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Coffee gastritis: Can Coffee Cause Gastritis? – Allied Digestive Health

Can Coffee Cause Gastritis? – Allied Digestive Health

Perhaps you’ve just developed gastritis, or maybe you’ve been battling it for a while. Regardless of what you’ve been dealing with in your digestive system, chances are you’ve pondered what foods and drinks can affect your body and in what way. Specifically, many coffee drinkers have probably wondered, “Can coffee cause gastritis?”. If you’ve been drinking coffee for years and wondered if coffee can cause gastritis, you’re not alone. Read on to learn about how coffee can affect the inflammation of the stomach – if you can’t say no to that morning cup of coffee – which type of coffee might be right for you and your digestive system.

What Is Gastritis?

Gastritis is defined as the irritation or inflammation of the stomach. The word ‘gastritis’ is actually a general term covering a wide variety of symptoms. It can range from nausea to abdominal pain to vomiting, hiccups, indigestion, loss of appetite, and upset stomach. While gastritis may be caused by bacteria in the lining of the stomach, bile reflux, or another type of infection, it may also be caused by the use of anti-inflammatory drugs (such as aspirin), chronic vomiting, or drinking too much alcohol.

There are two main types of gastritis: erosive and non-erosive gastritis. The former is characterized by the erosion of the stomach’s protective lining, whereas the latter inflames the stomach without eroding its lining. Regardless of which type of gastritis you may have, it is important to contact your medical provider for medical advice if you begin showing symptoms of gastritis. It can lead to the development of ulcers or even stomach cancer

Caffeinated Drinks and Their Connection to Stomach Conditions

Can coffee cause gastritis? According to most medical evidence, it can certainly worsen it. Some people just can’t function without their morning cup of coffee. It might be bad news for people suffering from gastritis and other stomach conditions. Coffee affects the stomach strongly due to its presence of caffeine and being an acidic beverage. This happens for two major reasons:

First, coffee, as well as other caffeinated beverages, can affect the stomach strongly because they contain caffeine. Caffeine has been shown to cause frequent contractions in the digestive tract. It can also increase stomach acidity by triggering the production of more gastric acid. The caffeine content in a single cup of coffee is enough to have a major effect on someone’s gastrointestinal system.

Second, coffee and coffee drinks are acidic beverages. Drinking coffee may increase the acid levels in your stomach or gastrointestinal tract, which can lead to inflammation of the stomach. Although some researchers disagree on the extent to which acid coffee can affect the lining of the stomach, if you’re dealing with a sensitive stomach, it may be prudent to avoid coffee.

Are Certain Types of Coffee Easier on Your Stomach?

Because caffeine can affect your body dramatically, those suffering from gastritis or other GI issues may find it necessary to switch to decaffeinated coffee. Although decaf still contains coffee acids, it does not contain caffeine. It means that decaf doesn’t stimulate the lower gut nearly as much as fully caffeinated coffee. Switching to decaf may be an easy change for a lover of acidic beverages to make in order to reduce the severity of their gastritis symptoms.

Additionally, coffee lovers may find it wise to switch from one type of coffee to another. Because many types of coffee are high in acid, it may be wise to switch to a low-acid coffee. For example, light roast coffees, as well as coffees made from Arabica beans, tend to be high in acid. Switching to a low-acid coffee, such as a dark roast coffee, may help decrease levels of gastric acid and have less of a dramatic impact on your digestive system. Even cutting down on the quantity of coffee you drink daily. However, decreasing from a few cups every day to merely one or two can help decrease stomach acidity.

Finally, additives can also cause digestive problems. If you’re sensitive to dairy or prone to Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), consider cutting dairy milk or creamer out of your coffee. Switching to a nondairy creamer, such as soy milk, almond milk, or oat milk, can help reduce general gastric discomfort. Ensure that gastric acid levels remain low, and make drinking coffee as low-risk as possible.

The bottom line? If you’re dealing with gastritis, switching to a decaffeinated, low-acid roast with nondairy creamer may be the easiest way to enjoy your morning cup of coffee – without all the negative effects that can come with gastritis.

Other Dietary Changes for Individuals With Gastritis

If you’re battling gastritis, there are other dietary changes that can help. Highly acidic foods, as well as spicy and fried foods, have been shown to negatively affect digestive systems by increasing stomach acidity and causing inflammation of the stomach. In contrast, low-acid, high-fiber foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, tend to cause less inflammation. Beans are also a great choice for anyone looking to consume more fiber and less acid. Furthermore, low-fat foods, such as fish and vegetables, are good options for foods that can be easily digested without causing further inflammation.

If you’ve been diagnosed with gastritis, or you’re worried about inflaming or eroding the lining of your stomach, simple fixes can make a big difference. Prioritizing low-acid, high-fiber foods is a great way to ensure gastrointestinal health. Consider swapping out a cup of highly acidic, caffeinated coffee for a few glasses of different fruit juices, or replace red meat with fish a few nights a week. Your stomach will thank you.

