Don’t you just love grape juice, with its intense sweet flavor, but at the same time it seems to cause or at least aggravate GERD: gastroesophageal reflux disease.
Mmmm, isn’t a chilled glass of grape juice refreshing when you’re thirsty and want something with a unique sweetness?
Plus, natural grape juice has antioxidants known as polyphenols.
What a shame if you’d have to give up this delicious beverage all in the name of GERD!
Keep Track of Your Symptoms
To find out if grape juice is truly the culprit, keep track of when you have your episodes of GERD or acid reflux.
Take note of what drinks or foods you had shortly prior to the episode. If grape juice is a common denominator, eliminate it (don’t eliminate more than one suspect drink or food at a time) and see if you continue getting GERD.
The grape juice may still be a culprit, while a non-eliminated food continues to bring on the acid reflux.
But you’ll know for sure if grape juice is at play if eliminating it ends the heartburn attacks.
“If juice is especially acidic or sugary, the fluid can be refluxed into the esophagus, causing GERD-like discomfort,” says Andrew Black, MD, Diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine & Gastroenterology who practices with GI of Norman in Oklahoma.
“This is why citrus juices/fruits cause GERD symptoms.”
But does this mean you can’t ever again enjoy grape juice without suffering from heartburn?
Dr. Black says, “If one can’t stop drinking grape juice they could consider taking some Pepcid/Prilosec, etc., prior to consumption (30-45 mins).”
If that still doesn’t work, and you crave grape juice, you might want to try sugar-free grape soda that’s sweetened with the natural herb Stevia.
The brand name is Zevia, and the beverages have zero calories.
Though soda should never be considered a health drink, even at zero calories and sweetened with an herb, it can be a reasonable option for people who suffer from stubborn acid reflux after drinking natural grape juice.
Dr. Black has presented many GI-related research papers at national conferences. He is an active member of Norman Regional Hospital, and West Norman Endoscopy Center.
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.