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Date of last update: 10/15/2017.

Forum Name: Gastroenterology Topics

Question: Stomach hurts after drinking orange juice and soda

 godslilgurl3 - Mon Jul 05, 2010 11:43 pm

I noticed a really bad stomach ache (the upper stomach area) after drinking orange juice at first. And lately, it's been happening with soda, but doesn't hurt as bad as it does with orange juice. I timed it to be only about 15 minutes and then it goes away completely. On a scale from 1 to 10 and 10 being the worst...I would say a 9. I could just cry.
 Dr.M.Aroon kamath - Wed Jul 21, 2010 1:35 pm

User avatar Hi,
The stomach contains hydrochloric acid whose pH in health ranges between 1-3(average of 2).

Food entering the stomach decreases the acidity in the stomach and thereby.
increasing the pH (less acidic or alkaline).Food gets churned into 'chyme'. which
as it enters the antrum, increases gastrin secretion by
a) antral distension (vagal reflexes)
b) antral stimulation by alkaline pH and
c) antral stimulation by the presence of peptides or amino acids.
Gastrin cause increase in acid production. This will decrease the gastric pH(make it more acidic).
Ultimately, the increasingly acidic pH will cause antral inhibition of acid production.

After intake of any food, the pH in the stomach will be a net result of stomach acid+the pH of the food combined.

Orange juice has a pH of about 2.8. The predominant acids naturally
occurring in orange juice is citric acid and malic acid. Small
amounts of tartaric acid, beizoic, and succinic acids also may be present.
The acidity of the orange is mainly due to citric and malic acids.

Acidity (thereby, the citric acid content) of the orange juice depends upon a number of variables such as,
- the country where the orange is grown,
- the technique of extraction,
- processing,
- fresh vs canned,
- storage(shelf life) etc.

As already explained, drinking orange juice on an empty stomach is likely to result in a lower pH in the stomach compared to the pH after a normal mixed meal. It may contribute towards heartburn as well.

On drinking soda(carbonated water), the carbon dioxide which gets released as soon as the can is opened, will continue to be released in the stomach. After all, 'soda' is primarily CO2 + H2O(water) = H2CO3 = carbonic acid (& small amounts of sodium bicarbonate, potassium bicarbonate, disodium phosphate, table salt, sodium citrate, potassium citrate, potassium sulfate etc) depending on the commercial brand or whether it was home-made. This sudden entry of carbonic acid transiently increases the acidity in the stomach and also bloats the stomach, thus contributing to gastroesophageal reflux.

I hope this information is useful to you. The best strategy under these circumstances for you would be to avoid these for the present (especially on an empty stomach).
Best wishes!

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