Natalie Mitlyansky, DC, ND, MD | Article

Americans Eating Dinner Later Spawning Acid Reflux Epidemic

Americans Eating Dinner Later Spawning Acid Reflux Epidemic

Years ago, dinner time for the most Americans was 5 to 5:30 pm. Today, it is 7 p.m. And sometimes even later. The late night dinning trend has spawned a national epidemic of acid reflux, says a top expert on this condition. “ Acid reflux effects now some 40% of Americans” says Jamie Koufman, M.D., author of The Chronic Cough Enigma. Acid reflux is not just a matter of a little discomfort from heartburn. It can be deadly, causing esophageal cancer which has increased by 500 % in the U.S. since 1970, Dr. Koufman told.
The single greatest risk factor for acid reflux is night eating.
Disease usually manifested by burning sensation in the chest, chronic cough, sinus disease and postnasal drip. Even though Europeans have tendency to eat late dinners, they have about half the incidence of reflux as Americans. What is their anti-heartburn secret?
They generally go to bed later then Americans, allowing more digestion time between meal time and bedtime. Europeans also tend to walk or stand after dinner, not to recline in front of television until it is time to sleep.
'After eating it is important to stay upright because gravity helps keep the content in the stomach. Reflux is the result of acid spilling out of the stomach, and lying down with a full stomach makes reflux much more likely to occur”., says Dr. Koufman. Europeans also tend to eat less for dinner then Americans, who make the evening meal the largest meal of the day. And Europeans have much smaller dessert portion. To stop reflux disease we have to stop eating dinner at least tree hours before bed time. It is not only the timing and amount of food is important. What you eat or drink also is a factor.

6 Before-Bed Foods That Trigger Acid Reflex

Alcohol”A nightcap is the “ kiss of death” for reflux sufferers.
Alcohol relaxes the esophageal valve making it easier for stomach acid to move upward.

Soda: Soda drinks and fruit juices are highly acidified, which can lead to reflux.

Chocolate: It is notorious reflux trigger.

Ice cream: Ice cream is a popular late-night treat, but the high fat content often leads to heartburn.

Nuts: Cashews, macadamia nuts, peanuts, and walnuts are common reflux trigger foods.

Cheese: Cheese brings on heartburn for many sufferers- it is acidic food.

If you are hungry and absolutely must have something to eat right before bedtime, Dr. Koufman recommends two food that are less likely to cause reflux: oatmeal or banana.

Natalie Mitlyansky D.C.,N.D.