Now accepting Telehealth appointments. Schedule a virtual visit.

Worst Foods to Eat If You Have Barrett's Esophagus

Worst Foods to Eat If You Have Barrett's Esophagus

Barrett's esophagus is a condition caused by chronic, long-term acid reflux that damages the inside of the esophagus. Due to exposure to stomach acid, the cells inside the esophagus change through a process called metaplasia. 

Sometimes, the cells may even become precancerous. Fortunately, the risk of developing cancer is low, despite the damaged cells in the esophagus. 

The team at Digestive Disease Consultants of Orange County in Irvine, Huntington Beach, Tustin, and Foothill Ranch, California, have extensive experience helping patients with Barrett's esophagus. Our experts recommend dietary changes and treatments that reduce exposure to stomach acid. Here’s a list of the foods you should avoid to get better. 

Caffeinated beverages 

Caffeine relaxes the valve that connects the esophagus to the stomach, allowing stomach acid to escape into the esophagus. In addition, caffeine also increases stomach acidity. Caffeine is not only found in coffee but in many soft drinks, teas, and even chocolate. 

Alcoholic drinks 

Much like caffeine, alcohol relaxes the valve muscle and increases stomach acidity. However, some alcoholic drinks are better than others. Gin, tequila, and non-grain vodkas have lower acidity and are less likely to trigger acid production. 

Citrus fruits and tomatoes 

Citrus fruits and tomatoes are acidic, so they raise the acidity in the stomach. Ketchup and citrus juices can also have a negative impact on your acid reflux.

Spicy foods 

Many spicy foods contain capsaicin, which causes a burning sensation. This compound irritates the esophagus and may worsen the damage done by your stomach acid. 

Carbonated beverages 

Carbonated drinks put pressure on the valve separating the esophagus from the stomach, increasing the probability of stomach acid traveling into the esophagus. 

Garlic 

Garlic contains allicin, a compound that gives garlic its specific smell. This compound can fight off bacteria, but it can also increase acidity in the stomach. 

Fried foods 

Fried foods take longer to digest, and this delays stomach emptying. As a result, more acid is produced for a longer period of time to aid digestion. Fatty foods have the same effect, as they take longer to digest. 

Managing Barrett's esophagus

Although Barrett's esophagus is not life-threatening, left untreated for prolonged periods, it can cause serious discomfort and pain when eating. While dietary changes are crucial, they may not be enough if your stomach is predisposed to creating more acid than necessary. 


Our team usually recommends lifestyle changes as well as regular endoscopies and biopsies to manage Barrett’s esophagus. In severe cases, we may suggest endoscopic ablative therapy to remove damaged esophageal tissue. To ensure you’re free of symptoms, contact us to schedule an appointment.

You Might Also Enjoy...

What Can Be Done About My Severe Constipation?

What Can Be Done About My Severe Constipation?

Constipation is a common issue, but that doesn’t make it any less uncomfortable. Besides, it can sometimes indicate a serious ailment. Read on to learn about the causes and treatments of severe constipation.
The Link Between Hepatitis C and Abdominal Pain

The Link Between Hepatitis C and Abdominal Pain

Do you often feel a sharp pain in the right-hand side of your body? Tummy pain is a symptom of many ailments, but in some cases, it could be a sign of a hepatitis C infection. Read on to learn more about the link between the two.
Why Do I Have Diarrhea Frequently?

Why Do I Have Diarrhea Frequently?

Are you always on the lookout for a restroom? Diarrhea could be causing more than mildly uncomfortable behaviors. Read on to learn about the causes of diarrhea and when is time to give your doctor a call.
Eliminating Your Fears About a Colonoscopy

Eliminating Your Fears About a Colonoscopy

A colonoscopy can be life-saving, and in many cases, it can catch polyps even before they become cancerous. But if you still have fears and anxieties about it, read on as our experts address all of your concerns.

My Body Is Dependent on Laxatives: Is That Bad?

Constant constipation may leave you no choice but to use laxatives regularly, but what does that do in the long term? Read on to find out the effects of overusing laxatives and what you can do to have normal bowel movements.