About 25 million adults suffer from heartburn daily, according to the Acid Reflux Treatment website. Heartburn is a common symptom of acid reflux, and is experienced by people for different reasons. Acid Reflux Treatments also states one in 14 Americans suffer with acid reflux, also called GERD. Although acid reflux is an uncomfortable condition, there are many treatments available for relief.
What is Acid Reflux?
Acid reflux occurs when the acid and stomach contents back up into the esophagus and the mouth. The esophagus serves as a tube that goes from the mouth into the stomach. At the end of this tube, there is a band of muscles called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). This band of muscles works to keep the food and contents in the stomach by tightening up after a meal. When these muscles loosen prematurely, the food and acid may make its way back into the esophagus. When several episodes of acid reflux occur, it is known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
Tomatoes and Acid Reflux
Acid reflux can be caused by several outside factors, such as lying down too soon after eating, wearing tight-fitting clothes and being overweight. Acid reflux can also come from eating spicy food, citrus fruit, chocolate and tomatoes. Tomatoes contain citric acid, malic acid and trace amounts of oxalic acid. People who have acid reflux triggered by these acids may well have acid reflux from eating tomatoes, their byproducts or drinking tomato juice.
Symptoms of acid reflux include a burning sensation in the chest and abdomen, heartburn, cough, wheezing, trouble swallowing, hiccups, sore throat, regurgitation of food, feeling that food may be trapped behind the breast bone and nausea after eating.
Relief for acid reflux due to tomatoes is to try and avoid tomato-based foods. This includes spaghetti sauce, pizza sauce, lasagna, ketchup, vegetable juice or minestrone soup. For people who cannot avoid eating these foods, acid reflux can be relieved by using over-the-counter antacids. Antacids work to neutralize the acid in the stomach for temporary relief. Your doctor may also prescribe you medication to stop acid production.
Continuous episodes of untreated acid reflux can result in Barrett’s esophagus--precancerous esophagus, which can lead to esophageal cancer, chronic cough, esophageal ulcer and esophageal narrowing due to scarring.