looking for: acid reflux/heartburn

cherryfizzNovember 9, 2001

I was just diagnosed with Acid Reflux. Is there a special diet I should be following. I was told to stay away from chocolate, milk, coffee, citrus and tomato products. I love to eat fruit. Does all fruit cause acid reflux? Thank you for the help.


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I'm afraid I am not going to be much help. Thankfully I don't have acid reflux, though I am worried about my hisband. Anyway, I was thinking about your question. You wrote that you were told to stay away from citrus. Not all fruit is a citrus or have high levels of citrus. When one thinks of citrus, usually one thinks of oranges, grapefruit, lemons, and limes. I would say that apples, bananas, grapes, cherries, nectarines, peaches, melons, and dried fruits would probably be safe bets. Though I new a gal that had problems with her reflux when she ate bananas. I wonder if you could find a website that could help? Maybe something about food and acid reflux. Otherwise, you could always try a fruit or food, and see if it does indeed bother you. You should know then if it really is going to upset your tummy. I wish you luck!

    Bookmark   November 16, 2001 at 4:49PM
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Thank you Alice.

It seems that all the sites on heartburn, acid reflux that I have visited tell me to stay away from the foods that I mentioned.

Right now it seems that most of the food I eat is causing me problems. Maybe after taking th emedication for a few weeks things will be better

I tend to eat only one meal a day and was told that may be the problem. I now must eat 6 small meals which I find hard to do.

My mother has Alzheimers so I tend to go to sleep when she sleeps which is at 5 in the morning, then I get up at 1 pm.
She gets up at 2 p.m. By the time I get her bathed, dressed and fed, laundry done, etc. I don't eat until 8 pm. I have that meal and won't eat after that because I am in the mindset that I don't eat after a certain time because it is too late and I can't get out and walk for exercise.

I just recently discovered pomegranets (my favourite fruit) causes me great discomfort.

I hope your husband does not have acid reflux. The best heartburn reliever so far that I have tried is Gaviscon chewables - strawberry. Feel terrible in your mouth but they sure do work.

I probably should have posted this in the Health Forum.

Thank you again for your reply.


    Bookmark   November 17, 2001 at 8:43PM
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Hello again. I'm sure it has to be not only very unconfortable, but frustrating too for you to have to be in this situation. I hate having heartburn, but all the time...no thank you. Whomever told you (your doctor?) about 6 small meals is right about it being better for you. I can see where it can be very hard for you. (I'm sorry to hear about your Mother.) If you don't want to eat small meals, try even smaller. Go for a snack. It really isn't good to go so long between eatting. Try a handful of pretzels and some juice or a piece of fruit. Maybe a small salad. Try to find foods that are quick, quick to eat and prepare. Then you won't have to take much time from your very busy day. Also, I would suggest you change your mind set about when you should stop eatting for the day. Since you're not going to bed at 11 PM, you don't have to worry about eatting later than 8 PM. I have heard that one should not eat 3 hours before bed. That would make it 2 AM for you.
Thank you for the advice about the Gaviscon! :) My husband does have problems with heartburn a couple times a month. It just worries me, especially with all the junk he eats. I think if I keep after him to eat better and if we get our rumps off the couch, we'll both be feeling better. We just got him some Pepcid to try before he eats pizza, his favorite food. The pizza gave him heartburn everytime, but not with the Pepcid. I think that'll be the only time he'll use it. We're never totally sure what else (greasy junk) might upset him though.
I sure do hope that you can start feeling better really soon.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2001 at 12:37AM
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Thank you Alice for your kind words and hints about what to eat.


    Bookmark   November 20, 2001 at 12:10AM
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I agree with Alice. Since your are going to bed at 5am.
You shouldn't have to worry about not eating till 2am. I have
been tested for acid reflux-I think it was due to all the medicine they gave me when I had bronchitas. My doctor also said to try to eat 6 small meals. Acid builds up when you are sleeping, so you need to take your medicine before you go to sleep.Prilosec wasn't working for me so I had to change to Aciphex.Which works wonderful. Cokes & coffee are not good for you. My doctor did say I could have decaff. coffee. But stay away from carbonated drinks.
Hope you get to feeling better.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2001 at 7:24AM
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Thanks Deanna

I must say I am starting to feel better. When my doctor asked me how I felt the other day I realized I was not having the funny feelings in my chest anymore. I had these feelings for such a long time and didn't know what they were. Not your typical burning just funny feelings.

