There are many people willing to change their eating habits to get rid of acid reflux and related symptoms, starting with heartburn.
We know that getting rid of acid reflux is not always possible, because of two main reasons:
- you must target the root cause of reflux
- you must recover the mucosa from acidic aggressions
This means that you should prevent acid reflux to occur, but in almost all cases people start treating reflux after experiencing symptoms.
This really means that your final goal must be to achieve a normal quality of life, despite your reflux.
This is a totally possible objective, and there are three pillars to work on: eating habits, lifestyle habits, and some proven natural remedies.
However, things may be less simple than it seems.
In fact, there are various foods that may be suitable for some people, while others should avoid them.
How this may be possible?
The answer is that personal experience is the key, or, better, that you should learn what foods are good for your case, despite general indications on foods that can cause acid reflux.
Dairy and acid reflux is just one of such controversial relationships.
Some people report eating dairy products without any issue, while other people experience reflux or heartburn episodes, and/or a worsening of the situation.
That’s why we must deepen more about that.
Dairy And Acid Reflux: There Is Still So Much To Disclose
One of the most controversial topics cannot have a single interpretation.
There is a general rule to follow: acid reflux, as well as most diseases, doesn’t have a specific, or “certain” trigger foods to blame for the occurrence of symptoms.
It’s about a balance of ingredients, risk factors, and protective elements that, taken together, define what is going to happen.
This is particularly valid in the case of dairy for acid reflux.
The main fact is that the tolerance to certain foods is highly variable from person to person.
You must take note of what you eat by updating a food diary on a day by day basis, also because you need to collect as much information as possible about another important factor.
It’s about food combinations.
Just like in the case of cheese, you must pay the greatest attention to how you combine foods because you could (even unintentionally) enhance the reflux-promoting effect of a specific food.
Think about what foods you eat along with dairy products, if they contain fats, or sugar (for instance, what about breakfast biscuits?), or salt, or if they are spicy.
On the other hand, you could eat dairy products with greens, low-acid fruits, and many other products that, on the contrary, protect against acid reflux and its symptoms.
As you can see, everything revolves around how you eat, more than “what” you eat on a daily basis.
This is the reason why you should rely on a more comprehensive approach, made of the proper combination of foods, better than thinking how to replace some foods that could trigger reflux.
The bottom line, you can work on food combinations to reduce the power of dairy products to induce reflux.
By doing so, you will not have the need to rely on “extreme measures” toward the achievement of a completely normal quality of life.
Is Dairy Bad For Acid Reflux?
Dairy can be bad for acid reflux, for some people.
As we’re about to discover, people who are lactose intolerant are at much higher risk to develop reflux.
This is not due to eating dairy products “per se”, but because of the longer digestion time lactose induce in people who do not have the proper enzyme for its digestion.
Given what we’ve said before (about the balance and food combinations), you always must remember that, if you work well on your diet, you’ll experience some good benefits by eating dairy products.
These benefits are:
- intake of calcium
- intake of potassium
- intake of magnesium
- intake of D vitamin
- intake of A vitamin
- intake of protein
- intake of probiotics
- better digestion (in some cases)
The action of probiotics, that help digestion, is particularly important, especially for people who suffer from additional digestive disorders, like the following:
- gastric inflammations
- IBS (irritable bowel syndrome)
Eating dairy products (with probiotics) can help in the above-indicated conditions.
So, one more time, it’s a matter of balance and food combinations.
Dairy products and acid reflux
There are some cases that deserve high attention because they are definitely meaningful.
First of all, a general rule: food restrictions should be based on individual tolerance and symptoms.
Full-cream or toned milk are more likely to induce acid reflux, and the situation is even worse in people who are lactose intolerant.
On the other hand, you can drink the following:
- low-fat milk
- almond milk (especially good as a substitute for cow milk)
Milk probably is the most controversial product, when it comes to dairy and acid reflux.
But there’s another interesting case to consider.
It’s about yogurt: in this case, you must pay high attention to the specific brand that makes it available on the market.
This because some brands usually produce a high-fat yogurt, while others don’t.
That’s why, if you’re dealing with reflux and you want to balance your diet, you must prefer lower-fat yogurt brands.
Does Dairy Cause Acid Reflux?
We can’t say that dairy is a proven cause of acid reflux.
As we’re going to discuss in the next paragraph, dairy intake can affect acid reflux, and especially how the person can perceive related symptoms.
However, there are some things to consider.
To better disclose the close relationship between dairy and acid reflux, we have to start from the most typical case of connection.
Dairy intolerance and acid reflux
This is quite an interesting topic to cover to better understand the link between dairy and acid reflux.
It has been reported in many cases that if you are lactose intolerant you are more at risk of developing acid reflux, with related symptoms.
Cow milk’s allergy is an important factor and this alone can aggravate or mimic all symptoms of severe reflux (or GERD).
This mostly happens to infants, who are at higher risk in general.
An interesting thing to note is that often substantial part of these patients has a family history of allergy or atopy.
A very important thing to remember is that lactose intolerance is not the real cause of acid reflux and related symptoms.
Being lactose intolerant is an added risk factor, especially because when these people eat dairy products have longer and more difficult digestion.
When gastric emptying is slowed down, acid reflux is much more likely to occur.
Especially if a lactose intolerant person also eats wrong foods, like spicy, fatty, or salty dishes, along with improper lifestyle habits.
Does dairy affect acid reflux?
Yes, it frequently happens.
Not just for people who are lactose intolerant, but in general.
However, given that personal experience is the key, there are some people who experience by eating some dairy products, even though this may vary a lot on a case by case basis.
