Stomach Acid: Foods To Avoid
Eating foods low in acidity is certainly part of building a reduced stomach acid diet, but there are also many foods that you should âavoidâ also. When attempting to reduce stomach acid, it is no good to just increase the intake of beneficial foods while still maintaining steady consumption of potentially damaging foods.
University Hospitals advises that a number of foods and drinks can increase stomach acid, so you should cut them from your diet if possible:
- âCoffee and tea:â Caffeinated drinks, though sometimes said to encourage bowel movements, do not act the same way that fiber does. They can actually exacerbate the acid in the stomach, which can lead to acid reflux or stomach pain. Decaf coffee is widely available, and there are many options for caffeine-free teas.
- âCarbonated beverages:â The bubbles in fizzy sodas or similarly carbonated drinks expand in the stomach once ingested and can increase pressure to the point of causing undue strain on the stomach. This strain can cause the digestive process to work much slower, allowing excess acid to form and cause discomfort or acid reflux.
- âChocolate:â Chocolate is also high in caffeine, which can exacerbate stomach acid. In addition to caffeine, chocolate also contains fat and cocoa, which also contribute to high acidityâ
making it one of the worst foods when it comes to stomach acid.
How Is Acid Reflux Disease Diagnosed
It’s time to see your doctor if you have acid reflux symptoms two or more times a week or if medications don’t bring lasting relief. Symptoms such as heartburn are the key to the diagnosis of acid reflux disease, especially if lifestyle changes, antacids, or acid-blocking medications help reduce these symptoms.
If these steps don’t help or if you have frequent or severe symptoms, your doctor may order tests to confirm a diagnosis and check for other problems. You may need one or more tests such as these:
- Barium swallow can check for ulcers or a narrowing of the esophagus. You first swallow a solution to help structures show up on an X-ray.
- Esophageal manometry can check the function and movement of the esophagus and lower esophageal sphincter.
- pH monitoring can check for acid in your esophagus. The doctor inserts a device into your esophagus and leaves it in place for 1 to 2 days to measure the amount of acid in your esophagus.
- Endoscopycan check for problems in your esophagus or stomach. This test involves inserting a long, flexible, lighted tube with a camera down your throat. First, the doctor will spray the back of your throat with anesthetic and give you a sedative to make you more comfortable.
- A biopsymay be taken during endoscopy to check samples of tissue under a microscope for infection or abnormalities.
Can Acid Reflux Disease Be Treated With Medications
In many cases, lifestyle changes combined with over-the-counter medications are all you need to control the symptoms of acid reflux disease.
Antacids, such as Alka-Seltzer, Maalox, Mylanta, Rolaids, or Riopan, can neutralize the acid from your stomach. But they may cause diarrhea or constipation, especially if you overuse them. It’s best to use antacids that contain both magnesium hydroxide and aluminum hydroxide. When combined, they may help counteract these gastrointestinal side effects.
If antacids don’t help, your doctor may try other medications. Some require a prescription. Your doctor may suggest more than one type or suggest you try a combination of medications such as these:
- Foaming agents coat your stomach to prevent reflux.
- H2 blockers decrease acid production.
- Proton pump inhibitors also reduce the amount of acid your stomach makes.
- Prokinetics can help strengthen the LES, empty your stomach faster, and reduce acid reflux.
Don’t combine more than one type of antacid or other medications without your doctor’s guidance.
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What To Eat When You Have An Acidic Stomach
If you struggle with an acidic stomach, consider which foods you’re eating that may be worsening the condition. Consume highly acidic foods in moderation and adopt a low acid diet to relieve your symptoms.
Foods that are low in acidity make for a less acidic stomach.
Adding any of these foods to your diet can reduce your levels of stomach acidity or help to balance the acid levels already present.
If you have adjusted your diet accordingly and you are still struggling with excess stomach acidity or acid reflux, contact your health care professional for advice â there are medications available that can help.
How Can I Treat My Acid Reflux
In their haste for relief, many sufferers visit their local pharmacy to load up on antacids, or see their primary caregivers for stronger prescription remedies.
But these treatments simply minimize the symptoms of the condition rather than resolving themand they often come with a host of unwanted side effects. For lasting relief, a more holistic approach to healing is often required.
Through a combination of dietary changes, behavioral changes, and natural remedies, you can conquer acid reflux permanently without having to resort to harsh pharmaceuticals and chew on chalky antacids. Read on to learn how!
