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Dietary Tips for Digestive Distress

Stop Your Bellyaching!


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  • I will try to omit coffee and even the small amount of alcohol I drink. I already don't do a lot of fats. I wont eat fries. How does a Hungarian give up pepper?
  • I have experienced terrific heartburn off and on for many years. In 1988, my husband and I went on the "Fit for Life" diet since he especially was needing to take Tums frequently. Within two days, his heartburn disappeared. The proper combination of foods in this diet prevent acid from being overproduced. Fit for Life was touted as bad, or gimmicky, but it works. Whenever I have heartburn, I combine my foods properly and it goes away. I'll eat a vegetable with either a protein OR a starch, but not the protein and starch together. You don't eat fruit after a meal. You don't drink liquids during or after a meal-the principle here is that the liquid dilutes the gastric acids used for digestion. This leads to more acid production to enable digestion. Dairy products are restricted due to their digestion problems.
    I encourage people to at least try this way of eating before they go on "the purple pill" or similar medications.
    i dont know why the article tells you to avoid peppermint because sometimes peppermint tea is the only thing that deflates my bloating.
    fish oil is good to take after a heavy meal to curb painful digestion.
  • Thanks for this article! I had no idea that garlic, decafe coffee, etc. could cause reflux problems.
  • I think most people will find that not everything on the list is a trigger. But, these are foods that trigger for GERD for some people. I know there are some here I can have and some that I can't. Spicy foods - no problem. Ketchup causes me severe pain. Since Spark people - the combination of weight loss, healthy eating and lots of water - I have been able to eliminate daily medication and only occasionally suffer pain that was daily for me. I suffered from GERD even when I was skinny cause I ate many of the triggers and rarely drank enough water.
    Milpam3 -- I just wanted to comment on your question about peppermint... I have GERD, took two semesters of Anatomy & Physiology for nursing school, and have a master's in health promotion (just to give you a quick background).

    The paradox of peppermint is that it can be good for digestion, but bad for acid reflux. This is because peppermint is a smooth muscle relaxer. Since the stomach is made of smooth muscle, relaxing any tightness or spasms can help food move through into your intestines. The problem for those with GERD is that the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) is also made of smooth muscle. It is designed to open when food goes down your esophagus, and then close so nothing can come back up. The esophagus is not designed to withstand stomach acidic, so the LES is meant in part to protect it from acid exposure. Peppermint can relax the LES, thus interfering with this protective mechanism. Hope this explanation helps.
    My son has IBS and GERD along with many food allergies. People with these conditions face a myriad of problems in everyday life. Work and school demands make it difficult for those afflicted. The public needs to understand the impact of the stress and pain involved for people who suffer from these conditions. Thanks to a wonderful Pediatric GI, our lives are a lot easier and my son is learning to cope with his condition.
  • This is pretty much everything!
  • Mint and peppermint are listed as foods that might cause spasms. I thought sucking on a peppermint after dinner helped, not hindered, digestion; which is why mints are often offered to diners at restaurants.
  • very interesting article. i knew about some of the foods to avoid, but i just learned of a few more. thanx for the information education. i have learned something today.
  • This had great information but I wish you could've added something about Celiac Disease. I had been misdiagnosed with irritable bowel for 4 years until my malnutrition symptoms finally started to show significantly. My iron was down to 8.2 and my stomach consistantly stayed sour. Adding in if a change in your diet doesn't seem to help, maybe there is an underlying problem that need further checking.
  • 2008ISGREAT
    I keep reading this is great but I need a list of foods that can not be combined.
    I've eliminated so many foods that it is hard to reach the reccommended calories, protein, carbohydrates. I usually reach the fiber I was taking 50 grams of fiber and drinking 10 bottles of 32 ounces of water at one time...did't loose weight.
    I don't use sugar I use raw honey. I did eliminate fiber one, and all bran it was cramping me too much. I found oat bran to be ideal the draw back is it doesn't have the fiber and fills me to the point I can't eat anymore. So people try oat bran. It is soft and doesn't get "stuck"
  • A very helpful article, but as I read the list of foods to eliminate from your diet, I couldn't help but wonder what was left. A list of safe foods or recommended foods woud have been helpful
  • This was a very Informative article for me. As a smoker who's found lots of information about smoking causing everything, I sort of just ignore it most of what I hear. But it's TRUE! I noticed I get heartburn first thing in the morning with the first cig. This was a revelation and it could actually help me quit, because I hate heartburn and I'm guessing it's a benefit that you notice right away.

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