Orange juice might make a regular appearance at your breakfast table. However, you might forgo it because you have noticed that you experience chest pain after drinking it. Orange juice is derived from a citrus fruit that contains high concentrations of acid. If you experience pain after drinking orange juice, you might be experiencing symptoms of a medical condition.
One of the primary symptoms of heartburn, commonly referred to as acid reflux, is pain in the upper chest behind the breastbone. This pain might occur directly after you drink orange juice. However, it is also common to experience this pain at night, particularly if you drank the orange juice in the afternoon or in the evening. Another way to determine whether you might be suffering from heartburn is if you notice that the pain in your chest worsens when you lie down or bend over.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, is a more comprehensive type of acid reflux. Chest pain and heartburn are common symptoms of GERD triggered by foods such as orange juice. In addition to chest pain, you might have difficulty swallowing, experience hoarseness or feel as if you have a lump in your throat.
Drinking Orange Juice
If you notice that you experience chest pain after you drink orange juice, you should stop drinking it or reduce the frequency with which you drink it. In some cases, drinking a half cup of water as a chaser or before the juice can help dilute the orange juice and prevent the buildup of acid in the esophagus.
Treatment for Acid Reflux or GERD
Several over-the-counter treatments are available for these conditions. The most common treatment method is the use of antacids, which work to neutralize and reduce any buildup of acid. Consider taking antacids before your drink orange juice as a preventive method, or at the first sign of chest pain.
Some food manufacturers also offer a low-acid version of standard orange juice. They generally don’t taste different, but are sometimes thinner in consistency to help your body process it more efficiently.