By the way, lactose intolerance affects acid reflux by worsening some symptoms, like the following:
- abdominal pain
- abdominal bloating
To be more clear, we’ve to say that the medical community does not consider acid reflux as a direct consequence of lactose intolerance.
However, in the presence of this intolerance, symptoms may be much more perceived and this makes the correct distinction between these two conditions more challenging.
Does dairy make acid reflux worse?
Yes, it may happen.
This is particularly valid for people who are lactose intolerant, even though basically everyone could experience symptoms under particular circumstances.
Once again, fats are the key to understand what may happen.
In fact, foods with high content in fat are digested slowly and spend more time in the stomach.
This event alone makes acid reflux (especially heartburn) more likely to occur.
Whatever the starting health condition, there are some foods that are able to trigger reflux:
- whole milk
- milk chocolate
We want to point out the role of chocolate as a trigger for reflux.
Chocolate is known to relax the LES, meaning the muscle between the esophagus and stomach.
As a consequence, chocolate milk has a more powerful action on the LES, because of the sum of the effects of the individual ingredients (chocolate weakens the LES, while milk makes digestion longer and also weakens the LES in turn).
The final result is the enhancement of risk for developing reflux.
The same may happen when you drink coffee (especially Robusta varieties) at the end of your meal or, even more, between meals.
As you can see, this is an additional demonstration of the importance of combining foods in the proper way, to reduce their reflux-inducing potential.
Can Dairy Cause Heartburn?
This symptom is quite frequent in people.
When it comes to dairy and acid reflux, heartburn can also be “confused” with the increase in gas due to poor digestion.
This is particularly valid for people who are lactose intolerant, but it also happens in healthy people.
This happens, even more, when people eat a wrong food combination, meaning that they add risk by eating foods that mutually amplify their triggering action.
For what concerns the frequency and how heartburn is felt by the people, things are no different than usual cases of reflux.
There are some people who report a significant correlation between eating dairy products and/or drinking milk and the occurrence of a specific heartburn episode.
This is due to the direct effect of lengthening digestive times.
In addition, you must remember that there are other factors that can sum their triggering action to dairy products, and they are not foods.
Food combinations, personal experience, and external factors must be controlled all together to treat heartburn and reduce its occurrence frequency.
Dairy products are just a piece of the puzzle (and a small one).
Does Dairy Help Acid Reflux?
Depending on personal experience, dairy can even help people who suffer from acid reflux.
This happens when a wise consumption goes along with other protective foods, within a balanced and proper diet.
However, there are some recommendations to make.
First of all, you must avoid full-fat dairy products, and prefer low-fat or fat-free products.
Under some circumstances, this may not be possible, especially when other strong factors are present.
So, it’s wise to replace dairy with other reflux-friendly foods and beverages.
To this end, we post below a summary table from Medical News Today that presents some valid substitutes for dairy products.
As you notice, you can find some good and tasteful substitutes of dairy, such as almond milk, soy milk, rice drinks, tofu, and more.
We know that it’s not easy to decide what to eat and what to avoid, especially because dairy and acid reflux have a so peculiar relationship.
Let personal experience guide you on this decision.
Don’t be in a hurry, look for the right combination of foods and everything will be fine.
Is dairy good for acid reflux?
Even though it may seem hard to believe, there are many people who find dairy products a relief for acid reflux and related symptoms.
This happens for milk, especially the low-fat alternatives.
In some cases, drinking a glass of milk can act as a buffer for the acidic content of the stomach.
Some alternatives to cow milk, starting from almond milk, are best, and they can give you great benefits.
Another interesting product is yogurt.
There are so many people who report relief or their heartburn episodes by taking yogurt.
Also, in this case, the specific composition of ingredients is what should guide you in the choice.
Personal experience is essential.
You must not take what happens to others as a general rule, because people are not all equal.
However, you may be surprised by what can happen by coupling dairy with acid reflux.
Dairy and acid reflux diet
The first step to take with dairy and acid reflux is to understand if and what dairy products trigger your reflux.
To do that, you must combine foods in the best possible way, to lower the possible reflux-promoting effect.
It may be complicated to do everything for yourself, that’s why we suggest to you what follows.
There’s another step, though.
To be honest, it’s the easiest one, because it relies on already proven to work dieting programs.
They consider acid reflux as a whole, and dairy is just one of the very many variables to take into the greatest attention.
The first complete diet we suggest checking is this one, called “Mango Diet“.
It’s one of the most complete programs out there, and it’s good not just for reflux sufferers, but basically for everyone.
For more info on other possible alternatives, read the final paragraph “What To Do Next“.
Dairy with acid reflux represents one of the most controversial topics for patients and general people as well.
That’s why we suggest remembering the following XX takeaways, listed below.
Once again, the most important thing to consider is that personal experience is the real guide towards the achievement of a totally normal quality of life.
It may take some time to learn and act accordingly, but it’s definitely worth it.
What To Do Next
Now, it’s time to take action.
Food combinations and dairy substitutes could help fix things.
However, we suggest a more comprehensive approach.
The special diet we introduced before can work well, even if it’s not specifically targeted to people who are suffering from acid reflux.
Below you can find more suggestions: perhaps you already found them before, but they deserve a more careful analysis because, in addition to dairy products, you can find precious information on all foods and food combinations that possibly can lead to reflux and related symptoms, starting from heartburn.
They are the following:
Full Programs For Acid Reflux
Are you looking for the best "all-in-one" natural treatments for heartburn and acid reflux?
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The 5-Step System
3 Best Ingredients
The Reflux Report
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