Intermittent fasting is a great way of improving your digestive health by giving your digestive organs some time to rest. While they’re doing this, your body takes care of cleaning out any toxic substances.
Can fasting trigger acid reflux?
Even though the health benefits of fasting are countless from weight loss to better digestion, some people may experience temporary side effects like heartburn during the fasting hours, which is caused by acid reflux.
Acid reflux is caused by excessive acidity and creates significant discomfort in the upper abdomen area.
During your fasting hours, your stomach still produces stomach acid. Because your stomach is partially or completely empty during fasting, the acid builds up in your stomach, and if this continues, the acidic fluid travels up into your throat and causes chest and throat pain.
This side effect of fasting usually only happens during the first few weeks of switching to the intermittent fasting diet and will fade away over time, particularly if you make some adjustments to your nutrition.
How can I avoid acid reflux during intermittent fasting?
If you’re experiencing the symptoms of acid reflux while fasting, try these tips to avoid it:
1) Avoid acidic fruits
Citrus fruits like lemons, oranges, tangerines, and grapefruit are very acidic. Eating many of these during your eating window may cause you to experience acid reflux when fasting. Try to minimize your portions or simply avoid them for a few days to give your body a break.
2) Eat more low-acid foods
During your eating window,add more low-acid foods to your diet, such as melon, bananas, oatmeal, rice, green vegetables, fish, or poultry, as these won’t aggravate acid reflux and heartburn.
3) Don’t drink coffee on an empty stomach
Coffee is one of the few drinks that you can consume during your fasting period. But if you’re experiencing acid reflux symptoms, it’s better that you limit your daily coffee intake to one cup. If your symptoms don’t disappear, cut it out completely for a while.
4) Don’t lie down right after your meals
Lying down with a full stomach worsens acid reflux. Don’t lie down for two hours after a meal.
5) Don’t overindulge yourself when breaking a fast
You may feel very hungry at the end of your fasting period, but try not to overindulge yourself with heavy, greasy, or sugary foods when breaking your fast. Instead, be gentle with your stomach, by starting your meal with a soup or a salad. Then have your proteins and finish your meal with the carbs.
Following these tips will likely reduce your acid reflux symptoms, but bear in mind that these recommendations may not be suitable for patients with serious acid reflux problems.