HomeFactsWhat Foods To Avoid For Heartburn And Indigestion

What Foods To Avoid For Heartburn And Indigestion

What Is Acid Reflux

Foods to avoid with Acid Reflux, GERD or Heartburn | Prilosec OTC

Acid reflux is a common condition when some of the acid content in the stomach flows up into the esophagus. The backflow happens when the gastroesophageal sphincter, a ring of muscle that prevents the backflow of stomach contents into the esophagus. Though the condition happens commonly, it can cause troublesome symptoms, like heartburn or even cause complications.

GERD affects people of all ages due to preventable or non-preventable reasons. One of the non-preventable causes of GERD is a hiatal hernia . Other risk factors include:

  • Change to the esophagus, increasing cancer risk
  • Ulcers in the esophagus
  • Narrowing of the esophagus due to scarring

Luckily there are various acid reflux treatment and prevention options available today. For acid reflux treatment, your doctor can prescribe alginate drugs, h2 blockers, PPIs, and overthecounter treatments, like antacids. In addition, eating certain foods can help you minimize the symptoms.

Have Heartburn Try Avoiding These Foods

Heartburn is a very common symptom of acid reflux and Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, or GERD. It typically starts with a burning sensation in your chest that typically becomes quite painful.

Most of us have had heartburn at least once in our lives, but when it becomes a frequent occurrence and interrupts our sleep, we should take notice and figure out the causes.

The simple fact is that what and how much we eat and drink can contribute to painful heartburn or acid reflux. Not everyone has the same triggers, so our approach will stress common foods to avoid and helpful substitutes.

What Is The Best Diet For Heartburn

That does not have to be true, however. Breakfast, lunch and dinner can be both enjoyable and heartburn-friendly if you know which foods to incorporate into your diet.

Heartburn can flare when your stomach produces too much gastric acid, and your food choices can directly affect this. Here are three meals that incorporate heartburn-reducing foods that your stomach will appreciate.

Oatmeal and Wheat: Try Whole Grains for Breakfast

Oatmeal has been a whole-grain breakfast favorite for generations. It is a good source of fiber, so it keeps you feeling full and promotes regularity. Oats also absorb stomach acid and reduce symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease . For something sweet, top your oatmeal with bananas, apples or pears. The fructose in these fruits is less likely to trigger acid reflux than other sugars. Of course, eating oatmeal every day could get boring, so switch things up with a warm bowl of Cream of Wheat, or some whole grain toast with peanut butter.

Avoid coffee and most teas that contain caffeine, which can cause heartburn. Instead, brew a soothing cup of ginger tea. Ginger has natural anti-inflammatory properties that will help regulate acid production.

Vegetables: Add Some Color and Nutrients to Your Lunch

Try these options for a light and tasty lunch:

  • Baked potato with steamed broccoli
  • Mixed green salad with fresh-cut vegetables and a light oil and vinegar dressing
  • Veggie wrap or veggie quesadilla

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Heartburn: Why It Happens

A muscular ring between the end of the esophagus and the beginning of the stomach normally keeps stomach acid where it belongs — in the stomach. But in people with frequent heartburn, this area, the lower esophageal sphincter muscle , may not prevent stomach acid from splashing up into the esophagus.

Does this mean you just have to live with heartburn? No! A recent survey conducted by the National Heartburn Alliance revealed that 92% of frequent heartburn sufferers point to food as the primary cause of their digestive discomfort.

So, if a change in diet can help you avoid heartburn, which foods should you choose to lose to help head off the pain?

Check If You Have Acid Reflux

Top Foods To Avoid For Heartburn &  Indigestion

The main symptoms of acid reflux are:

  • heartburn a burning sensation in the middle of your chest
  • an unpleasant sour taste in your mouth, caused by stomach acid

You may also have:

  • a cough or hiccups that keep coming back
  • a hoarse voice

Your symptoms will probably be worse after eating, when lying down and when bending over.

Also Check: Heartburn And Indigestion At Night

Eat This Instead: Other Fruits Veggies And Herbs

Search the internet and you’ll find a host of substitutes for tomato, including peaches, beets and basil. The easiest way to adjust certain recipes is to skip the tomatoes and move on, or get creative with pesto-based or low-fat dairy white sauces.

