Gastro Health

Role of Food in Acid Peptic Disease

Written by
Dr. Sultan Zeb Khan
and medically reviewed by Dr. Sneha Kannan

Published on Oct 04, 2019   -  2 min read



Diet plays an important role in the management of acid peptic disease. What to eat? What not to eat? When to eat? How much to eat? This article answers all these common questions arising in the minds of people suffering from this condition.

Role of Food in Acid Peptic Disease

What Is Acid Peptic Disease?

Acid peptic disease is a condition comprising of a variety of symptoms that arise from the esophagus (food pipe), stomach, and small intestines (mainly duodenum). It includes conditions like gastritis, dyspepsia, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and peptic ulcer.

What Are the Symptoms of Acid Peptic Disease?

The symptoms include:

  1. Pain or burning sensation in the upper abdomen or chest.
  2. Regurgitation of food into the mouth.
  3. Unpleasant taste in the mouth.
  4. Feeling of fullness after meals.
  5. Flatulence (gas).
  6. Nausea and vomiting.

What Causes These Symptoms?

These symptoms are caused either by an increase in the production of acid in our stomach or a decrease in the defence mechanism of our stomach against the acid. This results in ulcers or gastritis.

The symptoms are caused due to:

  • Increased relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter allowing the food and acid in the stomach to regurgitate into esophagus.
  • Decreased motility of the stomach causing fullness after meals and nausea.

What Is the Role of Food in the Occurrence of Acid Peptic Disease?

There are certain foods that can aggravate the symptoms of this disease. By avoiding these foods, many patients feel improvement in their symptoms. These foods include:

1. Alcohol.

2. Soft or cold drinks (carbonated drinks).

3. Caffeinated drinks like tea and coffee.

4. Chocolates.

5. Sugary and fatty meals.

6. Raw onions, tomatoes, and ketchup.

7. Butter or cheese.

8. Eating too much in a single sitting (Binge eating).

Apart from avoiding these foods, some other lifestyle modifications can help in alleviating the symptoms. The following lifestyle modifications will benefit the patients a lot:

1. Regular exercise or walk at least 30 minutes per day for five days a week.

2. Lose weight if you are overweight. A loss of 5 to 7 % of body weight will help a lot.

3. Avoid smoking.

4. Avoid late-night snacks.

5. Keep an interval of at least 3 to 4 hours between your dinner and going to bed.

6. Keep head end of the bed elevated at around 30 degree by placing a wedge under the pillow or placing blocks under head end of the bed. It prevents acid and food regurgitation into the esophagus while sleeping.

7. Wear loose clothes and avoid tight-fitting clothes and belts, as it increases pressure over the stomach, causing regurgitation of food.

8. Avoid excessive use of painkiller medications that can decrease the protective mechanism of the stomach against the acid.

Although long-term medications are sometimes required for the treatment of acid peptic disease, but by adopting a healthy lifestyle and avoiding certain foods, the disease symptoms can be reduced to a much lower level. Sometimes it provides so much relief that there is no need for the use of medications. For more information on this condition, consult a gastroenterologist online.

Last reviewed at:
04 Oct 2019  -  2 min read




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