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Think About The Food You Eat
There are certain types of foods that will require more stomach acid than others. This is especially the case with fats and proteins.
While your body needs them, it doesnt need as much as you would think. To start with, protein is an excellent way to keep you feeling fuller. It breaks down slowly and is used up by the body over the course of a few hours. If you eat too much, your stomach must work harder to break it down, and that means creating more stomach acid.
When eating any type of protein, take a break half way through your meal. Determine if you really need to eat the rest, by listening to your stomach and not what your brain is telling you based on sight. If youre still hungry, eat a little more and take another break.
The breaks dont just give your stomach a chance to tell your brain that youre full. These breaks will give your stomach a chance to break down the food that youve eaten. As it breaks down some of it, the stomach creates room for the next amount that you will eat. This allows the stomach acid levels to remain the same.
Fatty food tends to add to the acid in the stomach. When youve had heartburn, youve likely found that it is made worse by anything fatty, and that includes healthy fats!
Opt For Green Juices Or Smoothies Before A Meal
If you dont fancy a glass of vinegar before a meal, why not a green juice or smoothie? This is another way to get an alkaline liquid into your body to balance out the stomach acid. You can use any type of green vegetable that you want, but the dark leafy greens tend to be the best. We also tried this amazing green Superfood that we recommend.
At the same time, you get all the antioxidants and other nutrients from the leafy greens. Drinking the greens rather than eating them is one of the best ways to get the nutrients and not stomach acid . They absorb quicker since theres no need to digest them as much. Even the juices are good for you since dark leafy greens dont have that many natural sugars!
Green juices will also help to curb inflammation in the body. Those nutrients have anti-inflammatory powers. Youll find that your digestive system isnt as swollen, making it easier to digest everything that you eat. Your stomach doesnt need to hold food back while your intestines can cope, so the stomach acid doesnt stick around for as long.
You want to avoid green juices right after a meal. Your body is already starting to digest food, and you will disrupt the process. Drinking it just before is best. This way you also get the same benefit for your weight loss as you would be drinking apple cider vinegar and water.
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What Causes Too Much Stomach Acid
Most people who experience excessive stomach acid symptoms complain about a burning sensation from the start. Well look at excess stomach acid symptoms in detail, but first, lets consider what causes excessive stomach acid.
Acid can build up in the stomach due to diet, excessive alcohol consumption, abnormally high acid production, or it can simply be hereditary. When excess stomach acid goes untreated, it can lead to ulcers. Diet plays a big role in controlling stomach acid too. There are certain foods that cause more acid and others that are better tolerated. Heres a look at what causes excess stomach acid, starting with food.
In most cases, symptoms of excess stomach acid can be attributed to diet. It can be helpful for people to keep a food journal, which enables them to pinpoint what food or foods are bothersome. Once certain culprits are identified, it is simply a matter of eliminating those foods from the diet to find relief.
A Pharmacist Can Help With Heartburn And Acid Reflux
Speak to a pharmacist for advice if you keep getting heartburn.
They can recommend medicines called antacids that can help ease your symptoms.
It’s best to take these with food or soon after eating, as this is when you’re most likely to get heartburn. They may also work for longer if taken with food.
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If You Suffer From Acid Reflux:
Do not take any ant-acids or acid reflux meds
Take 1 capsule during or directly after the meal and see if you do not have the indigestion. If you continue to have the indigestion, you need more.
At your next meal, take 2 caps and continue this process until you find the amount you need in order to not have indigestion. Continue to use this amount until you notice you have indigestion again. When you do, drop your dosage by 1 cap for your next meal.
If 4 caps took away your indigestion you can stay on that until you noticed that 4 caps now CAUSED indigestion. Then you can drop your dosage to 3 caps until you notice the new amount causes indigestion. When you notice indigestion at 3 caps, drop it to 2 and continue with this until you plateau or are able to completely eliminate the usage of the HCL caps.
Signs That You Have Low Stomach Acid:
The condition of low HCL causes poor digestive motility and sphincter activity. This allows food contents to sit in the stomach and be metabolized by bacteria that are able to survive due to lack of stomach acid. The result of this bacterial fermentation is gas which can cause bloating, cramping, belching, etc.
Here are the most common signs and symptoms that you have low stomach acid production.
1) Gas and Belching: With low HCL, this usually comes on shortly after a meal, within 60 minutes.
2) Acid Reflux: This is most commonly caused by low acid as explained in this article.
3) Bloating and Cramping: The gas production from the bacterial fermentation in the stomach produces this. Again, it typically comes on within an hour of eating.
