What foods tend to produce acid in the stomach and cause acid reflux?
There are foods that produce more acid than others, however if you don’t have acid reflux these foods shouldn’t cause problems for you. Even for people with reflux, acid-producing foods may be more bothersome for one individual than they are for another. And we can still add to this chaos by realizing that we DO need some acid in our stomachs so foods that tend to produce acid should not always be labeled as “bad” foods.
If you are uncertain whether a specific food is an offender for you, than keeping a food journal can be your best defense. Keeping detailed notes on what you eat and your symptoms after eating certain foods can be a big eye opener. It is important to pinpoint the foods that do cause problems for you so that you are not eliminating whole food groups due to one or two single troublesome foods.
Just because oranges cause reflux symptoms for you doesn’t mean all fruits will do the same.
Here are some foods that can be the most common offenders for people with acid reflux. Again, these are just the common ones and doesn’t mean they will have the same affect for everyone.
10 common foods that may cause acid reflux
- Citrus fruits and tomatoes
- Raw garlic and onions
- High fat/fried foods
- Spicy foods
- Carbonated drinks
Identifying foods that are YOUR major offenders can be difficult. Some foods may be the culprit due to high acid content however there is also a definitive link between food allergies/sensitivities and symptoms of acid reflux. If you can find out which foods you are allergic or sensitive to you may be able to find the root of your acid reflux problems. Knowing for sure and eliminating those foods can put a halt to all of your acid reflux symptoms. You can do this by trying a type of elimination diet.
Another route is a test called an MRT or a Mediator Release Test. A MRT is a blood test that measures your immune reaction or sensitivity to a whole host of foods and chemicals. With the results of the MRT they are able to identify a safe list of foods to eat that will not trigger acid reflux for you, improving not only your symptoms but also any possible damage done to your gastrointestinal tract. MRT has been shown to have the highest level of accuracy of any food sensitivity blood test. This type of testing can often help to identify culprits that a person cannot figure out any other way. Depending on the types of mediators released, different areas of the body can be affected. Consuming an offending food for some people will trigger migraines, for others arthritis and for others acid reflux.
Once your offending substance(s) are identified the next step involves following an individualized LEAP eating plan. LEAP (Lifestyle, Eating and Performance) is an effective protocol that combines the Mediator Release Test (MRT) with the professional skills of a Certified LEAP Therapist (CLT). The CLT is able to produce a patient-specific anti-inflammatory diet dependent on the results of your MRT test results to reduce inflammation and therefore reduce symptoms of health issues such as GERD. The two go hand-in-hand and have had substantial results for many individuals. Most people who have MRT testing done along with counseling from a CLT have experienced significant improvement within the first 10 days or sooner with symptoms continuing to improve throughout the next 4 to 6 weeks.
Many people experience complete symptom resolution once their triggers are identified and eliminated, depending on how closely they follow their LEAP protocol, whether they have underlying conditions involved, and to which degree food sensitivity plays a role in their condition.
Why is it important to talk about MRT?
The only way to truly get to the root of your acid reflux, without solely relying on medication to eliminate symptoms, is to know what is causing it. Many medications can have long-term effects and are not meant to be used long-term. Something like MRT can reveal exactly what food or food products are causing your problem so that you can eliminate them and in turn eliminate your symptoms and the damage it may be causing.
Written by Kimberly A. Tessmer, RDN, LD
Author: Your Nutrition Solution to Acid Reflux (May 2014, New Page Books)