Experimentation and moderation can help with all of these foods substitutes, Romano says.

“For some, eliminating some of the triggers and then slowly reintroducing them back may allow you to identify if one of the foods above worsens your GERD symptoms,” she says.

More Ways To Control Gerd With Dietary Changes

In addition to avoiding certain foods, there are even more dietary changes and lifestyle modifications you can make to control GERD. Exploring all the various ways you can manage this condition will help you discover what works best for you and make dealing with GERD that much easier on a daily basis.

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Worst Foods For Acid Reflux

1. Fatty and greasy foods

Fried foods, fatty meats, and high-fat dairy, including french fries, chips, cheese, and sour cream, can relax the esophageal sphincter, which is the valve that keeps acid in the stomach, Cavagnaro says. When the esophageal sphincter is relaxed, more acid can seep into the esophagus, causing irritation. High-fat foods are also absorbed more slowly and sit in the stomach longer, causing the stomach to produce extra acid.

2. Coffee

Caffeinated drinks, including coffee, can raise your risk for GERD. Caffeine also relaxes the esophageal sphincter, allowing more acid to creep into the esophagus, causing irritation, Cavagnaro says.

Related: What Exactly is GERD?

3. Alcohol

Drinking alcohol, especially red wine, especially in large quantities can increase the risk of acid reflux. Cavagnaro says alcohol is another food that relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter, making it more likely for acid to flow into the esophagus.

Related: What to Drink for Heartburn Relief

4. Chocolate

Like alcohol and caffeine, chocolate has been shown to affect the valve that keeps acid in the stomach. This allows it to move into the esophagus and mouth and give you heartburn.

5. Peppermint

6. Citrus fruits and juices

Citrus fruits and juices, including oranges, pineapple, grapefruit, lemons, and limes, are highly acidic. This leads to more stomach acid that can move up through the esophagus, Cavagnaro says.

7. Tomatoes

8. Spicy foods

9. Onion and garlic

10. Carbonated drinks

When To Talk To Your Doctor About Acid Reflux

7 Foods to Avoid if you have Heartburn or GERD/GORD

It’s a good idea to speak with your doctor if the best foods for acid reflux do not relieve your symptoms, Dr. Khaitan says. Other options can include lifestyle changes, medications to block acid, and surgical procedures on the esophagus sphincter.

It is important to make a doctor’s appointment if you have heartburn or acid reflux that is severe or frequent, Dr. Khaitan adds. Chronic acid reflux is known as gastroesophageal reflux disease and can lead to esophageal cancer.

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Tomatoes And Citrus Fruit

Fruits and vegetables are important in a healthy diet. But certain fruits can cause or worsen GERD symptoms, especially highly acidic fruits. If you have frequent acid reflux, you should reduce or eliminate your intake of the following foods:

  • oranges
  • tomato sauce or foods that use it, such as pizza and chili
  • salsa

Can Chocolate Give You Heartburn

Chocolate is considered one of the foods to avoid for people who suffer from acid reflux.

It has an important action on the LES, however, there are some additional considerations to make about it.

Generally speaking, you should avoid it, or at least reduce its consumption to prevent the situation to become worse.

Read Also: Home Remedies For Really Bad Heartburn

What To Eatand What To Avoidif You Struggle With Acid Reflux Heartburn Or Indigestion

Not only is acid reflux one of the most common health conditions, its been on the rise for the last few decades. If youve ever experienced that ominous feeling of burning in your chest, we know you want answers on what to do about it. Before taking a deeper dive into the how, why, and what to eat to treat it, its important to clarify what we mean when we say acid reflux, as opposed to heartburn, indigestion, and GORD. The terms are related, but often conflated.

Is Coffee Bad For Gerd

Top 10 Foods to Avoid if You Suffer from Heartburn or Acid ...

Coffee contains caffeine, which can irritate your condition if you have GERD. If you use whole fat creamer in your coffee, this can cause your symptoms to become worse. Drink decaffeinated coffee and use low-fat creamer or milk to avoid GERD flareups.