4) Chronic Bad Breath: This is due to the toxic metabolites produced through bacterial fermentation in the stomach.
5) Bad Body Odor: Poor stomach acid production leads to an overall microbial overgrowth throughout the body. More microbes produce more stinky toxins.
6) Undigested Food in Stools: This is obvious, you are not able to completely metabolize the food you are consuming.
7) Aversion to Meat: Many people with low stomach acid desire to avoid meat and have digestive problems when they eat it. Especially red meat which is usually tougher and depends upon more HCL than whiter meats for digestion.
8) Tired After Meals: If the digestive process has to work twice as hard, it will cost us a lot of energy, leaving us tired.
Are There Risk Factors
Some of the potential risk factors for developing high levels of stomach acid include:
- Medications: If you take medication to lower stomach acid production and then come off of treatment, you may develop rebound high stomach acid. However, this typically resolves on its own over time.
- H. pylori infection: Having an active H. pylori bacterial infection in your stomach may lead to an increase in stomach acid.
- Genetics: About
High stomach acid is often treated with protein pump inhibitors . These medications work to lower stomach acid production.
PPIs have a higher efficacy than H2 blockers. Theyre often given orally, but can be given by IV in more severe cases.
If your high stomach acid is caused by an H. pylori infection, youll be prescribed antibiotics along with a PPI. The antibiotics work to kill the bacteria while the PPI will help lower stomach acid production.
Sometimes surgery may be recommended, such as removal of gastrinomas in people with Zollinger-Ellison syndrome. Additionally, people who have severe ulcers may need to have surgery to remove part of the stomach or vagus nerve .
If heartburn is one of your symptoms, you can make dietary changes to help reduce your symptoms:
- eating smaller and more frequent meals
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Top 17 Home Remedies For Acidity And Acid Reflux
Acid reflux is a common phenomenon that causes lots of discomforts. When the stomach juices cause pain in the food pipe, its known as acid reflux. Burning sensation in the stomach is the key symptom of acid reflux. However, there may be countless reasons for acidity. In this article, lets look at some easy natural home remedies for acidity.
Drink A Glass Of Milk
If you feel like stomach acid reflux or heartburn is a problem, you will want to tackle the symptoms. While these dont necessary help to balance out the stomach acid , they can help to line the esophagus and limit the discomfort that you experience. Some of them will help to keep the stomach acid levels down slightly.
Milk is the best option. Its easy to drink, cold, and will help to line esophagus and stomach quickly. Youll also get plenty of calcium in your diet by using it.
Theres no fizz to milk, which also helps to keep the heartburn and stomach acid symptoms to a minimum. You can benefit from almond and soya milk if you want, but youll need to keep some to a minimum. Unfortunately, soya has been known to cause heartburn in limited cases.
When you dont want milk, why not opt for some yogurt? You can enjoy it with some non-acidic fruit to help balance out the levels in the stomach or have it on its own. Opt for plain yogurt, as the fruity options will have extra sugars.
If you opt for any type of milk or yogurt, make sure it is low fat. Watch for the sugar levels in these, but you should be fine with most skim milk, almond milk, or Greek yogurt.
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Is Milk Good For Stomach Acid
You’ve likely heard that milk and stomach acid are enemies. When your body produces too much stomach acid, the acid may enter your esophagus, and you may experience ulcers or heartburn. If these conditions happen too often, your health may decline dramatically.
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People often drink milk to provide relief for heartburn and decrease stomach acid production. While this practice may temporarily decrease stomach acid, it does not treat the underlying cause of the acid reflux. And drinking full-fat milk products can actually make symptoms worse. See a doctor for an evaluation if you have recurring heartburn.
Drinking low-fat or fat-free milk can temporarily decrease stomach acid production. Avoid full-fat milk â these products stay in the stomach longer, which can increase acid levels.
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Acidic Stomach: Worst Offenders
Along with adding low-acid foods to your diet to reduce or balance your stomach acidity, be mindful that what you do eat isn’t high in acid. It doesn’t matter how many bananas you eat per day if you follow them with a fried breakfast and a large coffee.
According to University Hospitals, some of the most acidic foods that you should avoid include:
When it comes to stomach acid, knowing what not to eat can be just as important as know what you should eat. Finding the balance between the two should be your goal, so you do not have to worry about consuming too much acid or foods that will create stomach acid. Your diet can still include a variety of foods so it does not become boring or dull.
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