I cut back on a lot of foods I was eating. I miss cooking with garlic but that was causing me problems. I also miss citrus. I bought a large ruby red grapefruit last night. I am going to peel it and see if I can eat a little of it.

I am glad I can have decaf coffee. I only have one large coffee a day and I can't tell the difference between regular and decaf so decaf is fine with me.

I also miss chocolate! One good thing that came out of this mess is that I have so far lost 11 pounds. I try to eat low fat now. I even switched from butter to Olivina Margarine not that I use to much of it anyways. Butter went on everything before but not now.

Thanks again for your hints and concern.


    Bookmark   December 6, 2001 at 10:15AM
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Hi Anne, I like you suffer from Acid Reflex diease, I have had it now for about a year and a half. What I have found to eat as far as fruit goes apples, pears, banana do not bother me. And I can have a grapefruit as long as I do not have one everyday. As far as eating 6 small meals a day goes I do understand the problem that is. What I have found out that eating is this I have a small breakfast,(cream cheese and bagel, bowl of cereal with skim milk, or some other item) and then I feel hungry about two hours later grap a sandwich and some fruit, two hours later grap pretzels, fruit and any other low fat product. And then I have a small dinner, and then just before bed I love to have a bowl of cereal with skim milk and I do not go to bed till quite late. The trick of the small meals is varying what you have so you do not get bored with it. And also you do not have to stick to the two hour schedule, there will be days you do not feel like eating on that schedule, but try not to go to long with out eating because as you may find out that you will get a lot of discomfort, because your stomach has only the acid to feed on because of the small meals food does not stay as long in your stomach. If you have any question please e-mail me at persevere29@hotmail.com. Hope this helps Karen

    Bookmark   December 13, 2001 at 6:25PM
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Hi Anne, Another sufferer here...many years of it. I have found that the "tangerines" or Mandarin oranges don't have nearly the acid and can be tolerated much better and satisfy the craving for citrus. Anything with tomatoes gets to me if I don't take a pepcid first. I've recently found a smoothie recipe that seems to set me up to prevent acid the rest of the day.

I mix a little skim milk, a dollop of plain yogurt wih live cultures, some soft tofu (2 0z. approx.) and a few frozen berries or frozen banana slices, and blend. It is filling, satisfying, and good. The effect of settling the acid is a bonus. On days I drink this, I don't have a problem. Other days, I eat Tums like candy.

Good luck, Dianna

    Bookmark   December 14, 2001 at 2:09PM
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Thank you Dianna and Karen. I will try taking your advice.

I have been eating crackers with light cream cheese with a few olives or grapes to make up my small meals or I will have a sandwich.

I have not yet tried the grapefruit because I have had a few bad days. I ate spaghetti one night and my stomach could not take it.

Every time I go to the store I look at the boxes of clementines and really want to buy them but I haven't yet. Maybe now I will try them. I usually have 2 at a time but I can probably cut back to 1 and see how it goes.

Thank you for your help.

Happy Holidays,


    Bookmark   December 15, 2001 at 12:47AM
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Hi Anne,
And to all those who have acid reflux, my father had it for years, his remedy was over the counter medications, which helped temporarily but not in the long run. He was a heavy drinker of beer and that caused alot of his irritation. Anyway I just wanna say i hope all of you get a perscription from the doctor, if he would have, he would still be alive today. He died 7 months ago, on the same day my baby was born. It ended up causing cancer, which spread. Do you know your stomach acid is so strong that if you were to get it on your skin it would burn a hole right through it? reflux is when your acids splash up out of your stomach and into the esphogus which is unprotected like the stomach. I believe beer had alot to do with it, and outside of a snack, usually bannans, he ate only once a day that could have contributed. hope you get those perscriptions! thanks ,

    Bookmark   January 2, 2002 at 11:17PM
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I am sorry for the loss of your father especially on the day your child was born.

