While the symptoms of gastritis and reflux are similar, reflux disease is a much more serious illness. For this reason, reflux patients can suffer from many more complaints than people with gastritis. One of these complaints is heartburn. Not only after meals, but also during the day, the stomach burns because the acids that accumulate in the stomach escape into the esophagus. Dietitian Elif Bilgin Baş provided information on the subject.
FAT FAT FOOD
High-fat foods can cause heartburn. There are two ways high-fat foods can cause heartburn. First, they can relax the esophageal sphincter, the muscle that acts as a barrier between the esophagus and stomach. When this muscle relaxes, stomach acid can escape from the stomach into the esophagus and cause heartburn. Second, high-fat foods stimulate the release of the hormone cholecystokinin (CCK). This hormone can also relax the lower esophageal sphincter and cause acid reflux. In addition, the hormone cholecystokinin ensures that food stays in the stomach longer so that it can be digested better. Unfortunately, this can also increase the risk of acid reflux, which can cause heartburn. It is important to note that this does not only apply to healthy foods that are high in fat. This also applies to high-fat fried foods and packaged foods.
There is some evidence that mint consumption can cause heartburn. One study found a link between high doses of peppermint and symptoms of acid reflux. Surprisingly, peppermint did not relax the lower esophageal sphincter. Instead, researchers believe that peppermint may trigger heartburn by irritating the esophagus. Another study of more than 500 people found that those who consumed peppermint tea daily had twice the risk of heartburn. However, there is limited evidence of a link between peppermint and heartburn. If you think mint makes your heartburn worse, it’s best to avoid it.
Chocolate is another common trigger for heartburn. Like high-fat foods, chocolate can relax the lower esophageal sphincter. This allows stomach acid to escape into the esophagus and cause heartburn. In addition, chocolate is made from cocoa, which contains serotonin, the so-called “happiness hormone”. Unfortunately, serotonin can also relax the lower esophageal sphincter. Finally, chocolate also contains theobromine and caffeine compounds. Both can stimulate the lower esophageal sphincter to relax.
They often contain a compound called capsaicin, which can slow the speed of digestion. This compound keeps food in the stomach longer and slows digestion. This is also a risk factor for heartburn. In addition, spicy foods can irritate an already inflamed esophagus, and this can worsen heartburn symptoms. Therefore, it is best to reduce your intake of spicy foods if you have heartburn.
Onions, especially consumed raw, are a heartburn trigger. Like other foods on this list, onions can relax the lower esophageal sphincter, causing symptoms of acid reflux and heartburn. In addition, onions are a rich source of fermented fiber that can cause belching. Belching can make acid reflux symptoms worse. Fermentable fiber onions are made up of FODMAPs, a group of compounds that can cause digestive problems.
Some people may experience heartburn while drinking coffee. Coffee has been shown to relax the lower esophageal sphincter, which may increase the risk of acid reflux and heartburn. Some studies show that caffeine is the culprit. However, studies have only looked at the effects of caffeine and found that it may not cause any symptoms. In this case, it was thought that other compounds in coffee could be responsible. Other studies have found no association between coffee and reflux symptoms. While the research is inconclusive, there’s no need to avoid it if you can tolerate coffee. If coffee develops problems such as reflux and heartburn, it is best to avoid it or limit your intake.
Carbonated drinks are also common causes of heartburn. Research shows that these drinks can relax the esophageal sphincter and increase stomach acid. In one study, scientists observed the sleep patterns of more than 15,000 people and found that about 25% had nighttime heartburn. After further investigation, the researchers found that nighttime heartburn is strongly linked to several factors, including drinking carbonated soft drinks. Another study found that people who consumed carbonated drinks had a 69% higher risk of developing reflux symptoms such as heartburn.