I’m assuming you are here because you suffer from acid reflux or GERD. It sucks, right? I’ve suffered from these ailments for years. Despite advice from doctors and other sufferers, I found little more than temporary relief. I’ll bet you have a similar experience.
In this article I will tell you about the foods you should avoid if you have GERD and why.
Through diligent research and self-experimentation, I am now able to control my acid reflux by making the correct food choices, supplementation, and lifestyle changes that are contrary to what most experts provide.
Let me explain how you can have similar success.
There are probably a few hundred articles on the internet about foods that cause acid reflux symptoms. I believe the majority of them are inaccurate, not necessarily from the foods included on the list, but for the reasoning behind including them.
After you see my list of foods, you’ll probably say that my list and their lists are very similar. But the reasoning behind the lists is very different. Excess stomach acid does not cause acid reflux! Foods that are acidic do not cause acid reflux!
Foods that increase the acidity of your stomach do not cause acid reflux. It took me a long time to believe this.
Okay, so if you have read my article on the causes of Heartburn, Acid Reflux, GERD you’ll know that I don’t buy into the common idea that they are caused by excess stomach acid.
I also don’t believe that certain foods increase the amount of acid in your stomach. If anything, that would be a good thing because most people do not have enough stomach acid. Especially if you are older because as you age, the amount of stomach acid your stomach produces is dramatically reduced compared to when you are younger.
Correlation does NOT Imply Causation
Just because stomach acid is refluxed into your esophagus does not mean that you have too much stomach acid.
To briefly summarize my article on the causes of Heartburn, Acid Reflux, and GERD I state that it is caused by a combination of all or some of following:
Insufficient Stomach Acid
Low stomach acid causes acid reflux in two ways:
Dysfunction of the Lower Esophageal Sphincter (LES)
As stated above, stomach acid triggers the tight closing of your LES. An irritated LES can also allow stomach acid to be forced into the esophagus. Your LES can become irritated by smoking (first hand or second hand), ingesting drinks containing caffeine, certain medications, and chocolate. Certain medications, and alcohol can cause the LES to relax and also allow stomach acid to leak into the esophagus. You can read more about this here: A Weak LES is One of the Main Causes of GERD
A Hiatal Hernia
The opening in the diaphragm that the esophagus goes through to the stomach is called the hiatal opening. If this opening is too large or the pressure from gas in the stomach is too great the upper portion of your stomach can bulge through the diaphragm.
This can be caused by persistent pressure being placed on the diaphragm and hiatal opening from excessive coughing, straining during bowel movements, an injury of some kind or a birth defect, bloating of the stomach, and chronic bad posture.
The reason this causes acid reflux is because the upper portion of the stomach is vertically higher than the opening of the esophagus and stomach contents can easily back up into the esophagus due to gravity or bloating of the stomach. Lying down, of course, makes it worse, especially if you lie down soon after eating.
Improper posture can position the stomach at the same height or higher than the LES (similar to a Hiatal hernia), causing the spilling of stomach contents into the esophagus.
To read more about this: How to Improve Your Posture to Improve Your GERD
Stomach bloating may be caused by eating foods from the first list below. The added pressure can force stomach contents past the LES and into the esophagus.
Eating too fast
Usually, if you eat too fast, you do not fully chew your food resulting in slowing digestion and the food staying in your stomach for a longer period of time causing gas to be formed. This gas can exert pressure on the LES forcing the contents of the stomach back into the esophagus.
Below there are two lists:
A. Foods that may cause stomach bloating, creating gas that can force stomach contents past a weakened or dysfunctional LES into the esophagus and up into the throat.
B. Foods that may cause irritation or relaxation of the LES valve causing it to remain partially open, resulting in stomach contents being pushed up into the esophagus by stomach bloating, a hiatal hernia, or poor posture resulting in symptoms of acid reflux.
There will be foods or drinks not on these lists that may affect you and no one else. There will be foods and drinks on this list that may never bother you.
I have a big problem with dry roasted peanuts. I love these things, but the powder or dust that they are coated with irritates my esophagus causing my LES to relax or not properly close. If I have a coke and a few handfuls of these dry roasted nuts within a few hours of going to sleep, I can almost guarantee that I will be woken an hour or so into my sleep with severe acid reflux.
Write down everything you eat and make a note of how you feel after.
This will allow you to determine which foods cause you to have acid reflux symptoms.
Include the time you ate, approximately how much you ate, and the time the symptom occurred.
Beano contains an enzyme that can help you digest the complex carbohydrates in vegetables, legumes, and grains before they're broken down in your large intestine, where they're more likely to cause gas. Beano works if you take it immediately before eating potentially gassy foods. Sold on Amazon
Probiotics (Culturelle, Align, VSL#3) contain "good" bacteria that may help maintain a healthy balance in your digestive system to prevent and reduce gas. Many yogurts contain probiotics, but they also contain lactose and sugar—both of which can cause bloating. Try taking probiotics in supplement form daily to see if they help. Sold on Amazon
Betaine HCl with Pepsin: take these just before or while eating to increase the hydrochloric acid in your stomach. Read my article about how to supplement this product correctly. Sold on Amazon
In closing, you don't have to totally avoid bloat-causing foods if you follow these guidelines:
Why You Need to Stop Treating Your Heartburn Symptoms
How to Determine If You Have Hypochlorhydria
How To Improve Your Posture to Improve Your GERD
Everything You Need to Know About Heartburn, Acid Reflux, and GERD
Infant Acid Reflux: What is it and How to Resolve it for My Baby?
5 Helpful Tips to Enjoy GERD Free Travel
A Weak LES is One of the Main Causes of GERD