Common Question: Does Milk Help With Heartburn?

April 18, 2016

If you have ever experienced what felt like fire burning in your lower chest that traveled up your throat, you may have experienced heartburn. Heartburn occurs when stomach acid backs up into the esophagus and is a common problem affecting adults in the United States.  

When it comes to helping relieve symptoms, some people may turn to home remedies and dietary modifications. It’s not surprising that many people ask if milk can help with heartburn, as some doctors used to recommend milk to “coat” the stomach to protect it from stomach acid. Doctors and nutritionists no longer make this recommendation as more research is needed to determine if milk is associated with heartburn or heartburn symptoms.

The good news is, even if the science is still out on whether milk helps heartburn symptoms, it’s not considered a food that would make symptoms worse; and it is part of all three Dietary Guidelines for Americans healthy eating plans. Milk is not only a rich source of bone-building calcium, but also contains other essential nutrients like potassium and vitamin D that many people need.

Occasional heartburn is no cause for alarm and most people can manage the discomfort on their own with lifestyle changes and over-the-counter antacid medications. One of several strategies that can help you find heartburn relief at home is avoiding specific foods known to trigger heartburn, such as peppermint, coffee (decaf too), carbonated beverages, chocolate, citrus fruits/juices, tomatoes, alcohol and high-fat foods.

If you have heartburn frequently (two or more times per week) and over a long period of time, you should see your doctor for a proper diagnosis and management plan.

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