The very aspect of coffee that makes it so attractive for so many people can also cause stomach problems. While the caffeine in coffee can help keep you alert, it can also increase your heart rate and act as a diuretic. “It also irritates the stomach lining and intestines, exacerbates existing peptic ulcer disease and worsens gastro-esophageal reflux problems,” says Wilfred Lee, MD, gastroenterologist at Saint Francis Medical Center.
Coffee can act as a diuretic, removing water from your body and causing stomach pains and constipation. Conversely, while some people use coffee as a laxative, it can cause the stomach to empty itself before it has the chance to properly digest food. This can cause injury to the small intestine rather than providing us with the nutrients we need. “Excessive use of coffee can be detrimental,” says Lee.
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