Avoiding Foods That Cause Heartburn
Foods usually do not cause heartburn, but they can aggravate your condition and cause symptoms. Certain foods can cause symptoms by relaxing the lower esophageal sphincter, which allows digestive juices to splash up into the esophagus, thus irritating the esophagus, stimulating excess stomach acid production, or a combination of these factors.
Everyone reacts to foods differently, so keep track of the foods you eat and your symptoms. Share this information with your doctor.
The foods that most commonly cause symptoms of heartburn include:
Acidic foods, such as:
- Citrus foods: oranges, grapefruits, and their juices
- Tomatoes and tomato products
Fatty or greasy foods, such as:
- Whole-milk dairy products, including cream
- Fried foods
- Spicy foods
- Caffeinated beverages
- Some herbal products (eg, peppermint tea)
Be careful not to overeat and do not lie down right after eating. Both of these actions can cause heartburn symptoms. Give your body time to digest.
American Gastroenterological Association
International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders
Canadian Institute for Health Information
American College of Gastroenterology. The American College of Gastroenterology website. Available at: http://www.acg.gi.org/. Accessed June 30, 2008.
Duyff RL. The American Dietetic Association's Complete Food & Nutrition Guide. 3rd ed. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc; 2006.
Last reviewed June 2008 by Maria Adams, MS, MPH, RD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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