Heartburn is an unpleasant issue that may cause you to experience chest pain, ingestion, acidity, or a bitter taste in your mouth. The pain may worsen when you bend over or lie down.
Heartburn typically develops after you eat certain foods or if you eat too much. While there are many treatments for heartburn, the best way to reduce symptoms and keep the condition under control is by avoiding foods that cause it.
Here are some foods your doctor may recommend limiting if you have heartburn.
Spicy foods are notorious for causing heartburn. The reason is twofold. First, many spicy foods contain capsaicin, which slows down digestion and causes food to sit in the stomach longer. The longer food is in the stomach, the more risk of you having heartburn. Second, spicy food can irritate the esophagus, which can worsen heartburn symptoms. People who have heartburn, esophageal issues, or an ulcer often experience heartburn quicker and with more intensity when eating spicy foods than others do.
High-fat foods are known to cause heartburn, as well. These foods take longer for your stomach to process then compared to proteins and carbohydrates. Since they’re in your stomach longer, your stomach produces more acid, which leads to digestive system irritation.
Not to mention, if you consume high-fat foods regularly, they can cause your lower esophageal sphincter to relax. The lower esophageal sphincter is a group of muscles located toward the bottom of your esophagus. The muscles close to prevent your stomach contents and acid from entering your esophagus. When they relax, acid can travel up your esophagus and irritate it. This can cause permanent damage when it happens frequently.
Examples of unhealthy, high-fat foods include fried foods like breaded chicken and fish, deep-fried French fries and chicken wings, and doughnuts. Processed baked goods and chips are also foods with a high concentration of fat.
Specific Foods to Avoid
Many specific foods can trigger heartburn symptoms. Talk to your doctor about whether limiting consumption of such foods could help reduce your symptoms. Examples include:
· Tomatoes and Tomato-Based Products Tomatoes and foods made from tomatoes, like spaghetti sauce, have a lot of acidity. They have both malic and citric acids, which can cause heartburn in many. The extra acid can cause too much gastric acid in the stomach. As the acid rises, it backs up into the esophagus, which causes a burning sensation in the chest.
· Onions Onions work well in a variety of dishes, whether they’re sauteed or caramelized. However, some people may experience heartburn when they consume it. Onion has the potential to relax your lower esophageal sphincter, which allows acid to travel from your stomach into your esophagus.
- High-Fat Cheese High-fat cheese is another food that can contribute to heartburn because the fat content decreases the speed at which your stomach empties. Therefore, the pressure from your stomach will force acid from your stomach into your esophagus.
· Coffee Your morning cup o’ joe may lead to heartburn. When you consume coffee in a high quantity or frequently, the caffeine may impact your lower esophageal muscles. It causes them to relax and allow stomach acid to enter the esophagus.
· Chocolate Most chocolates contain cocoa. Cocoa has serotonin, which may also relax your esophageal muscles and lead to heartburn.
· Peppermint Foods and drinks containing peppermint are known to help ease nausea and indigestion because it relaxes your digestive tract. This is not good for people who have gastrointestinal reflux disease (GERD) or those who experience heartburn, because it relaxes the lower esophageal muscles. Peppermint may also worsen reflux symptoms if you have a hiatal hernia.
GI Practitioners in Austin, TX
At Austin Gastroenterology, our practitioners are dedicated to getting to the root of your heartburn and other unpleasant digestive issues. When you work with us, you can expect expert care, a quick and accurate diagnosis, and effective treatment solutions.
Book an appointment with Austin Gastroenterology, serving Austin and the nearby Texas region, if you have frequent bouts of heartburn. Call one of our locations today, or request an appointment online. We look forward to serving you soon!