BLOG > Acid Indigestion and the Keto Diet: What You Need to Know

Acid Indigestion and the Keto Diet: What You Need to Know

Acid Indigestion and the Keto Diet: What You Need to Know

Understanding Acid Indigestion and the Keto Diet

Acid indigestion, also known as heartburn or acid reflux, is a common digestive issue that many people experience. The burning sensation in the chest and throat can be quite uncomfortable and sometimes even painful. But what does the keto diet have to do with acid indigestion? In this article, we'll explore the connection between the two and discuss what you need to know to avoid this unpleasant side effect while following a ketogenic lifestyle.

The Basics of the Keto Diet

The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, low-carbohydrate eating plan designed to help people lose weight, improve mental clarity, and increase energy levels. By drastically reducing carbohydrate intake and replacing it with fat, the body enters a metabolic state called ketosis. In ketosis, the body becomes incredibly efficient at burning fat for energy, leading to various health benefits.

While many people have successfully followed the keto diet and experienced positive results, it's essential to be aware of potential side effects, including acid indigestion. Let's delve into the factors that contribute to this issue and how you can address them to enjoy the benefits of the keto diet without the discomfort of acid reflux.

Why Acid Indigestion Occurs on the Keto Diet

There are several reasons why acid indigestion may occur while following the keto diet. One of the primary factors is the increased fat consumption. High-fat foods can slow down the digestive process and cause the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) to relax, allowing stomach acid to flow back into the esophagus and cause heartburn.

Additionally, some common keto-friendly foods, such as coffee, chocolate, and spicy foods, can also contribute to acid indigestion. These items are known trigger foods for heartburn, and consuming them in large quantities may exacerbate the issue.

Preventing Acid Indigestion on the Keto Diet

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prevent acid indigestion while still enjoying the benefits of the keto diet. Here are some tips to help you avoid heartburn while following a ketogenic lifestyle:

1. Eat smaller, more frequent meals. Overeating can put pressure on the LES and cause acid reflux. Instead of three large meals, try eating five or six smaller meals throughout the day.

2. Limit trigger foods. As mentioned earlier, some foods can contribute to acid indigestion. Limit your intake of these items or eliminate them from your diet altogether.

3. Stay upright after eating. Lying down after a meal can cause stomach acid to flow back into the esophagus. Try to stay upright for at least two hours after eating to help prevent acid reflux.

4. Drink plenty of water. Staying well-hydrated can help dilute stomach acid and reduce the risk of heartburn. Aim for at least eight glasses of water per day.

Supplements to Support Digestion on the Keto Diet

Aside from making dietary changes, you may also want to consider taking supplements to support digestion while following the keto diet. Some helpful supplements include:

1. Digestive enzymes. These can help break down fats, proteins, and carbohydrates, making them easier for your body to digest.

2. Probiotics. These beneficial bacteria can help improve gut health and reduce the risk of acid indigestion.

3. Magnesium. This essential mineral can help relax the LES and prevent acid reflux.

Before starting any supplement regimen, be sure to consult with your healthcare provider to ensure they are safe and appropriate for your individual needs.

When to Seek Medical Help

If you've made adjustments to your diet and tried various remedies, but acid indigestion persists or worsens, it's essential to seek medical help. Persistent heartburn can be a sign of more severe health issues, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or even esophageal cancer.

Don't hesitate to reach out to your healthcare provider to discuss your symptoms and determine the best course of action to address your acid indigestion while following the keto diet.


Acid indigestion can be an uncomfortable side effect of the keto diet, but with some adjustments to your eating habits and the help of supplements, it's possible to enjoy the benefits of the keto lifestyle without the discomfort of heartburn. Remember to listen to your body and seek medical advice if necessary to ensure you're following the keto diet safely and effectively.