Thankfully, I am being treated by a doctor. The way I was diagnosed was I had been feeling funny feelings in my chest, no pain just funny feelings. I was worried it was my heart but I figured it wasn't because when I lifted my mom or ran up the stairs I was never in pain or out of breath. I called my doctor to ask how I could tell if I was having heart burn or heart trouble and he said that it is hard to diagnose in women without tests because heartburn can mask as heart attacks and vice versa. I made an appointment with him for the next day.

That evening my mom choked on a cookie and I used the Heimlech (sp) to remove it. It took a few tries, she was turning black and it finally worked. She was making funny sounds and I thought maybe I broke a rib or something. She was breathing okay and I called an ambulance just to have the emts check her out. I said it was not an emergency and told them what I had done. They came with lights and sirens anyways at 11 pm when the entire neighbourhood was asleep!

They did ekgs on my mom and said she was okay I had done the right thing and she was breathing fine and nothing was broken. They asked me how I was feeling because my face was bright red. I told them my face is usually red but that I did make a doctors appointment for the next day because of the funny feelings in my chest. They seemed concerned and asked me if I had experienced any pain in my side or neck. The morning before I woke up crying because I had sharp pains on my left side and my neck was sore.

The said they wanted to perform an ekg on me because it sounded like I had experienced heart attack symptoms. They did one ekg and then another. They said they would have to take me in to the hospital! They could not leave me because the test showed some problem in the back chamber of my heart and if they left me I might have a heart attack and not make it until the morning. Talk about being frightened to death LOL

These guys stayed with me for 2 hours while I made arrangements for someone to stay with my mom and then they took me away to the hospital. At the hospital I had about 5 more ekgs and at one point they gave me Nitro which made me pass out. I was there all night and the doctor came in and told me my heart was all right but I was suffering from severe heartburn and reflux. The only thing I knew about people suffering from heartburn was burning pain and acid reflux was the acid backing up into the throat. I was not experiencing either of those symptoms. The doctor said the funny feeling I had in my chest was where the acid stopped. When she found out I was only eating one meal a day she said that was why I was getting this. I felt bad for taking up space in the emergency room because of heartburn but she said the emts were right to bring me in because in women heartburn masks as a heart attack. Don't know why I had faulty ekg readings but am sure glad it was not my heart!

Thanks Shelly for telling me the story of your father. It will probably help people who are suffering from this and are afraid to go to their doctor. Women should get to their doctors right away when they experience prolonged heartburn and get it diagnosed to make sure it is not their heart.


    Bookmark   January 3, 2002 at 2:47AM
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It sounds like you are suffering from GERD which stands for Gastroesophageal Refux Disease. My husband has it and has required several out patient procedures this year. The valve that prevents the stomach acid from spilling into the esophagus is faulty. The lining of the esophagus is different from the stomach lining so if it spills it errodes the esophagus. He had ignored this problem for years and now has Barretts Disease. It has to be watched closely because it can become cancerous. It causes a webbing to form and food can not pass. The medical procedure is to stretch the esophagus and remove the webbing. He is on a restricted diet, as you have discribed, no caffine, no acidic fruit or vegetables and no carbonation are the main things to avoid. Of course like most people he cheats but is pretty good about it. He is prescribed 40 mg of Prilosec twice a day and 150 mg of Zantac before bedtime. No eating at least four hours prior to bedtime. And small meals. He also sleeps on a foam wedge pillow that keeps his head 6 inches higher than his chest. This is something that does require a lot of disipline but it is working and the last films they took actually shows some repair of the Barretts taking place. There is lots of information about this in any of the search engines. I urge you to check the information out to see if you can't get some relief. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions. Cathy

    Bookmark   January 4, 2002 at 8:07PM
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Thank you Cathy for the information. I thought I was starting to feel better but this week I made scalloped potatoes with lots of onions. Boy, I am feeling the burn now! I cut back my medication dosage but I don't think I am quite healed yet. My doctor said it will take time.

I am glad your father is showing signs of healing. I am fortunate I was diagnosed before it got any worse. I tend to suffer before going to the doctor because I don't ever think I am sick enough to require care. I live in Canada with free medical care so cost is not the issue. I take care of my mom 24/7 and have to stay healthy so that I may care for her.

Thank you for notifying me of your post.

