If you struggle with acid reflux symptoms, the foods you eat could be triggering this uncomfortable condition. 

Your lower esophageal sphincter (LES) naturally closes to prevent the contents of your stomach from moving back up into your esophagus. However, if your LES has weakened or become damaged, you can experience acid reflux.

Here at Imperial Digestive Health Specialists PLLC in Katy, Texas, we understand that what you eat and drink could be causing your acid reflux. Board-certified internal medicine physician and gastroenterologist Dr. Oforbuike Ewelukwa and the rest of our team work with patients who have acid reflux every day, helping them overcome their symptoms. If you have this condition, here’s what you should know. 

Foods to avoid with acid reflux

Let’s look at some of the foods that could be causing your acid reflux symptoms. We encourage you to stay away from foods that are:

1. Highly acidic

We’ve all heard about the importance of eating fruits and vegetables. However, if they’re highly acidic, they can worsen your acid reflux symptoms. Foods that can trigger issues include:

  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Grapefruit
  • Oranges
  • Pineapple
  • Salsa
  • Tomatoes
  • Tomato sauce

Instead, opt for non-citrus fruits like bananas, apples, pears, and melons.

2. High in fat

Fatty foods can cause your LES to relax, which allows more stomach acid to flow back up into your esophagus. High-fat food can also delay the emptying of your stomach.

Do your best to reduce your fat intake and avoid or strictly limit these types of foods:

  • Bacon and ham
  • French fries and onion rings
  • Full-fat dairy (butter, sour cream, cheese, whole milk)
  • Heavy cream sauces, salad dressings, and gravies
  • Fatty snack foods (potato chips, pork rinds)
  • High-fat desserts like regular ice cream

You should also avoid anything cooked or fried in oil or grease.

3. Spicy and tangy

Foods like onions, garlic, and jalapenos can trigger acid reflux symptoms if you consume too much. We recommend that you keep a food diary, tracking your meals to help monitor what causes your acid reflux to flare up.

4. Minty

Though mint can give you a refreshing taste in your mouth, it can also trigger acid reflux. Staying away from minty products like chewing gum or breath mints can help.

In addition to these four food categories, you should also know that eating chocolate can increase your acid reflux symptoms. It contains methylxanthine, which is a substance that relaxes your smooth muscle tissue, affecting your airways. 

Drinking alcohol can also instigate acid reflux symptoms.

Treatment for acid reflux

Making changes in your diet is one of the best ways to get your acid reflux under control. We may also encourage you to lose weight or quit smoking if those factors play a role in your symptoms. Small changes like sleeping with your head elevated can help, as well.

If you still need relief, we can prescribe H2 blockers and proton pump inhibitors, which reduce stomach acid. 

To learn more about acid reflux and how to get the relief you need and deserve, call us today at 281-305-0423. We’re also available by text at 832-639-5725, or you can schedule a visit online any time.

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