Heartburn and Milk: For Better or Worse?

Heartburn is usually caused by excess acid in the stomach. There are several remedies to try and alleviate the discomfort, and one way some people try and lessen their heartburn is by drinking milk. Heartburn and milk, however, do not really go together.

Milk Can Make it Worse

Initially, drinking milk for your heartburn may seem to help. Heartburn and milk may seem to go together, but after the milk washes excess acid from the esophagus back down into the stomach, the problem may just become worse. Heartburn and milk are a bad combination because milk can actually cause the stomach to produce even more acid than it initially was producing. Milk contains calcium and protein as well as fat which can all help to produce stomach acid.

If you just can't give up the milk, you can try drinking less or switching over to soy milk. This may or may not work, but the combination of heartburn and milk can be bad for those who suffer from heartburn. Over the counter antacids may be able to help with heartburn and milk may still be a possibility if you are willing to put up with a little heartburn and antacids. Other over-the-counter medications prevent your stomach from producing as much acid on a daily basis. These types of medications may alleviate your heartburn, and milk may still be an option for you.

The first thing to try when suffering from heartburn is to adjust your diet. If you are willing to give up milk for a period of time to see if that is indeed what is causing your heartburn, you may even be able to keep milk in your diet. Other types of foods may be the main trigger for your heartburn, and milk may not be the major reason you are having problems. Tomatoes and citrus fruits including juices can be one of the biggest contributors to heartburn, so avoiding these foods may also be a good adjustment to your diet.

With the help of over the counter or prescription medications, you may still be able to enjoy your daily bowl of cereal or a glass of milk or two. If you heartburn is serious enough and does not lessen with dietary changes or over the counter medications, you should visit your doctor and determine if you need prescription medication for your condition.