If you suffer from heartburn that comes and goes without any apparent cause, you should keep track of what you eat.
This tracking includes how much you eat and when, since food may very well be the trigger of your acid reflux.
“Classically, certain foods trigger reflux and symptomatic heartburn,” points out Gastroenterologist Larry Good, MD, who’s been practicing for 40+ years, with a private practice in Lynbrook, NY; and is affiliated with Concierge Choice Physicians, a leading provider of personalized care in the U.S.
Types of Food that Can Make Heartburn Come and Go
Dr. Good says, “Fatty and fried foods, carbonated beverages, chocolate, mints and onions are typical triggers.”
That’s lousy news for those of you who enjoy indulging in these foods. The behemoth onion rings pictured above from Shanahan’s Steakhouse in Denver were the bomb.
“Alcohol and caffeine are also frequent culprits,” continues Dr. Good.
“It takes about 90 minutes for the stomach to empty completely, so very large meals, especially if they contain the foods listed, taken just before bed will often precipitate nocturnal heartburn.
“Acidic foods like citrus juices can also provoke symptoms, especially if the esophagus is inflamed.”
Another reason for heartburn to come and go is when it’s being triggered by anxiety and stress.
Anxiety and stress, like food consumption, can come and go. The intermittent nature may be due to the stressful events themselves, or — to the sufferer’s state of mind fluctuating.
A nasty combination, then, is when the chest discomfort or heartburn of acid reflux is being caused both by food and stress.
Imagine what might happen if a person who’s prone to heartburn turns to reflux-triggering foods to deal with stress or anxiety!
A big piece of emotionally-soothing chocolate cake right before bedtime is the last thing a person with acid reflux problems needs to do.
Dr. Good has additional expertise in the diagnosis/treatment of IBS and inflammatory bowel disease, and is extremely proactive in genetic testing, individualization of pharmacologic treatment, and risk mitigation in cancer screening/prevention. Concierge Choice Physicians
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.