Can tomatoes cause acid reflux?

Millions of individuals all over the world suffer from heartburn on a daily basis. It is important to note that heartburn is a typical symptom of acid reflux and occurs due to various reasons. Even though acid reflux is an uncomfortable condition, there are several treatment options available to provide relief to the individual.

Close look on acid reflux

When it comes to acid reflux, it occurs once acid and the stomach contents back up into the esophagus and the mouth. The esophagus functions as a tube that starts from the mouth and goes all the way to the stomach. At the end of this tube, there is a band of muscles called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). Take note that this band of muscles works to keep the food and contents in the stomach by tightening after eating a meal. Once these muscles prematurely loosen, the food and acid will makes its way back into the esophagus. Once several episodes of acid reflux occur, it is called as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

Acid reflux

Always bear in mind that acid reflux can be triggered by various external factors such as lying down right after eating, being overweight or wearing tight-fitting clothes.

Connection of tomatoes with acid reflux

Always bear in mind that acid reflux can be triggered by various external factors such as lying down right after eating, being overweight or wearing tight-fitting clothes. Acid reflux can also occur after eating spicy food, citrus fruit, tomatoes and chocolate. Tomatoes contain malic acid, citric acid and minimal amounts of oxalic acid. Individuals who have acid reflux triggered by these acids can end up with acid reflux after eating tomatoes, their byproducts or drinking tomato juice.

Signs and symptoms

The indications of acid reflux include a burning sensation in the abdomen and chest, coughing, heartburn, wheezing, hiccups, difficulty swallowing, regurgitation of food, sore throat, feeling that food might be trapped behind the breastbone and nausea after eating.

Management

An initial step in providing relief to acid reflux due to tomatoes is to avoid tomato-based foods such as pizza sauce, spaghetti sauce, vegetable juice as well as ketchup or minestrone soup. Those who cannot avoid consuming these foods can use over-the-counter antacids. These medications work by neutralizing the acid in the stomach for momentary relief. The doctor might also prescribe medications to stop the production of acid. If in doubt regarding the antacids to use, it is still best to consult a doctor first before using any over-the-counter medications.

Possible complications

Constant episodes of untreated acid reflux can eventually progress to Barrett’s esophagus. This is considered as precancerous esophagus that can lead to esophageal cancer, chronic cough as well as esophageal narrowing due to scarring and esophageal ulcer.

If the individual experiences acid reflux every time he/she eats tomato-based foods, it is best to consult a doctor so that proper assessment can be carried out. In addition, a suitable diet can be recommended to prevent episodes of reflux from occurring.

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