Foods That Create Heartburn

Fred Ravenscraft
By Fred Ravenscraft Latest Reply 2016-03-14 10:27:58 -0500
Started 2009-03-07 19:17:49 -0600

Lately I have had heartburn after eating breakfast. After awhile it subsides. Does anyone else have this? I have been eating oatmeal for a long time, and wonder if this is creating the problem.

12 replies

redorangedog 2016-03-14 10:23:04 -0500 Report

Although oats are an excellent source of many different B vitamins, which according to The University of Maryland Medical Center may help control acid reflux and prevent heartburn, some people still complain of experiencing heartburn after eating them.

If you can relate, don’t count out the heart-healthy food just yet. The oats heartburn connection may be a result of the others things you’re consuming with the grain. It may even have to do with the type of oatmeal you’re using or how you’re preparing it.

Follow the tips below to help.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Oats for Heartburn

Choose gluten-free oatmeal if you’re allergic or otherwise sensitive to gluten.

Use unsweetened, vitamin-enriched oats and cook using water, almond, or soy milk instead of the dairy. Dairy milk may be causing your stomach issues. Additionally, consuming too much refined sugar can also exacerbate your heartburn problems.

Add enough liquid to keep the oatmeal from being too thick. Foods that are more difficult to swallow may irritate the muscles in your esophagus, inciting heartburn.

Include trigger foods such as orange juice, coffee or tea with your breakfast. According to the Mayo Clinic these foods can cause heartburn in some people by irritating the lower esophagus and triggering acid reflux.

Eat too much or too quickly. Anyone who has ever dealt with indigestion after a large meal can attest to the destructive effects of consuming too much food. Eat slowly to give your body time to fill up and to avoid swallowing air, which can lead to uncomfortable gas and bloating.

Add butter to your oatmeal. Some people enjoy their oatmeal with a little bit of butter, but high-fat foods are another potential cause for heartburn, since they relax esophageal muscles.

Final Thoughts
Remember, the reasons and severity of heartburn vary widely from one person to the next, but before you swear off oats, which come with many health benefits, make sure you’ve eliminated any other possible triggers from your diet and lifestyle.

beauty416 2009-03-10 10:56:22 -0500 Report

I eat oatmeal for breakfast a lot of times but before I eat breakfast I take an acid reducing capsule about 1 hour before breakfast. This way the capsule has time to take care of the acid in your stomach so that you don't have any heartburn after breakfast.

redorangedog 2016-03-14 10:27:58 -0500 Report

Though pharmaceutical companies would like you to believe that stomach acid is just a nuisance that needs to be neutralized, stomach acid actually plays a very essential part in our digestive process. If stomach acid didn't have any use, it wouldn't exist in healthy individuals. To this point, people with health issues are much more likely to have low levels of stomach acid than healthy individuals. To be sure, having proper levels of stomach acid is completely normal for human beings. In fact, without proper levels of hydrochloric acid in the stomach, our body can't absorb nutrients nearly as well.

So why do millions of people take antacids and acid-blocking drugs, thereby neutralizing and eliminating their stomach acid? Simply put, the way of Western Medicine is often to treat symptoms rather than the root issue. Pharmaceutical companies are especially fond of this strategy, because symptom-suppressing drugs are always going to be needed if the root issue is not cured.

Stomach Acid and Iron Absorption
So how much do antacids and acid-blocking drugs hurt our ability to absorb nutrients? It turns out, quite a bit. One study examined people with chronic iron deficiency and found that nearly 90 percent of the 40 people had sub-par stomach acid secretion. Tagamet, a popular acid-blocking drug, has been found to decrease iron absorption by 28 percent if taken at the average dose. If higher doses of Tagamet are taken, the decrease in iron absorption jumps to 42 percent for a slightly higher dose and 65 percent for the highest dose tested.

