Heartburn is a symptom of acid reflux, most people have experienced it one time or another. However, when it occurs repeatedly more twice a week, it is probably gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
Heartburn is usually triggered by consuming acidic foods. It occurs when stomach acid (used to digest food) backs up into your esophagus resulting in a painful burning sensation.
While certain foods have a bad rep for causing heartburn, doctors say these lifestyle choices are the main culprits.
1. Drinking excess Coffee
If you drink coffee all day long, heartburn is a consequence you might need to eventually contend with.
Caffeinated drinks and food like coffee, chocolate, and tea are triggers for heartburn.
Coffee is the leader of the pack with the highest concentration of caffeine. Doctors’ advice GERD patients to give up coffee or find lighter alternatives.
2. Alcohol and cigarettes
If you binge drink and smoke, you might need to pay later with a heartburn. Both tobacco and alcohol are known to cause dehydration.
Must Read: Effects of too much Alcohol on the liver.
When dehydrated, the volume of saliva might not be able to clear as much acid in the stomach.
Just like the effect of caffeine, alcohol consumption puts pressure on your lower esophageal sphincter and leads to heartburn.
3. Chewing Gum
Chewing gums that contain peppermint, caffeine and some sweeteners trigger heartburn in some people.
If you need to chew gum, choose bicarbonate and sugar-free gums while staying clear of minty gums
4. Snacking late into the Night
When you lay flat on your back, side or stomach, it becomes a lot easier for stomach acid to flow up your esophagus.
This makes eating late at night a bad idea especially if you are prone to heartburn.
Doctors advise patients with acid reflux to eat at least two hours before laying down to sleep.
Most people who experience heartburn during seasonal festivals and parties because of overeating.
Once you start eating, the stomach produces acid for digestion. This means overeating causes the body to accumulate stomach acid.
In this case, excess food and acid volume will flow out of the stomach into the esophagus causing heartburn
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For more advice and help, feel free to consult a doctor online.