August 31, 2011

Detective Work -- Did the Red Grapes Do It?

Am I trying to prove to myself that it is stress and not food that is my GERD trigger?  Well, maybe.  That would be a lot less complicated, right? 

In this spirit, I was pleased to find a link to a 2006 study linking GERD symptoms to stress.   The study's caveat is that stress does not predict GERD's impact on the esophagus.  (The study is flawed in a few ways, but I was interested to see the distinction made between GERD symptoms and endoscopic results.)
While I'm getting back to my regular diet, I am experiencing a lot of GERD symptoms today.   Here's my intake so far:

First Breakfast - 6:30 AM:
1 Wheetabix square
1/4 C. raisins
1 prune
1 C. almond milk

Second Breakfast - 10:00 AM:
1 package Irish instant oatmeal with my own cinnamon
1/2 C. orange juice
I managed to have an expanded brisk walk this morning, as well.

Snack - 10:30 AM:
5 red grapes
2-3 cherries

This is where the problem exacerbated.  I have been belchy (and gassy) for the past days, and experienced definite heartburn pain yesterday and the day before, to the point of reaching for Tums.  (Which did not help.)
I was feeling a little better this morning with less symptoms overall. 

Around 10:30 AM I decided to have some fruit, but after a few grapes, I immediately felt that "food in throat feeling" more severely than in recent weeks.  It was as through the grape skins were stuck to my esophagus.  The skins were especially thick and bitter -- does this mean anything?   Usually, I don't have problems with grapes.

Lunch - 12:45 PM:
1 serving chickpea-eggplant-tomato dish (homemade by me)
My accompanying rye bread was moldy.    Darn!

Snack - 2:45 PM:
1 white roll from Le Pain Quotidien
1 packet maple almond nut butter (3/4 finished; interrupted by meeting)

At 4:21 PM, I feel ok.  FIT but heartburn.  Some belching, more gassy.   This, despite a super busy day.  I don't feel "stressed" but rather excited and even a little manic, with all the projects swirling around me. 

Dinner - 6:30 PM
Bean curd with basil and brown rice at local Thai restaurant.  I had an unpleasant sensation while eating the green peppers and eggplant that were part of this vegetable-loaded dish.  I felt unsettled in my stomach afterwards, and took a Tums to see if this would help (it did).   In this case, the veggies may have been bad; I don't think this was GERD-related.  I felt very full after this modestly sized dinner despite having been "starving" at the start.

During dinner, I learned that J. also had trouble with the red grapes.  Earlier, he had a few and said he did not feel right afterwards -- they made him feel "funny" in the stomach and head.

Dessert - 8:00 PM
1 C. Breyer's ice cream (Vanilla Fudge)
By this time, I felt fine.

I am looking forward to the greenmarket on Saturday, and resuming my normal diet full of fresh produce, grains and beans!


  1. you are correct. I have GERD and was getting better. but when I had the red grapes i had the same symptoms like tightness in chest, feeling the grapes stuck in throat and this morning i had irritating throat. I did some research and found Grapes has citric acid and may trigger heart burn. stay away from grapes.

  2. Ziczacroom, thanks for the post. I bought some red grapes this morning at Au Bon Pain, and they did not bother me this time. I wonder if there is any similarity to "oral allergy syndrome," where certain fruits produce itchy mouth at certain times of the year (coinciding with pollen allergies). Still, something to watch...I admit I am getting leery of grapes!