Swedish researchers similarly found that an antacid drug similar to Maalox decreased iron absorption by 38 percent and 31 percent depending on the type of iron consumed. Perhaps most revealing though was a South African study which found that giving hydrochloric acid to patients with low stomach acid levels in an attempt to improve their digestion increased iron absorption by over 400 percent. Even more impressive is that, when researchers gave hydrochloric acid to ulcer patients, their calcium absorption increased 500 percent! If that isn't a red flag for reducing stomach acid content with drugs, nothing is.

Stomach Acid and Vitamin B12 Absorption
Iron and calcium aren't the only nutrients affected by low stomach acid. Vitamin B12 also needs proper stomach acid levels for optimal absorption. One piece of research found that, in subjects with very low stomach acid, more than half of them also had low levels of vitamin B12. More to the point, another study found that healthy people taking Prilosec had their B12 absorption cut by 72 percent and 88 percent depending on the dose. Either way, those percentages should be high enough to question the intake of acid-reducing drugs.

Stomach Acid and Folate Absorption
Folate has also been shown to be absorbed better with proper levels of acid in the stomach. When patients with no stomach acid were given supplemental hydrochloric acid, their folate absorption rose by 54 percent. Folate absorption decreased in one study by about 16 percent when patients had taken the acid-blockers Tagamet and Zantac. While still significant, it isn't to the effect that zinc absorption is affected by acid-suppressing drugs. Zinc absorption has been shown to be downshifted by 50 percent when Tagamet or Pepcid are taken.

Stomach acid is an easy target for pharmaceutical companies to pick on. When the body isn't functioning correctly in the first place, it can damage the esophagus and even the stomach lining when things in the body have really gone astray. However, any damage caused by stomach acid is usually due to other health issues rather than stomach acid itself. Stomach acid naturally occurs in healthy individuals and has actually been shown to be a vital part of the human digestive system. Acid-blocking and -neutralizing drugs disrupt stomach acid's ability to help the body digest nutrients, which can lead to harmful deficiencies.

lipsie 2009-03-09 00:23:24 -0500 Report

Sounds like everyone has given you some awesome advice, that's one reason why I LOVE this place. Yeah, I also have heartburn issues, I am taking Protonix for it myself. And Gabby, I don't know if Metformin does that to you but I also am on it, makes me wonder now. Good luck with this though. Sheila

silver.lily 2009-03-08 16:11:30 -0500 Report

I healthy natural way to help heartburn is Papaya pills. You can suck on them like candy (they taste good) Or you can swollow them like a pill.
- I used them while I was pregnant since I was worried about effects of Tums and other such meds.
-They definetly aren't as strong as the Tums and I am not sure of sugar or Carb counts. Possibly you could eat several at once and get same results as Tums. I never thought to try.

GabbyPA 2009-03-08 15:12:52 -0500 Report

I used to suffer with heartburn all the time. After I was diagnosed with type 2 and I cut back on processed foods I found my heartburn went away. I was so happy. Now I am taking Metformin, and I think it gives me heart burn, because now it is coming back on occassion.

Before the things that triggered my heartburn were too much sugary foods, Cereal with milk, hot wings, coffee and just eating too much food at a sitting.

Oatmeal is not a probelm for me, but if I put too much milk or sweetener on it it can bother me then.

tabby9146 2009-03-08 15:20:34 -0500 Report

Gabby, I'm glad you mentioned cereal with milk, that makes me think that that horrible heartburn I had the other night was from that. I need to start keeping a food diary, because I"ve had it twice now in just the past week. It hurts in my upper back more than my chest or stomach area. It takes about 3-4 hours to go away, and alwys comes after midnight!! I had a fe episodes the past year but I always took Pepcid. Either it does not work anymore, or takes way too long to work. What do you all take? I am going to have to get something else.

GabbyPA 2009-03-08 18:53:36 -0500 Report

I use a store bran version of pepcid. That works fine for me, but everyone is different. When I had a lot of heart burn, the only thing that helped was just being more careful.

jsd2005 2009-03-08 01:15:20 -0600 Report

When does the heartburn start? Or when exactly do you notice symptoms? Do you ever have problems in the night or do you have trouble sleeping because of this? Do you ever experience a scratchy or sore throat or have laryngitis?

