The last few days I've been searching for acid/ alkaline food listings. Some of the various food listings seem to override each other. Some list spicy foods such as garlic and onion not good for a low acid diet, while others list them as containg almost no acid?
From my own experience I've exlcuded some foods that have given me strong refluxes:
Neither decaf nor regular coffee gives me any effect. Alcohol also cause no reflux.
I don't think the acidity of the food itself has that much to do with reflux.
Some foods cause your stomach to product a lot of acid. Fats are long molecules
and require a lot of acid to break them down, so fats tend to stimulate acid
production. Spicy foods seem to stimulate acid production too, but I don't
I think there's not very good information out there about this. I've seen
reputable medical sites say tomatoes cause reflux because of the acidity. I've
seen other reputable sites say tomatoes cause reflux because they weaken the
LES. We know some foods cause reflux in most people. In some cases we know
why (fats stimulate acid production, peppermint is a muscle relaxer which weakens
the LES), but in other cases people seem to assign them to one category or the
other without much in the way of scientific proof.
So, you can find all sorts of lists of "bad foods" out there on the web, but there
often isn't a good explanation of why it's on the list and, in the end, some people
seem to be bothered by some of these foods and others don't. I really wish there was
better scientific analysis of why certain foods cause reflux. If there was, we could
make more generalizations about what types of foods to avoid.
I agree with you. It's confussing because onions and garlic are supposed to help so many things including upper resp problems, which my LPR causes. But, when I try to eat them, I get worse. I feel I'm most bothered by fats more than tomatoes because I eat a lot of Healthy Choice Dinners and many are based with tomatoe sauce. They don't give me any problems. Even Coke is ok but Star Bucks coffee (that I adore) makes me cough and cough after drinking it. Your post interest me since you seem to have symptoms (and knowledge) of the LPR type of GERD. If you wish to call it that.
Might I ask how your symptoms started and how long you have had this problem? Sorry if that's been discussed.
I have a small hiatal hernia, which has caused me mild reflux problems for many years. It was easily controlled with standard precautions (raising head of bed, don't eat before bed, avoid problem foods, etc...). Every once in a while I'd eat something I shouldn't have but all it took was a Zantac 75 to fix things. Back then, all I'd get was some burping and, if I let that go on for too long, a feeling like I had a pill stuck in my throat. That was until last May...
Last May I started getting severe symptoms with no obvious lifestyle or diet change to account for it. I had sour post-nasal drip, hoarse voice and when I cleared my throat I had sour mucus. I started getting a tightness in my throat and eventually had difficulty swallowing due to the swelling. I still have these symptoms though I've gotten better at lessening them. I will be seeing a new gastroentrologist in three weeks. She specializes in reflux and maybe she can tell me why I have these new problems all of a sudden. My previous gastroenterologist wrote it off as stress. Both Omeprazole and Ranitidine didn't seem to help one bit and they actually seemed to make things worse so I stopped taking them.
Most any food on any "bad foods" list causes me problems now, but back when I had my original symptoms I noticed that some foods caused me problems and some didn't. For example, I could eat ice cream and cheese with no problem (I could eat alfredo sauce if it contained only dairy fat), but a few drops of a salad dressing that contained some type of vegetable oil would ruin my evening. Some of the usual suspects such as tomatoes, chocolate, or peppermint caused me minor problems, but it was really the vegetable oils that I had to look out for.
Perhaps it could be 'food allergy related' -- though I am NO expert and I understand how confusing all this is.....
I used to be able to eat a variety of things (including TOMATOS -- I miss them ... Now I am on a very restricted diet (self-imposed) - and it has really not helped that I can tell. I am still refluxing daily.....
However, I did observe after 'falling off the wagon' just a tiny bit for 2 days - I have been SUFFERING SO BADLY every since (which has been the past 4 days) -- burning and chest tightness and esophogus cramping......
I would love to find 'the answer' - but somehow I do not think it will be that easy for any of us.
At least we have each other
How do you get the swelling down to be able to eat if the meds don't work for you?
