Dueling Diets

Posted by jackiem95 @jackiem95, May 24, 2019

I am struggling to manage dietary restrictions for both IBS and GERD. One thing I REALLY miss is tomatoes and foods using them like spaghetti sauce. I found a recipe for a sauce using roasted and puréed red bell peppers. Only other ingredient was chicken broth with no additives and a little basil. Very tasty but I didn't overeat. I thought I had understood that bell peppers didn’t trigger GERD symptoms. Well in the middle of the night I woke up with acid reflux. Can’t think of anything else that would have caused it. Has anyone else had a reflux attack from cooked red bell peppers?

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I’ve gone on a low acid diet after being told I had silent acid reflux which gave me Barrett’s esophagus. No peppers, no tomato products, No Italian or Mexican food. No booze, soda, I drink lots of water. I also stop eating at 3pm so there is no food in my system when I go to bed. I’ve had no acid reflux doing this. I eat lots of baked chicken and have cut out seasoning of any kind. No chocolate too. No fried foods. Good luck ! This can be controlled by a strict diet.


Thanks. I have had GERD for quite a long time and am familiar with (and use) all of the usual recommendations you mentioned. Mostly it is controlled with those and meds but GI has suggested the possible eventual need for surgery. Anyway, I am very aware of the recommendation not to eat “peppers” but my understanding is that this means “chile peppers” e.g. jalepenos—that contain capsaicin—the “heat” ingredient. I read that bell peppers don’t contain capsaicin. So maybe there is something else in them!

Does anyone else have experience with bell peppers?


I once heard that veggies in the Nightshade family can cause problems in the gut. This includes tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers. So it's not just the capsaicin, although that is definitely a trigger! I try to avoid Nightshades, except in very small amounts, and it helps. So I would not eat a pizza with tomatoe sauce, but can handle chicken pizza with cream sauce and a couple slices of bell pepper.


It's been a while since I read about, or ate, bell peppers, but I thought there was something about the Ph or acid level that makes them iffy for GERD. White potatoes are also in the nightshade family.


Bell peppers have always bothered me. But the pepper I use to season with is Lawry's Seasoned Pepper... which is mostly bell pepper. Ground black pepper burns my esophagus. If a recipe calls for bell peppers I use seeded sweet banana peppers. They do not bother me. Of course not good for stuffed peppers. I can tolerate mild jalapeño peppers if seeded. I have swallowing difficulties so potatoes are difficult. I do occasionally eat some tomatoes in soups and the rare spaghetti. Some breads are difficult for me.

You have to keep in mind that everyone is different. Some people tolerate some foods that others cannot. You just have to learn what the triggers are for you. A food diary is very helpful.

I have mild gastroparesis which requires a low fiber diet, diverticulosis which requires a high fiber diet, achalasia which requires tender, soft, easy to swallow foods, esophageal spasms which also requires tender, soft easy to swallow diet, and Barrett's esophagus which requires a low acidic diet. I have had my gallbladder removed which requires I eat low fat and watch for other triggers to keep the diarrhea at bay (not all people that have had their gallbladder out have problems with diarrhea.. a probiotic (Align) helped me the most with the problem) I have to eat several small meals a day because I had to have a gastric bypass to fix a paraesophageal (hiatal) hernia and it also helps with the other digestive/esophagus problems. So very dueling diets 😂 A food diary really does help to figure it all out.. but sometimes I still wind up scratching my head trying to figure it out.



I am just starting on a diet for a hiatal hernia and appreciate reading comments from experienced people who have been managing this for a while. I have always eaten a lot of varied foods that mostly include vegetables, fruits, eggs, chicken, fish, shellfish, and less often beef and pork. I also like 'tasty' food and heavily season trying to keep from adding so much salt. I realize that peppers, onions and hot spices of all kinds are now 'out' of my diet.

Can anyone offer suggestions to make my food more tasty?

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