Intermittent fasting remains a popular health trend, not just because of its success in weight loss but also due to the many health benefits it offers.
This dietary plan is, however, not without its side effects, like gastrointestinal problems, which can vary across different individuals.
So can intermittent fasting cause acid reflux?
For every individual, the physical response to intermittent fasting can be different.
You have to be clued into what your response is to make the necessary adjustments.
A study seeking to determine the effects of fasting on acid reflux symptoms determined that the severity of symptoms was reduced, while another similar study concluded that acid reflux was further triggered with intermittent fasting.
How Do I Stop Acid Reflux When Fasting?
Having determined that intermittent fasting can both trigger or reduce acid reflux symptoms, it is important to arm yourself with tips on stopping the reflux, just in case you are among those who experience worsened symptoms.
Understanding how to stop acid reflux when fasting can benefit your intermittent fasting journey.
It would help to improve your general physical comfort while also preventing further health complications.
All these things can in the long run, contribute to the adherence and commitment to your fasting journey for better results.
Does Fasting Affect Stomach Acid?
Stomach acid is usually released to act on food helping along in the digestive process.
This then means that the presence or absence of that expected food affects the production of the acid.
When fasting, your body is starved of food which means that the digestive acid has nothing to act on in the stomach.
With no food in the stomach, less digestive acid is produced.
When this happens over a long period, your body can familiarize itself with always producing less acid, then making adjustments for reduced acid production.
In the short term though, the situation can be a little different.
When fasting, especially in the early days, the feeling of hunger is usually more.
Your senses can get heightened, especially when you see or smell food.
These senses of smell and sight can then trigger the release of stomach acids with the expectation of food about to be digested.
This then means that there will be acid production on an empty stomach which can lead to acid reflux.
Why Do I Have Acid Reflux While Fasting?
With the continued production of these digestive juices, your stomach acid levels can rise and eventually flow into your esophagus.
The esophagus is the tube within your digestive system that acts as a connection between your mouth and the stomach.
When this acid spills into your esophagus, it can irritate the inner lining because of its acidic nature.
This stomach acid overflow is what is usually referred to as acid reflux.
When this happens, you can experience symptoms such as a painful burning sensation with a sour taste at the back of your mouth, causing significant discomfort.
In simple terms, you can experience acid reflux while fasting because there is no food in the stomach for the digestive acids to act on, therefore causing an overflow with continued production.
Can You Get Acid Reflux From Not Eating Enough?
This means that it is less likely for acid reflux to occur from not eating enough since, in this situation, only a small amount of stomach acid will be produced as needed.
For some people, intermittent fasting can cause acid reflux, while it can help reduce its symptoms for others.
It is advisable to consult your doctor before starting your intermittent fasting journey and have continued follow-ups to track your progress and monitor any side effects.
After all, the intermittent fasting lifestyle is a marathon, not a sprint, and you want to do it right for the best results!
I’m Chris Watson & the Founder of EatForLonger.com. I’m a food and wellbeing enthusiast researching and sharing foodstuffs and simple food-based concepts, such as fasting and clean eating.
I hope it inspires you to make tiny changes to what you eat and when you eat while optimizing your healthspan and all-around well-being.
Read more About Me here.