Don’t Eat Chocolate after Hiatal Hernia Surgery (2 main reasons).

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Why you shouldn’t eat chocolate after a hiatal hernia surgery.

1. It affects the lower esophageal sphincter.

Chocolate may cause reflux symptoms by increasing the likelihood of acid reflux. The pro-reflux effects of chocolate are mainly due to its effects on the lower esophageal sphincter (the sphincter between.

Studies show that chocolate causes more relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter.

In patients with hiatal hernia, the lower esophageal sphincter is often reconstructed during the surgery (as with Nissen fundoplication).

Eating chocolate immediately after hiatal hernia surgery may cause acid to reflux back into the esophagus, causing heartburn (reflux symptoms).

So, it is better to completely avoid chocolate for the next 4-6 weeks after the surgery.

Evidence from research.

  • One study measured the acidity levels inside the esophagus (esophageal pH) after eating chocolate. The researchers found that eating chocolate after meals increases acid reflux and its symptoms.

  • Another study found that chocolate eating is one of the strongest predictors of acid reflux-related dental erosions.
  • A third review study confirmed that chocolate is a well-known cause of lower esophageal sphincter tones contributing to reflux symptoms after hiatal hernia surgery.

2. Chocolate may increase stomach acid production.

The cocoa powder in chocolate is acidic. It also may cause a surge of serotonin in the gastrointestinal tract. Serotonin may lead to increased gastric acid secretion.

Thus, eating chocolate may increase reflux symptoms by increasing acidity levels through two mechanisms:

  • Indirectly: Promoting stomach acid production (HCL).
  • Directly: Cocoa powder in chocolate is also acidic.

When to eat chocolate after hiatal hernia surgery.

There are four stages of diet after hiatal hernia surgery:

  • Clear liquid diet (often for the first to two days after the operation).
  • Full liquid diet (after clear liquid diet, for another day or two).
  • A soft diet (for the next 4-8 weeks after the operation).
  • Lifelong dietary modifications to prevent attacks or recurrence of reflux symptoms after the hiatal hernia operation.

Typically, chocolate eating is not recommended until the end of the soft diet period after the surgery (4-8 weeks).

Chocolate eating is also not recommended long-term after hiatal hernia surgery. However, some may tolerate small amounts of chocolate.

I advise working with your doctor or dietitian to introduce small amounts of chocolate (not before one month after surgery).

Keeping a food diary of your foods and symptoms also helps. And only start with small quantities; binge eating chocolate may cause reflux symptoms.

What are other foods to avoid after hiatal hernia surgery?

1- Caffeine

  • Coffee (Espresso is highest in caffeine content)
  • Energy drinks.
  • Tea.
  • Soft drinks.
  • Caffeinated water. (for example, Waterjoe®)
  • Cocoa.

2- Citrus fruits.

  • Lemon (better to avoid completely).
  • Oranges (you can take them with caution).
  • Limes
  • Grapefruit.

3- Fatty and fried foods

  • Fatty cuts of beef, pork, or lamb.
  • Bacon fat, ham fat, and lard.
  • Fatty dairy products such as cheese, whole milk, and butter.
  • Nuts such as cashews and walnuts.
  • Greasy foods.

4- spicy foods.

  • Peppers (especially black peppers)
  • Spicy or chili sauce.
  • Curry.
  • Many Asian recipes a stir-fry.

5- Carbonated (soft) drinks.

  • Coca-Cola, Pepsi.
  • Fanta, Sprite.
  • Carbonated alcoholic drinks.

6- Alochol

  • Avoid drinking alochol in large amounts.
  • Although some studies found that drinking a small amount
  • can help H. Pylori eradication may induce gastritis.

7- Tomatoes (& its products).

  • Tomatoes (especially row tomatoes).
  • Tomato sauce and Ketchup (especially hot type).
  • Tomato juice.

8- Other Acidic foods

  • Corn oil.
  • Mayonnaise.
  • Soy sauce.
  • Vinegar.
  • Sugar, molasses, and aspartame.
  • Maple syrup, processed honey. Salt

What foods you can eat after a hiatal hernia surgery?

1. Beverages:

  • Milk
  • decaffeinated tea and coffee.
  • Powdered drink mixes.
  • Apple, grape, cranberry juices.

2. Fruits & vegetables

  • fruit juice (non-citrus fruits) is better than fresh fruits in the first few weeks after hiatal hernia surgery.
  • Well-cooked soft vegetables without seeds or skins (spinach, carrots, beets, beans, etc.

3. cereals & bread

  • Pankaakes, french toast.
  • Waffles.
  • Crackers.
  • Toasted bread.
  • Well-cooked cereals such as oatmeal.
  • Cold cereals such as Cornflakes.
  • Plain rice.

4. Others

  • Meats should be easy to swallow (chopped or minced).
  • Creamy peanut butter and plain custard.
  • Blended fruit yogurt
  • grilled or toasted cheese.
  • Peeled, mashed, or boiled potatoes.
  • Hard-boiled or scrambled eggs.
  • Butter and margarine (in moderation).