I found that I can reduce the swelling by taking a tiny sip of liquid antacid whenever I taste acid. There's a generic antacid that I like (Longs Drugs "fast acting antacid supreme") because it's unusually thick and seems to coat my throat very well. My intention isn't to neutralize the acid in my stomach but just to keep my throat clear and coated. Also, I eat a lot less now -- very small meals. Very small meals seem to reduce the occurrence of reflux but has the bad side effect of me losing 30 lbs. in the past several months
Your heavy LPR came on about the same time as mine did. In September of 2006 I was in an automobile accident and was put on cortecosteroids for several weeks to treat my injured back. Those antiinflammatory drugs ate away my stomach and gave me an ulcer. I never once had heartburn so I had no idea I had acid problems. While sleeping the acid would creep into my larynx and then my sinuses. I couldn't smell nor breath via my nose for several hours per day. I used Nasonex for 3 months to get those turbinates reduced. I used to get up every morning to clear my throat for several minutes. Raising my bed and not eating for the last 3 hours has cured that. Late last spring my throat started swelling up everytime I ate. My voice started getting hoarse. On my sisters peak flow meter I used to blow it to 700. Now I can only reach 450.
I'm finally going to see a speech pathologist tomorrow to help me with this swollen larnyx.
Are there any whole grain foods that generally don't stir up much acid?
Reading some of the post tonite gave me some insight I hadn't thought of. When I first got really, really sick, I was having among other things, bad upper respitory problems, no voice, chest tightness, SOB, almost to the point I felt like I was being strangled. I was diagnosed wrong for so many years since none of my symptoms (at this time) were those normally associated with GERD. After reading these post, I'm thinking all the steriods may have played a part in my long term LPR problems. I was put on so many so many times since it seemed as though I were having asthma attacks and other pulmonary problems. I've never been told that I have a hernia and my motility test (or Ph for that matter) never showed to have serious GERD. No strictures. I look back and can't think of any drastic pain with my stomach other than just not feeling like I could eat. No heart burn but had that sick at my stomach feeling a lot. I was so out of it, dizzy and such that I rode with my daughter to work for many months. My first scope showed gastritis, esphogatis, lots of inflamation and ulcer in my esphogus. When I would go to Dr. after Dr., I described my illness as having the flu all the time or bad cold. No energy at all, stayed in bed every weekend (not like me at all) They would all say my vocal cords looked "puffy" but nothing on them. I would have this feeling that I needed to cough so bad but at that time, nothing would come up or out. I flat felt like I couldn't get my breath and then of course...panic. With no voice, I was asked time and time again if I smoked or sang for a living. Kept telling them that I'd never smoked a day in my life and couldn't sing a note!
I would have never thought that I would get something like this that I can't control and it won't go away. Thankfully, I feel I'm maybe in a remission period right now and just hope it last for a long time. Even feeling good and being able to do more, I still have this cough. Not that bad and can control it if needed but just that feeling that something is stuck.
Wow, you guys are amazing. I'm so glad I found this forum.
The info on high fat and why it causes more acid to be produced, that really helps explain why I've had such a terrible week after eating some homemade macaroni and cheese. What a bad bad week after just a couple of helpings! I've been on AcipHex for a little over a month and was doing pretty well, but the M&C made me worse than before. Dr. said I could take one in the morning and one at night for now, thank goodness. I've barely eaten since Monday and it's STILL been bad- bad cough, clearing lots of mucous, burning in my throat into my ears. Extra Gaviscon hasn't really helped either. (gotta remember the Longs brand!)
So that explains a LOT, thank you Mark!
I was actually doing pretty well on the AcipHex- I even had mexican food and a margarita last week, with no real ill effects. And wine hasn't been much of a problem either in the month I've been on AcipHex. No more high fat yummy foods for me I guess.
I believe my LPR started with a loooong endoscopic U/S (over an hour) to have a look at and to biopsy a small tumor I have at the top of my stomach, frankly. I think the Dr. was in there WAY too long and treated me like a piece of meat rather than a human who he could hurt.