If you have symptoms of GERD and are looking for treatment options, make an appointment today with Gramercy Park Digestive Disease Center. Our experienced gastroenterologists can provide treatment options and manage your symptoms in the most effective way possible.

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What Are The Symptoms Of Acid Reflux

A big symptom of acid reflux is a burning sensation, otherwise referred to as heartburn, which occurs when acid creeps back up the esophagus from the stomach. That’s why people grasp at their chestthe pain can literally take their breath away.

Since acid is flowing backward, aka up the esophagus, swallowing can be difficult and there could be the feeling that there’s a lump in the throat. But the symptoms don’t stop thereother parts of the body take the heat, too.

There are lots of factors that go into a good night’s sleep, and feeling like your chest is burning isn’t one. Nighttime acid reflux can disrupt sleep, make asthma worse, and may cause coughing, according to the Mayo Clinic. So consuming things that can help prevent these symptoms is key for making sure it doesn’t mess up slumber, which then leads to other adverse effects.

Gerd Diet : Foods To Eat And Avoid

Written byDevon AndrePublished onAugust 20, 2018

Gastroesophageal reflux disease is common and uncomfortable, but a GERD or acid reflux diet can help control symptoms.

GERD happens when acid flows back into the tube connecting your mouth and stomach. The acid reflux can be very irritating for the esophagus. It is believed that in the United States, about 20 percent of the population suffers from GERD.

Certain foods, which increase the amount of acid in the stomach, can lead to acid reflux and symptoms of GERD. Common food agitators include spicy and high-fat foods. There are also some foods that are good to eat if you suffer from GERD.

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Foods That Trigger Acid Reflux

In the previous sections, we analyzed some of the most common foods able to determine acid reflux and its related symptoms, with heartburn on top of all.

Now, we want to add something about foods that are more widely consumed and often less associated with the possibility of triggering reflux.

Meat is an interesting case to consider.

In fact, depending on the type, things are different.

  • Lean meat, such as chicken is good
  • Red meat, on the contrary, is not suggested for people who suffer from heartburn and reflux

This because meat has generally high content in fatty acid and cholesterol.

The alternate consumption of lean and red meat over the week can make things totally unpredictable. Thats why you want to write down everything in your food diary.

Foods rich in saturated fats are also important triggers for heartburn.

This type is made of unhealthy fats, as you can find in pork, poultry skin, beef fat, lard, and cream.

A special mention to cheese and butter, that are part of this category as well.

Other foods to remember are grains. In fact, if youre eating dishes like spaghetti and marinara sauce, or macaroni and cheese, you can experience troubles.

In this case, seasoning plays an essential role, which leads to an important consideration.

There are some foods that are not generally related to reflux and heartburn, however, the way you prepare and eat them is what transforms them into something to avoid.

The food diary can help you a lot also in all such cases.

What Do I Do If I Think I Have Gerd

Acid Reflux GERD – Foods to Avoid (Heartburn)

With GERD when reflux and heartburn happen more than once in a while the tissue lining your esophagus is getting battered regularly with stomach acid. Eventually the tissue becomes damaged. If you have this chronic acid reflux and heartburn you can see its affecting your daily eating and sleeping habits.

When GERD makes your daily life uncomfortable in this way, call your healthcare provider. Although GERD isnt life-threatening in itself, its chronic inflammation of the esophagus can lead to something more serious. You may need stronger prescription medications or even surgery to ease your symptoms.

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Gerd Diet: Foods That Help With Acid Reflux

Getting a case of acid reflux once in a while isn’t unusual, but some people suffer from burning discomfort, bloating and belching almost every time they eat. About 20% of the population has gastroesophageal reflux disease , a chronic acid reflux condition that’s diagnosed by a doctor.

Normally, the esophageal sphincter protects the esophagus from stomach acid. However, if the sphincter relaxes, food can push upward through the loosened opening and cause acid reflux.

