Can Intermittent Fasting Cause Acid Reflux? The Pros & Cons Explored

Intermittent fasting is a popular nutrition trend that has gained traction in recent years. It involves alternating periods of eating and fasting, typically over a 24-hour period. Proponents of intermittent fasting claim that it has numerous health benefits, including improved digestion and weight loss. However, it is important to note that intermittent fasting can also cause acid reflux in some individuals.

What is Acid Reflux?

Acid reflux, also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), is a condition in which stomach acid flows back up into the esophagus, causing a burning sensation in the chest and throat. Symptoms of acid reflux include heartburn, regurgitation, chest pain, and a sour taste in the mouth. Acid reflux is a common condition that affects many people, and it can be worsened by certain lifestyle factors, such as eating certain types of food, lying down after meals, and drinking coffee on an empty stomach.

How Does Intermittent Fasting Impact Acid Reflux?

Intermittent fasting may cause acid reflux in some individuals due to changes in the stomach’s acidity. During periods of fasting, the stomach produces less acid, while eating food causes the stomach to produce more acid. This can result in an imbalance that can lead to acid reflux.

Furthermore, intermittent fasting can lead to lower blood sugar levels. Elevated blood sugar levels can cause acid reflux symptoms. Therefore, reducing blood sugar levels can improve acid reflux symptoms.

Can Intermittent Fasting Improve Acid Reflux?

Intermittent fasting can also improve acid reflux symptoms in some cases. Studies have shown that intermittent fasting can reduce GERD symptom scores, including those for heartburn and regurgitation. This is likely due to the fact that fasting can reduce the production of stomach acid.

How Can You Avoid Acid Reflux While Fasting?

If you experience acid reflux while fasting, there are certain lifestyle changes you can make to reduce the risk of developing symptoms. Here are some tips to avoid acid reflux when fasting:

  • Avoid acidic fruits.
  • Eat more low-acid foods.
  • Don’t drink coffee on an empty stomach.
  • Don’t lie down right after your meals.
  • Don’t overindulge.

It is also important to make gradual changes to your diet and lifestyle when starting intermittent fasting. This will help your body adjust to the changes and reduce the risk of developing acid reflux.


Intermittent fasting can both improve and cause acid reflux. If you are considering starting intermittent fasting, it is important to be aware of the potential risks of developing acid reflux symptoms. To reduce the risk of acid reflux while fasting, make gradual dietary and lifestyle changes and avoid certain foods and activities. With proper management, intermittent fasting can be a safe and effective way to improve your digestion and overall health.

Does fasting on a regular basis lead to greater levels of acid reflux?

Our data suggest that intermittent fasting may have a mild positive effect on reducing acid exposure. In the short-term, we have seen that intermittent fasting can improve symptoms of both regurgitation and heartburn.

What are some ways to prevent acid reflux when fasting?

Drinking plenty of water throughout the day to help neutralize the acid in the stomach. Avoiding eating late at night and trying to stick to regular meal times. Eating smaller meals more frequently throughout the day instead of large meals.

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can intermittent fasting cause acid reflux the pros cons explored 17 04 2023 3

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