Oesophageal Patients Association
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Foods i cant eat. Can you ?

I'm 19 months post op and still learning what i can eat without having problems afterwards.

Yesterday for lunch i had boil in the bag kippers. 45 mins later i was running to the small room

and continued to do so throughout the afternoon and evening. During the night i had a bad case of acid reflux despite being propped up with bedblocks and pillows. Looks like kippers

are a no no for me. Has anyone else had a similar problem ?

13 Replies

hi racy.

i am 3 years post op and after 2 good weeks without any bile/reflux after having another dilation, i have found i cannot eat anything tomato sauce based. shame because i used to like a good pasta. i know this has not answered your question but what i am trying to say i am still leaning after 3 years, so dont beat yourself up about it we will a get there in the end.

good luck trev


Thanks for the info trev. i'll keep learning.


!8 months post op and still learning about foods although sometimes it can happen with any food which before i have tolerated.Eg soup taday from marks and sparks cafe has started some reflux!!! Yes trial and error.For Trev who cant tolerate tomato based pasta, try carbonara pasta.Must say the reflux is a pain but in the grand scheme of things we are surviving so guess we"ll have to adapt to it !! So remember no more kippers


Thanks Griff. No more kippers is a small price to pay for still being alive so i can live with that.


Hi Racy

I'm five and a half years post op and I still get caught out with things I could once eat now giving me reflux and I have found that cheese can somtimes send me rushing for the loo. I must say that I love kippers but wouldn't touch them now as they are a very oily fish and would probably end up with the same results as you. I'm afraid it's trial and error so stick with it and dont get downhearted. To Trev I am excatly the same as you I love pasta but anything tomato sauce base'd really gives me bad reflux, I agree with Griff Carbonara is a great alternative and taste's great too.

Kind Regards



Thanks for your support Steve, Griff and Trev. I' learned a lot. I also agree with Griff. Had spag carbonara this lunchtime with no aftereffects. Good taste too.


I'm into my 19th year now and have learnt that my body has a life all of its own..What I can eat one day will not sit well the next.It is all unpredictable Reflux will be a problem for several days then suddenly disappear for three or four months having no bearing on what I have eaten. Diarrhoea comes and goes as it feels like it,with out any thought to what I have eaten.

I have given up on looking for an answer and eat what I feel like.,

Needless to say I am fit active and well, having enjoyed many years of an unpredictable lifestyle.So the best of luck and who knows you may enjoy kippers another day!



I will be 4 years post op in February. I agree 100% with sallym reply. I have given up trying to find an answer to reflux and vomiting. I just get on with it!


Hello Racy,

I'm now five years post op and have managed to find 'safe' foods which I will eat most days and always go back to if I'm having a 'bad day'. For me, chips and cheese seem to be okay, provided I eat them slowly and in small portions. If you are trying a new food, I suggest that you eat maybe a quarter of the portion, wait 20 mins and have another portion and so on. This was you can see if the food is likely to agree.

I have also found that some food increase reflux/bile but may take a day or two to affect me. For example, if I have a coffee on Monday, my stomach will be upset on Wednesday. It's difficult to find these associations since there is a period of time between eating the food and getting the symptoms.

For the reflux and vomiting, Amitriptelene *ask GP), 25mg in the evening has stopped this issue for me (provided I keep to small meals/snacks).

Keep trying new foods and try and find some 'safe' foods.


I wonder whether the length of time without certain foods changes the way our digestion copes with them? Perhaps for certain food, like kippers, we become like children again who have never tasted them, and the body then reacts against a new, strange taste even though we might have loved it before? The taste buds and the nerve reactions to foods do seem to change with chemotherapy and surgery.

So we end up not knowing whether we could safely try it again, or not. And not knowing whether we had a bad reaction against, say, kippers, because that is a permanent thing; or something that we might be able to 'train' our systems to accept. I suppose one answer is that if there is a next time for kippers, make sure that you just have a very small taste, and then see what happens? Are some things simply too strong a taste for our system?

I think tomato often comes up as something that we react badly to. I also wonder whether there is some ingredient in, say, the sauces or the smoking process for kippers, that might cause particular problems?

But, in the end, I think Sally must be right!


I too concur with Sally - I have been trying for over two years post-op to work it out by documenting what I eat, trying different meal times and portion sizes and I go from no problems to reflux, to cramps, to constipation, to the opposite, for no reason or rhyme that I can fathom. The only thing that's consistent for me is no hot drinks with food. I think the best thing is to get on with it, stop trying to work it out and just go with the flow (no pun intended).



Thanks again everyone for your comments and advice.


I agree with all those who say they have given up trying to fathom out what is good and bad, some days I can eat something next day if I eat same thing, feel sick..although very sweet cake is a no no, but also never have hot drink with food, can only enjoy a cup of tea twice a day now, once in the early morning and again around 5pm..I used to so love my tea, now stick with black coffee and am happy enough with this. (I tried the other milks) Hit and miss with most things I am afraid. Oh boiled eggs make me ill every time..so given up on those.


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