“Diet plays a major role in controlling acid reflux symptoms and is the first line of therapy used for people with GERD,” says Ekta Gupta, M.B.B.S., M.D., gastroenterologist with Johns Hopkins Medicine.

Foods To Consider Including

Since youll probably need to eliminate certain items from your diet to reduce symptoms of GERD, it may be helpful to know about alternative foods that are less likely to cause problems.

The following replacements may help you avoid symptoms.

Milk products Instead of whole milk and full-fat dairy products, try reduced-fat, low-fat, or fat-free milk, yogurt, cheese, or ice cream.

Alternatively, you can try nondairy options like soy or almond milk, or nondairy ice cream alternatives.

Baked goods Instead of high-fat items like biscuits, croissants, doughnuts, or sweet rolls, try plain bread or rolls, pancakes, waffles, bagels, or low-fat muffins.

Meats and other proteins Instead of fatty meat, fried meat, lunch meat, or sausages, try lean meat, poultry without its skin, fish, tofu, or eggs.

Fruits Instead of citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruit, try any other fresh, frozen, or canned fruit or fruit juice that you can tolerate well.

Vegetables Instead of fried or creamed vegetables, onions, tomatoes and tomato products, or vegetable juices, try a variety of other fresh, frozen, or canned vegetables that are prepared without added fat.

Soups Instead of creamy or tomato-based soups, try lean broth-based soups or homemade soups made with lean ingredients, including low-fat or fat-free milk instead of cream.

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Acidic Drinks Or Foods

Acidic foods and drinks can worsen your GERD symptoms or contribute to an acid reflux episode. In addition to some foods discussed above, like coffee, this includes foods such as:

  • Citrus fruit, such as oranges and grapefruit
  • Citrus juice, such as orange juice and lemon or lime juice
  • Garlic, onions, and other alliums
  • Mint and mint-flavored foods and drinks
  • Tomatoes and tomato products, such as tomato sauce or ketchup
  • Processed foods.

Even foods that are traditionally considered healthy, such as pineapple, can aggravate acid reflux events because of their acidity. Foods that are naturally high in acid can affect the overall acidity of your stomach and heighten your GERD symptoms. Eat acidic foods only in moderation, if at all, and pay careful attention to how you feel after doing so.

What Can Trigger Acid Reflux

15 Foods That Can Help Treat &  Reduce Heartburn
  • Fried foods including french fries, chicken tenders, chicken nuggets, etc.
  • Butter
  • High-fat foods including red meats
  • Spicy foods
  • Soda
  • Chocolate

Wow, so thats like, all the good stuff. I guess this makes me a total party pooper. A regular Debbie Downer. A real Buzz Killington. Im not saying not to eat this stuff. You can if you want to, but it does come with the price of acid reflux.

Now that weve covered that, your next question must be

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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.

Foods To Avoid To Prevent Heartburn And Indigestion

Several foods can cause heartburn or indigestion by loosening the group of muscles at end of esophagus therefore it cannot keep out belly acid. By avoiding hot foods with chili powder, or black pepper, garlic, uncooked onions, tomatoes, grapefruit, oranges, alcohol, soft drinks, coffee, tea, indigestion and heartburn may be substantially reduced or prevented.

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Foods To Skip On An Acid Reflux Diet

  • Fried foods: French fries, fatty meat like hamburgers, fried chicken, etc.
  • Spicy foods: If it makes you want to reach for a drink to cool down, its probably going to cause heartburn!
  • Caffeine and alcohol: These can be hard to avoid, but are technically considered triggers.
  • Citrus fruits: Oranges, lemons, limes, pineapples, and grapefruit are the biggest acid reflux culprits.
  • Tomato products: This includes tomato sauce and any creamy sauces with a tomato base.
  • Chocolate: Sad, but true!
  • Peppermint: This includes peppermint-flavored candy.
  • Garlic and onions: If you find yourself dealing with heartburn at home, try avoiding these delicious common ingredients.

In addition to making sure you follow a safe acid reflux diet, the ACOG said that maintaining a healthy weight, not eating two to three hours before going to sleep, and quitting smoking are all healthy lifestyle changes that will reduce and may help eliminate acid reflux for good!

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