Happy New Year to you and your family.


    Bookmark   January 5, 2002 at 12:30AM
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Another sufferer here. It may take a year or more for you to really feel like you have licked the problem. Keep up the diet and go to the Dr. when necessary. I think you get to know what causes the problems as you go along, and learn to try to avoid that food, or eat just a small quantity. Certain things bother me more than others. Try not to be over stressed, if at all possible. That does not help. Unfortunately, in your situation you have a lot of stress. Good luck.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2002 at 11:26AM
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I have gastric reflux and I take one prevacid in the morning but I also keep tums around and chew a couple of them if i need them. I keep them by my bed at night also. Anything can set mine off. The prevacid helps a lot. I have had it for several years. I have heard losing weight sometimes helps. Mine is pretty much under control with the tums and prevacid.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2002 at 9:00PM
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Thanks Hallie for replying. I just noticed this post.

I am feeling much better now and seem to have the acid reflux under control with medication.

I was on Prevacid for a few weeks but the pills were making me sick. I could take it for 3 days and on the 4th day I would feel ill. They did not work for me.

I went back to the Zantac but they stopped working too. Back to the doctor and he gave me samples of Pantoloc. Wonderful, wonderful medicine. This is the one that is working for me. I take one around dinner time and that means I have no more pain at night I have been careful in what I eat and I have lost 25 pounds but I do once in a while splurge on something that might cause me pain, but so far nothing I cannot handle. I can have garlic in very small amounts but onions are out all together. I had a little sphagetti with sauce tonight and I feel a slight twinge so I best stay away from tomato sauces for now.

I have had my heart checked to rule out the pain was not my heart. My cholesterol is great, no high blood pressure, passed cardiac stress test with flying colours and had an echocardiogram.

The heart palpations I thought I was feeling turned out to be spasms in my esophogus. Any food that goes into my mouth cause a spasm so when I feel it I now know that it is not my heart.

I am so happy my doctor suggested the Pantoloc. My doctor was giving me samples of the drug until he ran out so he has ordered more for me. I have had to buy them for this month from the pharmacist. They cost $75.00 for 30 pills which is a little expensive for me to pay for each month but if they work I will have to sacrifice something else to get them.

Thanks all for replying to my post and giving me suggestions. I really appreciate all the help I received.


    Bookmark   May 15, 2002 at 4:08AM
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I too suffered from acid reflux and hiatal hernia. I had day surgery last August. In and out, had to eat soft foods for 7-10 days, small meals. I'm great now. It is called a fundoplication...Dr. wraps the upper part of your stomach around your esphogus sphinter muscle and stitches it. It was a breeze. Check with a gastro. Dr. and a surgeon in your area that does laproscopic surgery. Absolutely no more problems!!!

    Bookmark   May 16, 2002 at 5:22PM
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Keeping a food diary helps. The other solution I found was to do an elimination diet, one item per meal with no repeats for 2 weeks. So breakfast might be a microwave baked white potato, lunch might be broccoli, dinner might be steak. You can see really fast which item causes problems. Its hard to figure out your problem if you have meals that are complex like a breaded fish sandwich, or a hamburger on a roll with lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise.
I figured out which were the problem foods and stay away from them. Zantac helps and so does Protonix but staying away is the best bet. Cola drinks cause a problem but not ginger ale--for example.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2008 at 5:34PM
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My husband has been suffering for a little over a year now. He has been on several medications. He was recently on Protomix but wants to change to a generic b/c of increases in presecriptions on our insurance.

Some of the things we have been told: Stay away from foods listed above, food journals, smaller meals and more of them.

I have been trying to have my DH keep a food jounral - he always forgets.

He has completely cut out coffee (used to drink most of the day) - Now he drinks Tea in early AM and sometimes decaf at other times in the day.

Stopped soda and seltzer - ginger ale is ok for him and sierra mist.

For an Ital guy to give up sauce is impossible - so heres what we found. Adding baking soda (about a teaspoon or a little more depending on how much sauce) will cut out some of the acid. the baking soda will fizz as its cutting the acid. I sprinkle a little more til it doesn't fizz anymore.

Found the recipe from the website below.

