Acid reflux -- also known as gastroesophageal reflux, acid indigestion or heartburn -- affects more than 60 million people in the United States, according to the American College of Gastroenterology. Although multivitamins aren't a common trigger, they can aggravate the problem.
Root Cause of Acid Reflux
When the valvelike muscle between your esophagus and your stomach becomes weak or relaxed, the contents of your stomach can rise back up into your esophagus and cause acid reflux. Recurrent acid reflux may be brought on by pregnancy, a hiatal hernia, obesity, smoking cigarettes or taking certain medications.
Anything that aggravates your esophagus or the muscle that separates it from your stomach can trigger acid reflux. Multivitamins that are coarse or awkwardly shaped may cause irritation as they go down, while large pills may cause irritation as they pass into your stomach. Smaller, smoother pills -- or liquid vitamins -- are often better tolerated.
Although sedatives, painkillers, antidepressants, antihistamines and certain asthma medications are known to aggravate acid reflux, multivitamins aren't generally considered problematic. If you find that your acid reflux routinely worsens after taking multivitamins -- even those that are easy to swallow -- then they just may be poorly tolerated by your digestive system.
Is This an Emergency?
- American College of Gastroenterology: Acid Reflux
- Jackson Siegelbaum Gastroenterology: Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease Diet
- National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse: Gastroesophageal Reflux (GER) and Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) in Adults
- Oprah.com: Are My Vitamins Giving Me Heartburn?