9 foods that can cause heartburn

Heartburn is an uncomfortable and fairly common symptom. People often describe it as a painful, burning sensation that occurs in the lower part of the chest and radiates to the mouth. Some heartburn sufferers also report having a sour taste in their mouth.

If you suffer from heartburn frequently, you may have noticed that certain foods can cause cause or aggravate them.

This article lists 9 foods that can cause heartburn. It also explores methods you can use to reduce heartburn symptoms.

What is heartburn?

Heartburn is the most common symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a gastrointestinal disorder that affects up to 29,8% of adults.

GERD develops when stomach contents back up into the esophagus, causing symptoms such as:

– heartburn

– burping

– chest pain

– a sour taste in the mouth due to regurgitation.

Normally, stomach acid does not reach the esophagus due to a barrier between the esophagus and the stomach called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). This ring-shaped muscle stays naturally closed and normally only opens when you swallow or burp. Impaired and loose LES is just one possible cause of GERD.

Other factors that may increase the risk of developing GERD include:

– delayed emptying of the stomach

– hiatal hernia

– obesity

– be over 50 years old

– consumption excessive amounts of alcohol

– smoking

– being pregnant

– suffering from a musculoskeletal

– taking certain medications, such as benzodiazepines, NSAIDs or antidepressants.

The treatment of GERD consists of managing the associated symptoms, including heartburn. Lifestyle changes are considered the most important part of treating GERD, although people also use other treatments, such as medications.

If you suffer from burns heartburn, you may find that avoiding certain foods helps control your symptoms.

Here are 9 foods that can cause heartburn

1. Foods high in fat

Foods high in fat can cause heartburn, especially fatty foods like french fries and pizza. Researchers are still learning how fat can cause GERD symptoms, but foods high in fat can make heartburn worse by stimulating your body to release substances that cause your esophagus to become irritated. These include bile salts, found in the stomach, and the hormone cholecystokinin (CCK) in your blood, which can relax the LES and lead to acid reflux.

A study of people with GERD found that more than half of 85 people who reported food triggers also said that fried foods high fats were causing their GERD symptoms, such as heartburn. Additionally, the study found that after participants cut out trigger foods for two weeks, the percentage of people reporting heartburn went from 93 % at 44 %. It’s important to note that researchers are still trying to figure out which types of fat can make GERD symptoms worse, but fried and fatty foods seem to have the strongest effects. Certain foods high in fat, such as fried foods, can cause heartburn by stimulating the release of esophageal irritants like bile salts. They can also stimulate the secretion of the hormone cholecystokinin (CCK), which relaxes the LES.

2. Mint

Mint species such as peppermint and spearmint are often thought to soothe digestive upset. However, there is some evidence that these types of mint can cause heartburn. Studies suggest that peppermint decreases LES pressure and can cause heartburn. Although mint can trigger GERD symptoms, it only seems to be a problem for a small proportion of people with GERD. If you suffer from heartburn after consuming mint products, you can eliminate them from your diet to see if it helps you manage your heartburn. Types of mint, including peppermint and spearmint, can cause heartburn in some people. If you experience heartburn after consuming mint, it is best to avoid it.

3. Citrus juices

Drinking citrus juices can trigger heartburn symptoms. People commonly report that orange and grapefruit juice cause GERD symptoms like heartburn. However, it is unclear exactly how citrus juices cause heartburn. Nevertheless, many people with GERD avoid them in an effort to reduce heartburn symptoms. Many people with GERD find that citrus juices, especially orange or grapefruit juice, seem to cause acid reflux and heartburn. However, it is unclear exactly how this happens.

4. Chocolate

Chocolate is another common heartburn trigger. Ingredients in chocolate, such as cocoa and caffeine, can increase the exposure of the esophagus to acid. Many people report heartburn symptoms after consuming chocolate, and studies have shown that chocolate can reduce LES pressure. However, it is uncertain whether eliminating chocolate from the diet improves heartburn symptoms.

If you find that eating chocolate makes you heartburn stomach or worsens heartburn symptoms, try eliminating it from your diet.

Chocolate can cause heartburn. It is uncertain whether eliminating chocolate is beneficial for all heartburn sufferers, but it may reduce symptoms in some people.

5. Spicy foods

Spicy foods are known to cause heartburn. Still, it’s unclear exactly how they contribute to heartburn. However, a study in people with GERD found that chili pepper capsules increased gastric accommodation, which is the relaxation of the upper part of the stomach in response to the ingestion of a meal. Research has shown that people with GERD tend to have an increased gastric accommodation reflex. This phenomenon is associated with increased LES relaxation, which can cause heartburn. The same study found that chili capsules were associated with stronger burning sensations in the stomach and more severe heartburn in participants with GERD, compared to a placebo treatment. Another study of 4 633 Iranian adults found that a high intake of spicy foods was associated with an increased risk of heartburn in men, but not in women. Also, spicy foods can irritate an already inflamed esophagus, which can make heartburn symptoms worse. If you think spicy foods may be the cause of your heartburn, consider eliminating them from your diet. Spicy foods can cause heartburn and also irritate your esophagus, further aggravating heartburn symptoms.