Sounds like you might have GERDS. Which is; gastroesophogeal reflux disease. I would take notice of any symptoms you have related to intake of food and food types. Notice when is occurs or is an issue and talk with your doctor.

There are a number of OTC, or over the counter remedies you may try. Prilosec, Protonix, Tagamet or reglan are some. These are medications designed to aid heartburn and reflux issues.

My thought is that you probably have some type of irritation such as reflux during the night and when you do eat breakfast your esophagus is irritated even further and the symptoms become even more noticeable. The otc meds should be taken at least thirty minutes before you eat. You might try one just to see if you do notice a difference. They are pretty benign and of course do have some side effects, but generally they are pretty mild and many don't have any negative response.

Talk with your doctor and let him know your symptoms and see what he says.

Caffeine is one big culprit as it causes the pylorus (the
valve that allows contents from the esophagus to empty into the stomach) to relax when we consume caffeine thus allowing acid and possibly stomach contents to back up from the stomach into the esophagus. This is what causes the heartburn. The acid or liquid from the stomach can cause an irritation in the lining of the esophagus and cause inflammation and definitely symptoms of pain and heartburn, along with many other symptoms as well. Pepsin (am enzyme in the stomach that aids digestion) and bile are both culprits in GERDS.
GERDS is usually considered a chronic condition and once a problem, always and forever a problem. GERDS In fact, occurs in most individual's. It is the symptomatic individual's who require treatment. Babies are now considered to begin life with gerds and is related to colic and other issues with feeding, attitude and sleep. Oftentimes, these babies begin treatment shortly after birth. So, we are dealing a fairly common complaint.

The diet they will refer you to is the GERD diet. It is specific as far as the food you can and should eat and also encourages smaller meals and more frequent meals. It suggests smaller portions and eating 6 small meals a day.

The diet suggests a low fat and cholesterol intake, Avoiding caffeine, chocolate, peppermint, tomatoes and alcohol. Coffee and alcohol stimulate your stomach to produce more acid. caffeine chocolate and alcohol are considered culprits in causing the lower esophageal sphincter to weaken (the Pylorus). This causes the backup of the acid and liquid contents of the stomach to back up into the esophagus.

Other foods that may cause problems are onions, mustard, garlic, vinegar, soda and citric acid drinks. The diet encourages you to eat at least two to three hours prior to going to bed. This allows the contents of the stomach to be digested before retiring to bed thereby decreasing the possibility of acid backing up. Do not lie down after a meal, this can worsen the symptoms.

There is a lot involved with the management of GERDS. However, as you may have already discovered the same is true for diabetes. So, you should well be on your way to managing GERDS, should it be a problem for you.

Talk with your Dr. and try some of these suggestions and see if it makes a difference. This will help your Dr. determine if you do have GERDS.

Fred Ravenscraft
Fred Ravenscraft 2009-03-08 14:13:20 -0500 Report

I really appreciate the replies that have been offered through this site.

I drink coffee at work, and it helps to subside the effects I have had lately. I haven't had any throat problems, just the pain of the heartburn. I thought it might be the Actos, but if it was, I should have the symptoms every morning, since I take one each day right before breakfast.

Avera 2009-03-07 23:59:49 -0600 Report

Almost ANYTHING cn cause heartburn including many oral medications. It is best to check with your doctor and let him or her determine the cause of yours.

Meanwhile since Monday is a day away and you can't call until then, Look up your meds on and see if any of them might be causing your heartburn.

Also, remember to ask your doctor for a prescription medication for heartburn that will not affect your blood sugar.

I take Pantoprazole. It is a 24 hour prescription pill that is a generic. Even if you don't have insurance, you can get it at K-Mart for 15.00 for three months.

Meanwhile again..while you are waiting try TUMS or ROLAIDS. Be careful. They do have sugar in them so be sure to count the carbs!

Good luck!


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