WINE 101: How to deal if wine gives you heartburn

Among the fine delicacies of the world, wine is often included in a list; the beauty, taste, and presentation of wine have witnessed a beautiful transformation over the years, which brings in people’s intriguing habit of exploring wine, sadly and oddly, wine brings in fear of heartburns too. Although metaphorically, wine 101 includes the uninvited guest- heartburn.

The complex flavor comes from industrially fermenting grapes with the help of yeast and then stored for years. The aging of wine brings in the flavor and fine qualities; the older the wine, the costlier it becomes.

Wine can primarily be classified as Red, White, Sparkling, Pink, and Dessert or Fortified. These are subcategorized into many types, yet the most promising fact is that every wine has uniqueness and cannot be compared with others. ‘A suitable suitor for every palate’ kind of wine.

1. Wine 101: Etiquettes

Wine is mainly used to exhibit mannerisms, and every action involving the drink has its own rules. Nine varieties of wine need to be distinguished to enjoy it. There is usually a four-step tasting method, followed by wine glassware with a different appearance. The most important aspect is pairing the wine with the correct food so the digestive system can handle it.

wine 101
Image source- unsplash

2. Heartburns: The Trigger to Burning Chest Pain

Heartburn is an itching, painful, burning irritation caused in the chest or upper throat when the stomach acid flows back to the food pipe, making the gut microbiota extremely acidic. It was found that alcohol increased the percentage of acid reflux causes.

Heartburns are symptoms caused when the Lower Esophageal Sphincter relaxes due to certain hormone releases or food consumption. Stomach acid backflows into the esophagus, causing strong acidic burps, burning chest pain, or heartburn.

Now, the question is, how does wine trigger this acidic indigestion?

As already mentioned, wines are produced from fermented grapes; hence, they become acidic in nature. When they reach the human gut, they increase the already acidic pH of the stomach, which in turn relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), causing stomach acid to reflux back into the gut, causing heartburn. Red and White wines, in particular, can trigger acid reflux by irritating the esophageal lining.

The second probable reason for acid reflux due to wine is its alcohol content. There is a minimum of 15% alcohol in the drink, which, if consumed, will cause muscle relaxation of the LES, followed by backflow of stomach acid and, ultimately, acidity.

Alcohol slows people down, due to their slow functioning cerebellum and medulla oblongata, there is slowed reasoning and balance causing humans to take poor choices of food, drink carbonated beverages, smoking, all these combined cause acid reflux.

Want to reduce alcohol cravings, read this article: How to Stop Alcohol Cravings? 5 Important Things You Must Know

3. Tips to Deal with Heartburns due to Wine

  • To begin with, choose wines with low acidity. White wine has less acidic content than red wine, and Moscato or Reisling is a better choice. In some cases, experiment with wines of different temperatures.
  • Drink in a moderate amount; do not divulge beyond capacity.
  • Always opt for lighter meals to accompany the wine; this will ease discomfort.
  • Do not lie down; this will cause the backflow of stomach acid after wine consumption.
  • If GERD is the cause of heartburn, consult a doctor immediately.
  • For some people, taking small amounts of alcohol will solve acid reflux issues, but it may not be for others. In those extremities, avoid consuming wines anyway.
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Image source- unsplash

3.1. Medications for Finding Relief

Over-the-counter medications and prescription drugs have a variety of options that provide quick relief from heartburn due to indigestion, but if there are serious issues with the persistent burn, either consult a general physician or gastroenterologist.

Ranitidine drugs were ceased due to increased impurities in the drug; other options are available.

a) OTC medicines that are easy to purchase are-

  • Antacids neutralize the stomach’s pH. Tums, Maalox, and Gaviscon are some of its examples.
  • H2 receptor blockers are primarily used for treating stomach ulcers but also help with indigestion. Examples include Pepcid, Axid, Tagamet, etc.
  • Proton Pump Inhibitors reduce stomach acid. Examples include Prilosec and Prevacid.

To learn more about Peptic Ulcers, check out Peptic Ulcers: Diagnosis and Treatment.

b) Prescription medicines are considered more effective and efficient. Although H2 blockers and PPi are considered prescription medicines, some have differences in concentration or composition.

  • Prokinetics are very good relief; examples include Reglan and Urecholine.

3.2. Foods that Provide Relief

Medicines will provide temporary relief; long-term positive effects are often visible if the diet is maintained and the food is widely consumed.

  • Fibrous foods help fill the stomach, reducing overeating, and are easy to digest.
  • Alkaline fruits or fruits with low-acidic pH help neutralize stomach acid. These include bananas, melons, cauliflower, and almonds.
  • Green leafy vegetables are also good sources of alkaline foods and are good for the gut. People consume salads for better stomach health.
  • Water-based fruits and vegetables, such as celery, cucumber, and watermelons, provide great nutrients to the gut and maintain a soothing microbiota. They also have anti-inflammatory properties.

3.2.1. Digestive Disorders to Look Out for

Millions are affected by digestive disorders, and the common symptoms are heartburn, bloated stomach, constipation, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, etc.

The diseases are GERD, lactose intolerance, hiatal hernia, cancer, and irritated bowel syndrome.

3.2.2. When to Ask for Help

Other than seeking out help from a professional for heartburn, it is also very important to seek out help to get rid of alcohol addiction.

Certain signs will help diagnose alcohol abuse, like the constant urge to have a drink, not being able to control the urge to drink less, and feeling restless without having a drink.

Seek immediate help.

Alcohol increases acid in the stomach| Dandelion Team
YouTube channel source- Dandelion Medical Animation

Ending Remarks

While wines have witnessed the Western world’s every celebration and are constantly being adapted by other cultures, they have also seen a fair share of heartburn and managed to still be the most loved antiquities.

No matter the etiquette, consulting a doctor at the slightest discomfort is always advised.

There is the possibility of wine not being suitable for certain individuals, not to sound disheartening, but life has a lot more to offer, focus on the finer parts more.

Last Updated on by Rajeshwari_Das



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