He has also found that he can eat small amounts of choc - but semi-sweet seems to bother him more than milk.

Ruth :-)

Here is a link that might be useful: Acid Reflux/GERD recipes

    Bookmark   January 11, 2008 at 10:01PM
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I have had acid reflux forever. My son is 12, and he's always had it - though it took years to diagnose.

I was an x-ray tech for quite a few years. Every morning we'd do Upper GI's, and every morning the Radiologist would give the same advice to people with reflux: Raise the head of your bed a few inches. Not your pillow, the bed itself. Put a 2 x 4 under the legs at the head end.
If that's not enough, raise it another 2 inches. I actually bought an adjustable bed, which also ended my neck pain.
Both my son and I can tell after a couple of days out of town and in a hotel that our symptoms return.
It's basically the same information as in Sh42's link.
I was not going to have my son on medications for life, and it's just so much easier to raise the bed head than worry about all of these special diets and when you can eat.
Oh, and yes - reflux CAN cause cancer - but that's extreme.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2008 at 7:39PM
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Shelly, my husband died under the same circumstances as your father did. Gary died of esophogeal and stomach cancer, which manifested itself in his pancreas and liver. He was only 53, and died last April.

Acid reflux is a very serious condition - if not treated properly, it can lead to esophogeal and stomach cancer - get under a doctor's care before it's too late.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2008 at 7:38PM
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Oranges, grapefruits and orange juice are classic heartburn foods and should be avoided.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2014 at 5:32AM
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Acid reflux is different for each person. Different trigger foods and different levels of severity. I had to have Nissen Fundoplication surgery. If you are considering the surgery, talk to some people who have had it. It works for some and for others it does not. I am doing so much better after the surgery. But just because I had the surgery I still cannot eat those trigger foods: chocolate, tomatoes, onions, milk, garlic, pepper, citrus, etc. Plus I can't eat other foods now that make me gassy: broccoli, cauliflower. I was still having symptoms some time after my surgery. I discovered that it was milk causing the problem. I used to eat alot of yogurt, cottage cheese, cheese, etc. I cut all that out and I just wish I had figured it out sooner. I use Almond Milk instead. There are some things that I stay away from now for different reasons. I am afraid to eat anything that I think might get stuck going down (chips, for example). One big thing is not to overeat. Plus they say stop eating 3 hours before bed. I like to stop 4 hours before bed. I have an electric adjustable bed and sleep with the head of the bed raised.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2014 at 9:33AM
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Many things can cause acid reflux. Aspirin, coffee, pain killers, wheat, allergies and even GMO's. The typical reflux medicines (prilosec/nexium/etc) do NOT help in the long run. They shut your stomach down. You NEED acid to digest your food as well as kill bad bacteria (h-pylori) in your stomach.

Sour kraut is helpful. It is loaded with probiotics. Plus, anything with vinegar. Papaya tabs.

A link that might be useful:


    Bookmark   July 6, 2014 at 12:29PM
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My 22 year-old son started having acid reflux and his stomach didn't feel right. Doctor couldn't find the problem so he prescribed Prilosec. We refused to fill the prescription without knowing the cause. Another doctor ran tests and found that my son has a gluten (wheat) intolerance which is Celiac Disease. No one else in our family has ever had this but some speculate that one in 33 people may be gluten intolerant and not know it.

If you have acid reflux, I would highly recommend getting tested for gluten intolerance. I have talked to people how remained undiagnosed for many years. For my son,it took a year to find the problem. Many doctors aren't aware of the need to test for gluten intolerance or wheat allergies. You must take the test while you are eating foods which contain gluten daily. If you're gluten intolerant, you won't likely be able to tell that wheat is causing the problem until you've been on a gluten-free diet for a while. In other words, if you can eat a sandwich without feeling bad, it doesn't prove that you're not gluten intolerant. Once you stop eating foods that contain wheat for several weeks, you would notice a bad reaction if you eat a food that contains gluten. Many foods have hidden gluten ingredients so you must read labels.

It's true that there are many things that can cause acid reflux. Keep researching to find the causes and remedies. Consider going to a naturopathic doctor rather than taking drugs. There are lots of natural remedies. Different types work for different people. Good whole foods are very important.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 2:34PM
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