Author: James Anderson

Is there a link between alcohol and GERD? Research and more

Does Alcohol Cause GERD

So while many people have less digestive upset from alcohol when they consume it with food, that might not be the case in a given person with GERD, according to Evans. In addition to avoiding alcohol, people may try avoiding fatty, spicy, and certain other types of foods and beverages. Quitting smoking and managing weight may also help reduce GERD symptoms in some people. The guidelines note that evidence suggests drinking even within the recommended limits may increase the risk of death due to a range of causes, including some types of cardiovascular disease and cancer. Some people can avoid heartburn by drinking alcohol in moderation, which means one or two drinks only.

Does Alcohol Cause GERD

This irritation may be a factor in GERD symptoms, leading to greater discomfort when your stomach contents enter your esophagus. At the end of the day, and the night, it’s best to avoid drinking altogether; however, we certainly understand the desire to relax a bit and unwind! Experiment a bit and find a drink that works for you, and try to stick to one drink per night. Don’t forget to stay up until two to three hours after the last sip— this will help you avoid the dreaded night regurgitations.

GERD is caused by frequent acid reflux or reflux of nonacidic content from the stomach. If you suspect that alcohol may be related to your GERD symptoms, here are some tips for drinking that could reduce those symptoms. It’s important to remember that GERD triggers can act in combination with one another, and that any single trigger by itself might not be enough to cause symptoms. When it comes to alcohol, any symptoms could depend on what you eat or drink along with the alcohol itself. In addition to potentially contributing to your LES relaxing, alcohol may directly irritate the lining of your esophagus or stomach, Evans says.

Finally, there may be some mutual effects between alcohol consumption and other factors on the development of GERD, such as tobacco use. Considering that only a small number of studies reported the influences, our study failed to demonstrate the relation of alcohol to other potential modifying factors. This is because tobacco can stimulate stomach acid and cause the muscles between the esophagus and stomach to relax.

In sensitivity analysis, the overall estimates remained significant, which contributed to the robust results. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a prevalent disease, and the incidence is rising. We conducted a meta-analysis of observational studies, indicating that there was a significant association between alcohol consumption and the risk of GERD. This finding provides important implications for the prevention and control of GERD.

Is alcohol consumption associated with gastroesophageal reflux disease?*

You may also consider what you’re mixing with your alcoholic beverages. Some people may use orange juice or carbonated beverages as mixers for their liquor drinks. These nonalcoholic beverages are also known to aggravate acid reflux. Switching to a low-acid fruit juice like apple or carrot juice or mixing a drink with water may help reduce your GERD symptoms.

The guidelines advise against binge drinking, which they define as 5 or more drinks for males or 4 or more for females within about 2 hours. In April 2020, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requested that all forms of prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) ranitidine (Zantac) be removed from the U.S. market. They made this recommendation because unacceptable levels of NDMA, a probable carcinogen (or cancer-causing chemical), were present in some ranitidine products. People taking prescription ranitidine should talk with their doctor about safe alternative options before stopping the drug.

Knowing what triggers your acid reflux is an important part of helping you find relief from your symptoms. Researchers have conducted several studies to determine which types of alcohol seem to aggravate symptoms more than others. It’s still unclear which alcoholic beverages may be better than others for individuals with GERD. Alcohol appears to interact with the stomach and esophagus on a variety of levels. This can lead to acid reflux and the irritation of GERD symptoms in certain people.

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We highly recommend that you stay away from any alcoholic drink made with peppermint (peppermint white Russian), chocolate (mudslide), or coffee (Irish coffee). You should also avoid greasy pub food while you are at the bar— high-fat, greasy foods will only worsen your symptoms. Likewise, smoking and secondhand smoke can irritate your GERD symptoms and cause heartburn.

  1. But the LES can also relax when you aren’t swallowing, which lets your stomach contents flow back up into the esophagus, as Mount Sinai describes.
  2. Generally, the LES yields with pressure and relaxes after each swallow to allow food to pass into the stomach.
  3. This study asked 25 people with GERD to drink a serving of white wine, beer, or water and then measured if each drink increased reflux.
  4. In many cases, symptoms of GERD can be controlled after withdrawl of alcoholic beverages.
  5. We hope there will be more well-designed randomized studies to further evaluate the correlation between alcohol consumption and the risk of GERD in the future.
  6. Alcohol can, in some cases, increase the likelihood of heartburn and GERD.

This meta-analysis provides evidence for a potential association between alcohol drinking and the risk of GERD. The increase in alcohol consumption and frequency showed a stronger association with GERD. Alcohol may damage the lining of the esophagus and relaxes the LES, which makes it more likely that stomach acid will come back into the esophagus. Therefore, experts advise people with GERD to avoid alcoholic drinks. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) occurs when stomach acid repeatedly flows back into the tube connecting your mouth and stomach (esophagus). This backwash (acid reflux) can irritate the lining of your esophagus.

2. Gastric acid secretion

Here are some examples of other drink options if you have acid reflux. While alcohol is a known contributing factor to acid reflux, it affects people differently. This means that you may be able to enjoy alcoholic beverages in moderation with GERD. Someone else with GERD may experience worsening symptoms of heartburn after drinking a small amount of alcohol. This study asked 25 people with GERD to drink a serving of white wine, beer, or water and then measured if each drink increased reflux.

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Two investigators retrieved relevant studies on PubMed, Cochrane and EMBASE, respectively. The summary odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated by random effects model to assess the association. Subgroup analysis, publication bias and sensitivity analysis were also conducted. Acid reflux occurs when the sphincter muscle at the lower end of your esophagus relaxes at the wrong time, allowing stomach acid to back up into your esophagus. Drinking alcohol may lead to unhealthful eating habits or eating foods that cause digestive upset. Being mindful of these food triggers and avoiding them, even while drinking, can prevent heartburn.

In conclusion, this meta-analysis indicated that alcohol consumption is related to a significant risk for GERD. The increase in alcohol intake and drinking frequency showed a stronger correlation with GERD. This finding is important, providing positive implications on GERD prevention. It suggests that drinkers should consider to limit the consumption of alcoholic beverages for preventing the potential injury to esophagus.

Additionally, people with GERD can discuss any new symptoms or changes in symptoms with a doctor. A healthcare professional can also advise on lifestyle changes, such as modifying diet and reducing alcohol intake. When the LES functions normally, it remains contracted until a person needs to swallow food. However, in someone with GERD, the LES relaxes more often, compromising the tight seal against stomach acid. If the sphincter does not relax as it should or it weakens, stomach acid can flow back into your esophagus.