Craving food and acid reflux. What makes you overeat during meals, even though you know that you will experience heartburn afterwards? There are several reasons why you feel hungry if you have hearburn:
Heartburn can quickly improve after eating. Food pushes your stomach content back down and "bulks up" your stomach content. Solid stomach content does not easily regurgitate back into your throat.
The problem with this 'cure' is that the releive is only temporary. To digest your snack, your stomach produces even more acid, so half an hour later, your heartburn comes back. Also, the carbohydrates in in high caloric snacks, feed bacteria in your small intestine. These produce a lot of gas, which pushes your stomach content back upward.
That's why you long for food even though you know that you've had a decent meal one hour before. Acid reflux can make you confuse acid reflux with hunger, because heartburn disappears after eating.
Experiencing heartburn after meals, can become a habit. If you have acid reflux, you associate a good tasty meal with having some degree of heartburn afterwards. So the times that you do eat healthily and don't overeat, you feel like something is missing. Your usual heartburn stays away and you misinterpret that hollow feeling as 'hunger'. It feels like you haven't eaten enough so you want a snack.
That's why you gain weight once you are on acid blockers. Without medication, you allways have heartburn after meals. With medication, you can eat and drink whatever you want without getting punished afterwards.
Sometimes you feel 'hungry', weak or shaky between meals. You are hungry for food and candy and that's related to what you ate your last meal: white bread, white rice and pasta contain simple carbs that spike your blood sugar. After the initial boot of energy comes the laze slump. It leaves you searching for the next sugar fix and you crave new food.
Sometimes you feel stressed out or you don't feel good about yourself. You crave a snack even though you know it gives you heartburn afterwards. For a while that snacks makes you feel a bit better.
You are hardwired to eat for emotional reasons. From the moment that you are born, your mother has taught you that being fed meant being loved. Before you crack open the Ben & Jerry's, though, remember that this food crave will make you feel better, but half an hour later, your stomach won't be happy.
Can you be addicted to certain foods? Xanthines in chocolate, caseine in cheese and sugar in your softdrink. They all influence the ‘reward centre’ in your brain, by triggering opioid receptors, producing a brief feeling of euphoria.
Some authors claim that cheese or chocolate can be as addictive as hard drugs. Probably that is a bit exagerated. But there is a scientific explanation why you are unable to tear yourself away from chocolade or cheese. Even if you know it will mess up your stomach.
An effective solution to stop overeating and avoid heartburn is 'the brocolli test'. Simply ask yourself this question: Would you eat brocolli right now? If you answer "yes" then you are physically hungry. Go ahead and eat. If your answer is "no", then you' re just craving food. Eating won't provide an immediate benefit and craving now only worsens your heartburn