Acid reflux is when stomach acids flow back up into the esophagus, causing pain and discomfort. Alcohol is a known trigger for both acid reflux and GERD, a more severe form of acid reflux. This article explores what acid reflux is, its triggers, and the influence alcohol can have on acid reflux symptoms.
What is acid reflux?
Acid reflux is when stomach acids flow back up into the esophagus. This can cause pain and discomfort and other symptoms like vomiting and chest pain. There are a number of things that can trigger acid reflux, including alcohol consumption.
What causes acid reflux and symptoms?
GERD is caused by a malfunction in the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), which is supposed to keep stomach acids from flowing back up into the esophagus. When the LES malfunctions, stomach acids flow back up into the esophagus, causing acid reflux.
The symptoms of acid reflux can vary from person to person, but some common symptoms include:
- Pain And Discomfort In The Chest
- Sour Taste In The Mouth
- Difficulty Swallowing
If you experience any of these symptoms, it's best to see your doctor for diagnosis and treatment.
How can alcohol consumption lead to acid reflux?
When you drink alcohol, it can trigger acid reflux in two ways. First, alcohol is a known trigger of GERD. Second, alcohol is a diuretic, which means it causes you to urinate more often.
This can lead to dehydration, which makes acid reflux symptoms worse. In addition, alcohol can also cause the LES to malfunction, which leads to increased symptoms of acid reflux.
Is there a way to drink alcohol without causing problems with acid reflux?
If you suffer from acid reflux, it's best to avoid drinking alcohol altogether. However, if you do choose to drink, there are a few things you can do to minimize the risk of worsening your symptoms.
- First, try to drink in moderation. Heavy drinking can increase the risk of acid reflux flare-ups.
- Second, make sure you stay hydrated. Dehydration can make acid reflux symptoms worse.
- Third, avoid drinking acidic or carbonated drinks. These can irritate the stomach and increase symptoms of acid reflux.
Finally, eat small meals and avoid eating late at night. Large meals can increase the risk of acid reflux, and eating late at night can aggravate symptoms.
Are there any types of alcoholic beverages that are less likely to cause problems?
A few types of alcoholic beverages that are less likely to cause problems with acid reflux include:
- light beers
- distilled spirits
Light beers tend to have fewer calories and carbs than other types of alcoholic beverages, so they may be a better choice if you're trying to avoid exacerbating your acid reflux symptoms. Wine is also a good choice, as it is low in alcohol and sugar.
However, distilled spirits like vodka and whiskey are the best choices to avoid problems with acid reflux. They are low in calories and carbs and don't contain any sugar.
In conclusion, if you drink at all, some tips are staying hydrated, eating small meals with less fat content, and considering light beers over other alcoholic beverages like wine or distilled spirits.
GI Associates Can Help With Acid Reflux
GI Associates can help with diagnosis treatments and help you take control of your GI health. Contact us if you'd like to see a physician or have more questions. We treat all gastrointestinal issues and disorders with quality, comprehensive care.