most people this is an easy win to achieve results aim to raise your bedhead by 20-28cm.
Further, benefits may be realised by avoiding tight clothing, this is especially relevant for those who carry excess abdominal obesity, as well as avoiding lying or bending too soon after eating. Its also wise not to exercise immediately after meals but to allow 1-2 hours for digestion to progress.
Know The 8 Worst Foods For Acid Reflux Or Heartburn
Experts say you can uncover your specific triggers by paying close attention to how your body reacts to what youre eating. But you may well find one of the following eight foods pops up as a problem.
1. Fried, fatty foods. Talk about a triple whammy. First, foods that are high in fat and drenched in oil cause the lower esophageal sphincter the ring of muscle connecting the esophagus and stomach to relax, allowing acid to leak out and up into the esophagus. Also, they are digested slowly and sit in your stomach longer, giving gastric acid more time to work its way up into your esophagus, increasing your risk of heartburn. And high-fat food can cause weight gain. That extra poundage increases pressure on your abdomen, making it easier for fluid to travel upward, into the esophagus. Tip: Opt instead for lean cuts of meat, chicken and fish, cooked on the grill or in the oven.
2. Citrus fruits. Their vitamin C may be the draw, but these fruits high acid content makes them risky for reflux. Lemons and limes are the biggest culprits, but oranges, grapefruit, grapes and blueberries make the list, too. Tip: Offset their acidity by buffering them with more alkaline foods, such as low-fat yogurt.
5. Peppermint. A cup of refreshing, mint-infused tea can calm a turbulent tummy. But peppermint, in any form, can also cause gastric reflux and heartburn. Tip: Savor a cup of soothing chamomile tea or suck on licorice-flavored hard candy to soothe your stomach.
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More Tips To Heal From Acid Reflux
The best solution to recover from acid reflux is to address the real cause. Instead of reaching for the Tums or Prilosec after you eat, try taking a high-quality digestive enzyme before meals, so you can safely break down and absorb foods without acid build-up, gas, and bloating.
A high-quality probiotic such as Microbiome Balance can also restore a healthy balance of gut flora to aid in healthy digestion, soothe an inflamed gut, and get you on the path to healing from heartburn fast!
Another proven solution to reducing acid reflux is through identifying food intolerances.13 In fact, its an ideal first line of treatment! When you take out the top inflammatory foods, you can see a drastic decrease in those dreaded heartburn moments.
Want to get started on dropping the top 7 most inflammatory foods, identify the ones that are aggravating your gut, and finally get your heartburn under control? Try my 7-Day Stop, Drop & Swap Challenge! Its fun, its free, and its the first step toward a healthier gut for life.
Studies have also shown that a high-sugar diet can aggravate acid reflux, while lowering your sugar impact can help you heal.14 My New York Times bestseller Sugar Impact Diet shows you how to cut down on high sugar-impact foods without cravings, irritability, and other nasty withdrawal symptoms.
Have questions? Follow me on and and let me know how my team and I can best support you!
Heartburn Tip: Cut Back On Fat
Some people may have to give up their favorite foods to avoid heartburn. However, if some of your favorite foods such as shrimp are prepared broiled and not fried, wrapped in fatty bacon, or consumed in large quantities, they may be enjoyed without causing heartburn. Trimming the fat off meat, baking, grilling, broiling, or roasting some foods instead of frying them can help reduce the risk of heartburn.
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Foods That Cause Heartburn
Some foods and drinks can trigger heartburn symptoms or irritate the esophagus.
As everyone may react differently to foods, a person should try monitoring their symptoms after eating different foods to determine which may be causing heartburn.
The following foods and drinks are those that commonly cause heartburn.
What To Drink For Acid Reflux
If the smoothie recipe below helps naturally provide heartburn relief, then try these drinks as well:
Herbal teaÃ¢ Herbs are great for a variety of ailments, and can assist with acid indigestion as well. Look for a stress relief chamomile or a tea targeting digestion if you want natural heartburn relief.
Low-acid smoothiesÃ¢ fruits like bananas, coconuts, dates + figs, melons, papaya, berries and stone fruits like nectarines and peaches are low acid options. The smoothie recipe below is also a great option!
100% fruit juiceÃ¢ Juice made from 100% fruit like peaches, berries and coconut can keep symptoms at bay.
WaterÃ¢ While this seems like an odd choice, hear me out! Water really does help the body process food, and keep things moving down .
Golden milkÃ¢ turmeric is naturally anti inflammatory and can help soothe.
Plant milk like almond, oat or coconutÃ¢ if dairy becomes too heavy for you, then switching to a plant milk can help calm down heartburn symptoms. My acid reflux smoothie contains cashew milk, yet swap in the preferred milk of your choice.
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Take It Easy On The Tomatoes
These tasty, healthy fruits are unfortunately also very acidic and irritating to the stomach and esophagus. When coupled with stomach acids that creep up into the esophagus and cause uncomfortable heartburn, reflux just gets worse. Avoid tomatoes and tomato-based products this includes a wide range of foods, such as ketchup, pizza with tomato sauce, pasta sauce, and chili. Steer clear of them to better manage your heartburn.
Top 10 Foods That Cause Heartburn
Fried food A southerners worst enemy. The same fried foods that we love to eat in the south are brutal for someone with acid reflux. These foods retain a lot of oil in the coating. Foods high in fat such as fried foods take a longer time to digest, which in turn puts pressure on your stomach and esophagus. With your stomach staying full for longer, it increases the risk of heartburn.
Mint Have you heard of mints being able to settle upset stomachs? This may be true, but this herb can also worsen heartburn. When looking for natural ways to treat heartburn, try ginger.
Spicy food Some people find that after eating spicy food, there is massive heartburn. Others find that eating spicy foods may help to calm chronic heartburn. The spice in foods can affect the acid levels in your stomach. This creates somewhat of a hostile environment that can promote acid reflux. Try to reduce the spice in your food if you find that it triggers heartburn.
Cheese Any foods that are high in fats, like cheese, can delay digestion by sitting in your stomach. This puts pressure on your LES and can let acid in. Gouda, Parmesan, cream cheese, stilton, and cheddar are high in fat. Cottage cheese, ricotta, and other cheeses have reduced fat. Dont order or cook anything with a cheese sauce if you are not looking for heartburn!
Here you can learn more about the Acid Reflux, Heartburn, and GERD Diet .
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Eat More Helpful Foods To Reduce Symptoms
Finally, you may find it helpful to adopt a GERD-friendly diet. Green vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats are all great options for controlling reflux in your daily activities. Eating these foods may actually help reduce the number and severity of acid reflux events, while helping you avoid the foods that may trigger them.
Additionally, it may be helpful to shift your mindset and attitude about GERD. It can be a difficult condition to deal with, but making these changes to your diet and lifestyle is an important first step toward controlling it. Managing GERD doesnt have to mean eliminating fun foods from your diet instead, think of this as an opportunity to try new things and enjoy a greater variety of foods. After all, when it comes to GERD, controlling your diet is a necessity for living a healthier, higher-quality life.