Link Between Acid Reflux & Diarrhea & Treatment for Diarrhea Caused Due to Acid Reflux

Link Between Acid Reflux & Diarrhea

Lower esophageal sphincter (LES) is a valve at the entrance of our stomach. Under normal conditions, as soon as the food passes through the LES, it closes. However, if the LES opens too often or does not close its way, the acid produced in the stomach move up to your esophagus. This can cause acid reflux or heartburn. If you get acid reflux symptoms more than two times a week, you are suffering from acid reflux disease, which is also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease.

Many people suffering from acid reflux disease tend to suffer from irritable bowel symptoms such as diarrhea. There is a connection between acid reflux and diarrhea. The problem in each of the two causes is digestion. Medical sources say that acid reflux disease occurs when the muscles in the lower abdomen and the intestine relax involuntarily. This can result in irritable bowel syndrome and diarrhea. Sometimes the drugs that are taken to cure acid reflux cause diarrhea. Diarrhea happens as a result of side effect. This is the reason doctors recommend natural methods to combat this disease before giving medicines. Patients suffering from both acid reflux and diarrhea face difficulties in sleeping and get more abdominal pain.

Link Between Acid Reflux & Diarrhea

Treatment for Diarrhea Caused Due to Acid Reflux

If the source of diarrhea is acid reflux, then both the problems need treatment.

The list of treatments for acid reflux is given below:

  • Proton-pump inhibitors that include omeprazole, esomeprazole and raberprazole
  • H2blockers include cimetidine, famotidine and ranitidine
  • OTC treatments-antacids
  • Alginate drugs.

The main treatments for patients who experience acid reflux repeatedly are the medications like proton-pump inhibitors or H2 blockers. These medications reduce the production of acid and are safe and effective, unlike any other prescription drug. People who do not face indigestion or heartburn frequently, over-the-counter treatments are available to reduce the stomach’s acidity. These are available in tablets and liquids, commonly called antacids. The antacids give quick but short-term relief and reduce the acidity of the stomach.

Some changes in your diet and lifestyle are essentials for reducing diarrhea when acid reflux is being treated. The consumption of foods and beverages that are likely to cause diarrhea should be limited such as the following:

  • Alcohol
  • Fatty foods
  • Sugary foods
  • Caffeine
  • Dairy products
  • Vegetables like cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli and beans
  • Carbonated drinks
  • Vitamin B1 supplements and fish oil are extremely helpful in the treatment of acid reflux related diarrhea. Fish oil reduces inflammation.


Diarrhea is a chronic disease. This disease has similar symptoms and the underlying causes are similar to acid reflux disease. Though the exact reason is not known, it is quite clear that an unhealthy diet and lifestyle factors are largely responsible for diarrhea and other gastrointestinal diseases. A balanced combination of lifestyle modifications, stress management, dietary changes and natural dietary supplements are required to treat diarrhea related acid reflux disease.

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:April 4, 2018

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