Pacific Rim
October 20, 2021 | wine | Pacific Rim

Does Red Wine Help Get Rid Of Acid Reflux?

Does Red Wine Help Get Rid of Acid Reflux?

Is there such a thing as wine acid reflux? Heartburn (a symptom of acid reflux – a burning pain in the chest area) is very common in the North American population. The disorder is associated with reflux of acid backing up from the stomach into the swallowing tube (Esophagus). While some people may have chronic heartburn, most adults will experience an acute episode of heartburn at some point in their life. 

Heartburn is an unpleasant disorder because acid reflux can result in chest discomfort, burning pain in the throat, cough, and bitter taste. Often, the symptoms can be so intense that heartburn can be mistaken for a heart attack. The symptoms can wake you up from sleep and can also ruin a nice dinner at a restaurant. It is well known that one of the risk factors for heartburn is the consumption of alcohol.

Factors That Can Trigger Acid Reflux

Besides alcohol, other trigger factors for acid reflux include smoking, drinking beverages like coffee, eating acidic and spicy foods, anxiety, stress, using certain medications (such as ibuprofen), and being overweight. The symptoms of heartburn can occur at any time but are most common when lying down or sleeping.

Alcohol and Acid Reflux

Studies have shown that alcohol is a risk factor for acid reflux. The reasons why alcohol causes acid reflux include the following:

  1. The alcohol generates more production of acid in the stomach.
  2. The alcohol also makes the tissues more sensitive to acid.
  3. Alcohol relaxes the muscles around the stomach, which then causes the acid to flow back towards the throat.
  4. The combination of alcohol and smoking increases the risk of acid reflux as both act similarly.
  5. The alcohol plus any spicy or acidic foods you may be eating can also trigger acid reflux.

Wine and Acid Reflux

What is the best alcohol for acid reflux?  If you are a wine drinker and at risk for acid reflux, here are some options:

  1. Drink small amounts of wine at a time.
  2. Avoid acidic wines; learn to read labels and avoid wines with more than 9 percent ABV.
  3. In general, white wines tend to be more acidic than red wines. Try drinking mild, red wines.
  4. Do not drink wine right before bedtime.
  5. Avoid drinking wine while eating spicy and acidic foods as both are triggers for acid reflux.
  6. Do not drink wines on an empty stomach, as this can trigger acid production.

The following wines are recommended for people with acid reflux:  Grenache, Chardonnay, Merlot, Marsanne, and Cabernet Sauvignon. There are no guarantees, of course, that these wines won’t produce acid reflux for you as every individual is different.  

Keep a wine diary and see which wines cause symptoms and which do not.

Seek Medical Help

If you continue to have acid reflux after drinking wine, the best recommendation is to see your healthcare provider. You may benefit from the use of certain medications (PPIs), but at the same time, you will need to change your lifestyle to lower the risk of acid reflux. This means you will need to:

  1. Lose weight - even losing a few pounds can make a big difference
  2. Don’t smoke
  3. Improve your posture and sit upright after a meal
  4. Do not take a nap immediately after a meal
  5. If the wine causes repeated episodes of acid reflux, you may have to discontinue drinking that wine and look for another, milder wine choice
  6. Avoid eating spicy foods
  7. Sleep with your head elevated on several pillows to prevent acid reflux

What is the best alcohol for acid reflux?  Pacific Rim and Company has a staff of knowledgeable wine experts.  Call them today at 1.503.863.5454 to learn more.


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