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Can I Have Milk And Dairy Products If I Have Acid Reflux?

Even though dairy products like milk and yogurt are considered a part of a balanced diet, their tolerance is highly subjective and they may or may not worsen acid reflux.

Can I Have Milk And Dairy Products If I Have Acid Reflux?

High-fat dairy may trigger acid reflux

HIGHLIGHTS

  1. No particular food can be highlighted as acid reflux triggers
  2. Food restrictions are based on individual tolerance and symptoms
  3. If acid reflux symptoms are frequent, consult a doctor

Acid reflux is a condition where stomach acid or bile causes irritation in the food pipe lining because of digestion problems. Usually, people who regularly face acid reflux are sceptical if consuming milk and dairy products can make the conditions worse. While there are certain foods that are considered to worsen acid reflux, there hasn't been any strong evidence against any particular kind of foods that can be highlighted as acid reflux triggers. So, even though dairy products like milk and yogurt are considered a part of a balanced diet, their tolerance is highly subjective and they may or may not worsen acid reflux.

Reasons for worsening of acid refulx

Food restrictions should be based on individual tolerance and symptoms. For instance, since high-fat foods are digested slowly and spend more time in the stomach, worsening of acid reflux could be because of drinking whole milk or milkshakes. Also, chocolate is known to relax the muscle between the esophagus and stomach, and thus, chocolate milk or hot cocoa are also potential acid reflux trigger.

Also, because the gravity of being upright helps in better digestion, eating any high-fat foods in the hours before bed could worsen acid reflux.

Also read: Explained: Acid Reflux And 4 Foods That Cause The Heartburn

Milk and acid reflux

So if you're lactose intolerant, or if high-fat foods worsen acid reflux, you can avoid milk or have low-fat milk instead of full-cream or toned milk. Good substitutes for milk can be plant-based beverages such as soy, cashew and almond milk. Also many children are allergic to cow milk. Some recent studies have revealed that cow's milk allergy can aggravate the signs and symptoms of severe acid reflux in infants.

Yogurt and acid reflux

Similar is the case with yogurt, where one should be careful in making the choice for the right brand. If high-fat foods worsen your symptoms, choose wisely since different types and brands of yogurt vary in fat content.

Hence, while dairy products like milk and yogurt are not declared to be acid reflux triggers, the full-fat versions might make the conditions worse in some people. If your reflux symptoms are frequent or severe, it is important to consult a doctor. If left untreated for too long, acid reflux can lead to serious health complications such as damage to the esophagus, breathing difficulties and sleep disruptions. 

Also read: Bronchitis may trigger acid reflux



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