The Takeaway

If you’re wondering if coffee can cause gastritis, the evidence is clear. The caffeine and acid in a cup of coffee make it capable of causing inflammation of the stomach. Don’t worry about developing or worsening gastritis. Contact our medical professionals today to learn more about how Allied Digestive Health can help.

Coffee and G.I. functions: Disorders of the stomach


Several studies have found no relation between coffee consumption and dyspepsia2-4.

  • One 2001 study which considered the effect of alcohol, coffee and smoking on GI symptoms revealed 37% of 500 adults considered coffee to be a cause of dyspepsia. However, further investigations show no association between drinking coffee and this condition. Both smoking and having stopped smoking are strongly associated with dyspepsia2
  • A 1998 UK cross sectional study of 8,407 individuals also suggested that there is no association between coffee consumption and dyspepsia, but showed a significant relationship between the presence of the bacterium Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) and dyspepsia4

Gastro oesophageal reflux disease (GORD)

Coffee has been suggested as a possible cause in some cases, however there is no evidence that coffee consumption affects the symptoms of GORD6-14. Those who suffer from symptoms often self-regulate their diet according to their own sensitivities and some patients may choose to limit their coffee consumption. Although some research suggests coffee drinking is perceived as a risk factor for GORD, several studies have found no association8-10.

  • A 2001 study involving monitoring reflux, using a catheter inserted inside the oesophagus of sufferers show that coffee only has an impact when consumed on an empty stomach, and the effect on reflux is smaller than that observed following consumption of a full meal. Coffee was not found to affect other factors associated with reflux such as the functioning of the oesophageal sphincter muscle. The researchers concluded that coffee itself does not affect GORD in healthy volunteers2
  • A large 2004 patient control study in Norway involving 3,153 sufferers and 40,210 controls examined associations between reflux and lifestyle factors. Both smoking and high salt consumption appear to have the greatest impact. The researchers suggest that coffee consumption, together with consumption of high fibre bread and regular physical movement lowered the risk of GORD11
  • A 2007 study of lifestyle factors and reflux in twins suggests that high BMI, smoking and lack of physical activity at work are risk factors for frequent GORD symptoms12. No nutritional factors, including coffee consumption, have been found to have a link and in fact, in men the consumption of more than seven cups of coffee per day is associated with a lower risk of reflux12
  • A 2006 review of 16 studies assessing the role of lifestyle factors in GORD shows that modifying eating habits, including coffee consumption, does not affect symptoms of acid reflux13. A further 2013 meta analysis also showed no association between coffee intake and GORD14
  • A 1997 study suggests that consuming decaffeinated coffee at breakfast time reduces acid reflux15, but this has not been confirmed in other studies and conclusions cannot be drawn

Peptic ulcers

Studies investigating the risk factors for the development of stomach ulcers conclude that coffee is no longer considered a risk factor16,17.

  • A 2003 Danish cohort study of 2,416 adults assessed the risk factors for stomach ulcers and concluded that pylori, smoking and use of tranquilisers are risk factors. Coffee consumption was found not to be a risk factor16
  • A 2013 cross-sectional study of 8,013 healthy subjects in Japanalso shows no association between coffee consumption and peptic ulcers17


There is no evidence that coffee influences the development of gastritis16,17. Patients who suffer with painful gastritis often choose to avoid certain foods or beverages if they experience discomfort, and self-management is common16,17.

Stomach cancer

Research to date shows that there is no evidence to suggest a link between coffee consumption and the risk of developing stomach cancer. In 2016 the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) reviewed all available scientific evidence and found no clear association between coffee intake and cancer at any body site, including the stomach32.

  • A 2015 systematic review and a meta-analysis of 23 studies found no association between coffee consumption and the development of stomach cancer35
  • Findings from the 2011 EPIC Cohort study suggest that consumption of total coffee intake, as well as intakes of caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee are not associated with overall gastric cancer risk. However, total coffee and caffeinated coffee consumption may be associated with an increased risk of gastric cancer36

Further detailed information on coffee and cancer is available here.

Coffee and gastritis

A cup of fragrant hot coffee is perhaps the only way for some people to wake up in the morning. Just the smell of freshly brewed coffee is worth it! There is one “but”: caffeine stimulates the production of hydrochloric acid, when drinking on an empty stomach, this can lead to damage to the mucous membrane and the appearance of ulcers. 1

Breakfast or not?

Why does seemingly harmless coffee irritate the mucous membranes of the gastrointestinal tract so much? Not just because he’s hot? Due to the increased production of hydrochloric acid caused by the action of caffeine, the mucous membrane is destroyed, which over time can lead to peptic ulcers. 1 People who drink a lot of coffee on an empty stomach are especially at risk. 1 Therefore, have a hearty breakfast before energizing yourself with a cup of flavored drink. 1

Why is this happening?