6. Onions

Onions, especially raw onions, are a common heartburn trigger. Like the other foods on this list, onions cause heartburn symptoms in many people with GERD. However, it’s unclear exactly how onions cause or worsen heartburn. In an old study, people with heartburn ate a regular hamburger one day, then another day an identical hamburger with onions. The onion burger significantly worsened heartburn symptoms, compared to the burger without onions.

However, future studies are needed to determine whether all people with heartburn stomach should consider eliminating or reducing their intake of onions. Additionally, onions are a rich source of FODMAPs (fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols), a category of small, indigestible carbohydrates that cause digestive issues in some people. They can cause heartburn in people sensitive to FODMAPs.

7. Alcohol

Moderate or excessive alcohol consumption can worsen GERD symptoms, including heartburn. This is because alcohol relaxes the LES, which can allow stomach acid to escape into the esophagus and trigger heartburn. Also, studies show that drinking alcohol is a risk factor for GERD. An analysis of 25 studies found that people who drank alcohol more than 5 times or days a week were two times more likely to suffer from GERD than people who did not or rarely drink alcohol.

8. Coffee and caffeinated beverages

Some people may experience heartburn when drinking coffee and other caffeinated beverages. This is because caffeine has been shown to relax the lower esophageal sphincter, which can increase the risk of acid reflux and heartburn. Additionally, coffee can stimulate stomach acid secretion, which can exacerbate heartburn. Even though coffee can cause heartburn in some people, not all studies have found a link between coffee and acid reflux symptoms. A study involving 1 837 people, including % suffered from GERD, did not find a significant link between coffee consumption and GERD symptoms. Although research remains inconclusive, if you tolerate coffee, it is not necessary to avoid it. On the other hand, if coffee causes you reflux and heartburn, it is better to avoid it or limit its consumption.

9. Sodas and carbonated drinks

Many people find that they have heartburn after drinking sodas and carbonated drinks. Research suggests that these drinks can relax the esophageal sphincter and increase the acidity of stomach acid, two risk factors for heartburn. In fact, the consumption of carbonated beverages is believed to be a major contributor to heartburn that occurs at night, which is known as nocturnal heartburn. Some studies have linked soft drink consumption to worsening symptoms in people with GERD. For example, an older study found that people who consumed soft drinks had a 50% higher risk of develop reflux symptoms such as heartburn. If you suffer from heartburn after drinking soda or other carbonated drinks, it is best to limit your intake or cut out carbonated drinks altogether.

Other Ways to Relieve Heartburn

In addition to eliminating foods that can cause heartburn from your diet, there are other ways to control it .

– Maintain a healthy body weight. Obesity is associated with GERD. Losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight can reduce GERD symptoms, such as heartburn.

– Try a low-carb diet. Some studies show that following a low-carb diet can help reduce GERD symptoms. Simply reducing your intake of refined carbohydrates and added sugars can also help.

– Avoid lying down after meals. Health professionals often recommend that people with GERD eat at least three hours before bed. Lying down soon after a meal can make GERD symptoms, such as heartburn, worse.

– Follow a Mediterranean-type diet. The Mediterranean diet, which is high in fibrous foods like beans and vegetables, as well as healthy fats like olive oil and fish, can help manage GERD symptoms.

– Increase physical activity. One study found that exercising for 25 minutes 3 times a week was associated with a reduced risk of GERD.

– Elevate your head in bed. Raising your upper body when you’re in bed can help reduce GERD symptoms and improve your sleeping habits.

There are many other ways to improve and manage symptoms of GERD.

If you suffer from heartburn, it is best to work out a treatment plan with a healthcare professional.

Things to Remember

There are many other methods you can use to manage GERD symptoms. A healthcare professional can help you develop a treatment plan that’s best for you. Heartburn is the most common symptom related to GERD. It affects millions of people worldwide.

Many foods can cause heartburn by relaxing the lower esophageal sphincter, a ring-shaped muscle that works as a barrier between the esophagus and the stomach. If you frequently suffer from heartburn, try removing some of the foods on this list from your diet to see if your symptoms improve. It’s a good idea to keep a food diary so you know which foods give you heartburn.

Even though cutting out certain foods can help control heartburn, it is best to work with your doctor to develop a comprehensive treatment plan to manage your GERD symptoms.

Presse Santé strives to transmit health knowledge in a language accessible to all. Under NO CIRCUMSTANCES can the information given replace the advice of a health professional.

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