Why Does Black Pepper Give Me Indigestion?

A chef grinds black pepper over a dish.
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If you experience chronic indigestion, you may want to remove black pepper from your diet to prevent symptoms from developing. According the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse, spices, such as black pepper, chili pepper and curry can increase your chances of developing indigestion. Chronic indigestion needs to receive an evaluation form your doctor to determine if you another condition is triggering frequent indigestion.


Indigestion from Black Pepper

Indigestion is not a medical condition, but is rather a term used to describe a collection of symptoms. Common symptoms include nausea, bloating, belching, the feeling of fullness and pain felt in the chest cavity. Certain foods are more likely to cause indigestion, such as black pepper. Black pepper can cause acid levels in your esophagus to increase, leading to common symptoms. If you develop vomiting, black stools, unexpected weight loss, yellowing of the skin or have trouble swallowing after eating black pepper, call your doctor immediately.


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Heartburn Confusion

Heartburn is commonly confused with indigestion because both symptoms typically develop together. Heartburn is a painful, burning sensation felt in your breastbone or back of the neck after eating black pepper. Heartburn is the result of stomach acids entering your esophagus, causing irritation and harm to the lining of your throat. Black pepper is a common food trigger for heartburn. Heartburn that occurs more than twice a week consistently is considered gastroesophageal reflux disease. Avoiding black pepper and other common food triggers, such as acidic foods and mint may help prevent indigestion and heartburn.


Other Causes

Indigestion may develop for other reasons, aside from ingesting black pepper. Common causes of indigestion include eating too fast, eating too much, eating greasy foods, consuming a lot of caffeine, smoking tobacco, eating high-fiber foods, emotional stress, gallstones, pancreatitis, ulcers and gastritis. It's important that you make an appointment with your doctor to determine the cause of indigestion from eating black pepper. Certain conditions, such as ulcers and pancreatitis may need medical attention. Indigestion may be mistaken for a gallbladder attack, which could lead to death if not treated.



The most common treatment for indigestion is the use of over-the-counter antacids. Antacids reduce the increased acid in your esophagus created by eating black pepper. Your doctor may recommend avoiding black pepper and other spices altogether. If a chronic digestive condition is causing indigestion, you may need surgery or antibiotics treatment.




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