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Acidic food?

Just wondering about something my GI said to me yesterday.

I was diagnosed in February after being ill all January and made the logical assumption that the flare had been triggered by my trying apple cider vinegar (diluted down of course but still very acidic) for a few weeks in December to see if it helped with the bloating I've had for years. I've since looked a little bit into what other foods are acidic and it seems to fit since I get particularly bloated after eating things like meat.

My plan (though probably tough to implement and monitor given that I don't really have any bowel symptoms) was to try cutting down heavily on the more acidic foods but when mentioning this to my GI he said that anything acidic would no longer be acidic by the time it reached the terminal ileum so doubted if that was the cause? I also got the impression both yesterday and before that he doesn't think food plays much of a role in IBD although there are obviously many here who would disagree with that and to me it seems to go against common sense.

Anyone got any thoughts on this? Obviously it wouldn't be the easiest eating plan to follow (pretty much vegan I guess and I have great difficulty getting enough calories as it is) so I wouldn't want to get into it if it seems likely I'd be wasting my time.
Personal opinion: doubtful the apple cider vinegr caused acidic issue. However, if you drink it or any other tea, coffee, coke, etc., prior to eating, you are changing the acidity in your stomach which will not allow you to digest as easily as waiting until food hits your stomach to drink. I was told that digestive enzymes are a must to use while eating, since the stomach does not easily break down the food (in sick belly). Meat is very tough to digest, so perhaps avoid that until you have it under control. Most docs will say they don't believe food as any affect, but there doesn't seem to be a basis for it. Disease begins from excessive inflammation, and we are causing that somehow, so when you see someone ingest much sugar (let's say holiday cookies and cakes), they are usually constipated thereafter. Ingest pain meds and most will be constipated and hardened stool. What goes in our mouths (food AND drink) will affect our internal organs. Given that, the healthier we eat, the better off we are in healing our bodies and reducing inflammation. There is a diet out there (can't remember name) that speaks of NOT including carbs when you eat meat. Leave out the baked potatoe or other whites and you will see a difference in how you feel after the meal. You can get plenty of calories in vegan meals...it is a matter of researching diets (blood type diets are interesting and informative...) and finding what works best for YOUR body. I found digestive enzymes, coupled with daily GOOD probiotics, helps me keep inflammation down. Once you are on a good roll, test your belly by eating something you would not normally eat or have found not to be good for you and you will find an almost immediate reaction. Given that, how can docs say diet does not affect us? Ridiculous? It can certainly exacerbate an ill condition. Good luck and keep asking questions to keep yourself healthy!
Thanks for that Mickey.

I guess the difficulty is that I already eat what most would consider to be a very clean and healthy diet so it's hard to see a food trigger for this initial flare otherwise. I gathered that acidic stuff wouldn't be great for ulceration (which I had/have) so it seemed the logical fit, beyond that I'm stumped really.

I've had this bloating for almost a decade and have never managed to find rhyme nor reason to it and have had no luck by cutting out wheat, dairy, all gluten etc. etc. It's always seemed very inconsistent. It's tough to know where to start when you already feel like you've tried pretty much everything! Meat may still be worth a try though I guess since I never had any GI issues whatsoever before I started eating meat again as an adult (though they didn't start until a couple of years into that).

As far as getting the calories goes.. I think I use most of the vegan tricks already (copious amounts of nuts and seeds, coconut butter here and there etc.) and still struggle to get the amount in to maintain my weight, I've never had an appetite unfortunately which makes it an eternal struggle! Well, aside from the first couple of days on Prednisone at least.
What about tomato sauce? Anyone find these acidic? Tried to stay clear of Marinara sauce but I miss this. Does the acid content with them bother anyone?


Staff member
I can't eat tomatoes at all anymore. Ketchup is okay, but pasta sauce or tomato soup will just make me vomit because it's so acidic. D:
i read your reply and realized your nuts and seeds may also be causing some stomach distress. Copius amounts, in particular. It is possible to eat too many and that can cause distress....something in the kinds of nuts can be dangerous as well....anyway, I found out the hard way as I bloated and had intense pain....was told to eliminate the nuts/seeds and I'll be darned....helped reduce the pain. Frustrating, as it is hard to eliminate foods and not figure out what to replace it with!
My son can't eat anything with tomato in it without getting bad reflux. Even when hes taking a daily PPI.
There are a number of low acid tomatoes, including most of the yellow, orange and pink varieties, along with red heirloom and sweet 100s cherry tomatoes.