Gastroenterologists’ Tips

Heartburn can be a very painful condition that occurs in the abdomen and chest. It can be caused by a number of things, including the diet and lifestyle choices. It is caused by the stomach acid working its way back into the esophagus. For those who suffer from chronic heartburn, it is crucial to find help from gastroenterologists.

In some cases, heartburn, also known as acid reflux, can be controlled by eliminating certain foods and drinks from the diet. While it may not be necessary to eliminate all of these items, it may be necessary to remove them all at once, and then to reintroduce them one at a time. This can help determine which foods are causing the most trouble.

Fried Foods

Fried food, from meats to vegetables, can be one of the biggest contributors to acid reflux. They cause aggravation in the digestive system and trigger heartburn. This also includes fast food items that are full of fat and sugar.

Tomato-Based Products

While very healthy and delicious, tomatoes can be a major problem for those suffering from digestive issues. Tomatoes are naturally acidic and can flare up the stomach. This includes ketchup, marinara sauce, and even sliced tomatoes on a salad.

Chocolate

Unfortunately for those who suffer from acid reflux, chocolate is another item that may have to be eliminated in whole or in part because of the pain it can cause. The cocoa, caffeine, and fat in chocolate are the primary factors that cause issues with the digestive system.

Citrus

The acid in citrus fruit causes the sphincter in the esophagus to relax. This allows excess acid to leave the stomach and cause pain. Gastroenterologists advise sufferers to avoid oranges and grapefruits in particular.

In addition to these food items, gastroenterologists advise patients not to eat anything within two hours of going to bed, as it is more difficult to process food while lying down. Also, eat several smaller meals rather than three large ones because the body is conditioned to digest smaller meals.

There are also some drinks that should be avoided to prevent heartburn. Try to eliminate the following:

Carbonated Drinks

Soft drinks and other carbonated beverages can cause the lining of the stomach to expand further than what is natural, resulting in additional pressure. These drinks also cause burps, which can introduce acid into the esophagus.

Caffeinated Drinks

Coffee, tea, and other drinks high in caffeine can contribute to heartburn symptoms, so it is ideal to avoid them as much as possible.

Alcohol