How Does Alcohol Affect Heartburn?
Whether it’s a glass of wine on a Friday night, an ice cold beer while watching a football game or a tall flute of champagne on New Year’s Eve, sometimes it’s just nice to enjoy a little drink. These beverages are the traditional way we toast to success, celebrate special occasions and kick back to relax with friends. Unfortunately, heartburn doesn’t care about what we are celebrating. Whenever we drink alcohol, there’s a good chance that acid reflux is soon to follow (Source: Verywell).
There are several ways that alcohol can contribute to heartburn:
- Alcohol relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) and creates an opening through which stomach acid and undigested food can escape into the esophagus
- When alcohol relaxes the LES, swallowing contractions may become erratic
- Drinking alcohol can stimulate the production of digestive juices, making your stomach more acidic and increasing the chances of reflux
- Alcohol can irritate the esophageal lining and make it more susceptible to damage from acid reflux
Limiting your alcohol intake could reduce the occurrence of acid reflux, but it may not be enough to control your symptoms entirely. Other diet major heartburn contributors include:
- Eating fatty, fried or spicy foods
- Eating heartburn trigger foods
- Eating too much or too quickly
- Lying down after eating
- Being overweight
Most cases of acid reflux can be managed or improved with dietary changes and lifestyle modifications. However, be sure to schedule an appointment with your physician if your symptoms persist. There are several treatment options available for chronic reflux, and your doctor can help you decide which one is best for you.