Chronic acid reflux occurs due to weakening in a band of muscle called the Lower Esophageal Sphincter (LES), which acts like a valve that opens when food passes through the esophagus and closes after food passes into the stomach.
If this muscle doesn’t close properly, stomach acid can go up the esophagus, causing burning. Some foods can trigger acid reflux by increasing the amount of acid the stomach produces, while others contribute to the relaxing of the LES.
To help you enjoy your food without discomfort, the experts at Digestive Disease Consultants of Orange County in Orange County, California, explain what foods could be triggering your acid reflux symptoms.
Caffeine relaxes the valve preventing stomach acid from climbing up into your esophagus, which makes it more likely for you to experience acid reflux. Common sources of caffeine include coffee, black or green tea, matcha, dark chocolate, and energy drinks.
Much like caffeine, alcohol also works as a relaxant of the LES. However, certain alcoholic drinks are less likely to cause acid reflux than others. Consider opting for drinks with less acidity, such as gin, tequila, and vodka.
3. Spicy foods
Spicy foods are harder to digest and sit in the stomach longer. This increases the chances of excess acid going up the esophagus.
In addition, spicy foods contain irritants that make your esophagus even more sensitive to the effects of acid reflux.
4. Citrus fruits
Citrus fruits increase the acidity of stomach acid. In addition, the high acidity in these fruits also irritates the esophagus.
4. Fatty foods
Fatty foods, especially processed foods such as pizza and french fries, take longer to digest and require more stomach acid to process.
Learn more about the management of acid reflux
Sometimes, keeping a diary of reactions to foods and finding out which ones cause issues may be enough to control heartburn. Other times, dietary restrictions alone aren’t enough to manage acid reflux.
Our specialists understand the role of nutrition and other lifestyle choices in the management of acid reflux, but they’re also aware that some people may need extra help in managing their symptoms. In these cases, medication can be used to reduce discomfort.
If you suffer from acid reflux and are unsure what to do next or how to manage your condition most effectively, contact us to schedule an appointment. Our team can help you put together a personalized treatment plan that fits your lifestyle and needs.