I'm a big coffee drinker, always have been.  I like my coffee strong. I can't drink it with tons of cream and sugar, I've always taken it dark with just one sugar, unless I get a 'fancy' coffee, than yes to the whipped cream please!A few months ago, I made some changes to my diet in an effort to lose some weight.  One of those changes was switching to black coffee. I thought it would be difficult (and disgusting) but really, it wasn't bad at all.  I made the switch and never looked back. This was in the beginning of January this year.

At the end of January, I started noticing that I was having some major stomach problems. I had pain in my stomach all the time! It mostly happened when I ate, so I kept track of the foods I was eating and avoided the ones that caused pain.  It also started just on the left side, then it went to both sides, then it was every time I ate anything at all, and then I finally went to a doctor. They said I either had a stomach ulcer or gastritis. They gave me some meds that semi-helped and I was on my way to feeling better, so I thought.

The pain sort of went away, but never completely and I decided to make an appointment with a gastroenterologist. He also said it may be gastritis and that I should come back for an endoscopy and a colonoscopy. [Side note: My Mom had colon cancer, so I have to go for precautionary colonoscopies every couple of years, so I was due. It's not that bad.] Both procedures were last week and everything came back fine, thank goodness. The doctor said he saw some major redness in my stomach though, diagnosed me with gastritis and a hiatal hernia.

The past few days I've been kind of laying low, trying to be careful of what I was eating, when all of a sudden today, I came across an article about black coffee, specifically what happens when you drink it on an empty stomach. I finally put two and two together!  I drink black coffee on an empty stomach EVERY SINGLE DAY OF MY LIFE, well, since this past January!  When did I start with the stomach issues? January! Bingo!

Here's what I found. Coffee, is very acidic, it also stimulates acid secretion in the stomach. The amount of acid is different in every person, and different coffee beans produce different acidity. (I drink straight up espresso, it's probably acidic as all hell.) The acidity from the coffee can irritate the stomach lining and over time cause gastritis, heartburn or even stomach ulcers.

There it is, the answer to my issue! I am not an early morning breakfast eater, but I've always been an early morning coffee drinker, so I just drink my coffee and go start my day, thinking nothing of it...until today.  I guess milk and cream are less acidic so if you have that in your coffee, it doesn't bother your belly as much, and that's how I always drank my coffee up until a few months ago.  It's crazy that after all this pain and trouble I went though with my many doctors visits, I found out what was causing my issue on the internet by accident!  So the bottom line is, if you drink black coffee, have some breakfast with it! If you aren't hungry, don't drink black coffee by itself!