At night, while we sleep, our stomach, freed from food, also rests. In the morning, when the stomach is maximally “cleaned” and receptive, we start drinking coffee. The drink irritates the stomach, hydrochloric acid begins to be actively produced. 1 It’s good if you have a full nutritious breakfast in addition to coffee. In this case, the produced acid will begin to fulfill its mission. 2 But what if there is no breakfast and we are talking for a second or third cup of coffee? Hydrochloric acid also begins to work, it actively destroys the gastric mucosa, resulting in ulcers. 1

I can’t live without it!

If you are passionate about coffee, try to stick to some simple rules.

Do not drink coffee on an empty stomach. The ideal time for coffee is after a meal.

Coffee must not be overheated, let alone boiled. As a result of strong or long heating, harmful compounds are formed in it.

Do not drink instant coffee, it is made from the least valuable and cheap varieties, and it contains more caffeine than natural coffee – up to 8% instead of 2%.

Buy only quality coffee, as unscrupulous sellers can tint beans or treat them with harmful additives.

Remember: any coffee is contraindicated in gastritis with high and normal acidity, GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), peptic ulcer. 2 In gastritis with low acidity, the use of weak natural coffee is allowed. 2

When gastritis caught you by surprise

Chronic gastritis, gastric and duodenal ulcers can be treated with Ulcavis ® , a modern drug from KRKA. 3 Taking Ulcavis ® is convenient and simple: adults and children over 12 years old take 2 tablets 2 times a day, or 1 tablet 4 times a day 30 minutes before meals. 3

2 x 2 times a day

1 x 4 times a day

30 minutes

before meals

Be healthy!


1. Agapova N.G. About drug-induced gastroduodenal ulcers Ukraine. – 2007. – 2, 38 (Agapova N.G. About medical gastroduodenal ulcers // Journal of Art of Treatment. Ukraine. – 2007. – 2, 38).
2. Once again about coffee // Eurolab Medical Portal, http://www.eurolab.ua/encyclopedia/565/44351/.
3. Prescribing information for Ulcavis ® .

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Is it possible to drink coffee with gastritis, gastric and duodenal ulcers?

First you need to find out the difference between gastritis and an ulcer. Gastritis is an inflammation of the lining of the stomach. This term in modern medical practice is used much less frequently. It was replaced by a new definition of “erythematous gastropathy”. This is a collective concept that includes changes in the gastric mucosa and its functions, in particular, a violation of the digestive processes, etc. Most often, functional changes in this organ lead to a violation of its function and the duodenum (duodenum). The so-called gastroduodenitis.

Most people think that the process of digestion takes place directly in the stomach. However, this is not entirely true. The digestive process begins already at the stage of food entering the oral cavity, where it is processed by the enzymes of the salivary glands. In the stomach, it is chemically treated with hydrochloric acid (HCl), and mechanically mixed to a homogeneous mass due to the motility of the stomach. Since it is a muscular-hollow organ.

The inflammatory process of the duodenum can develop as an independent disease, but most often as a result of changes in the pH of gastric juice and incorrect chemical processing of food.

What is an ulcer? An ulcer is a defect in the mucous membrane of an organ. Ulcers are formed as a result of a chronic inflammatory process or the action of aggressive substances, they can also be caused by the activity of the microorganism Helicobacter pylori.

The fast pace of life, the lack of time to implement their plans and projects, all this characterizes a modern person. That is why our society is already impossible to imagine without such a drink as coffee. Which allows us to win a little in the fight against time. However, what is coffee, and what is its effect on our organs and the body as a whole.

Coffee is a drink made from the beans of the coffee tree. This drink has a number of positive effects on the human body. Such as: improving mood, relieving drowsiness, increasing concentration and efficiency, preventing certain diseases. But despite all the positive effects of coffee, it also has a number of negative effects.

So how does this drink affect the affected stomach and duodenum?

  • A drink drunk on an empty stomach irritates the gastric mucosa, which stimulates the secretion of digestive juice (acidification). Which in turn negatively affects the already damaged shell.
  • The cup of coffee you have drunk must not be hot. The treatment of diseases of the stomach and duodenum is based on the principle of careful action of food on them, that is, there must be adequate thermal, chemical and mechanical processing of food and compliance with the optimal temperature of the consumed dishes.
  • If you are not able to limit or refuse this drink at all. You can dilute coffee with milk. Milk has an alkaline pH, which in turn reduces acidity.
  • Avoid instant coffee! It has been proven that sourdough coffee at the expense of additives only worsens the condition of the disease.
  • Regular consumption of coffee on an empty stomach increases the risk of gastric cancer.

In addition to the effect of coffee on the body, there are also a number of contraindications for drinking this drink.

It is strictly forbidden to drink coffee:

  • in the presence of an erosive form of the disease;
  • for peptic ulcer;
  • during an exacerbation of the disease;
  • if you feel worse after drinking coffee.