Heartburn is the most common sign of acid reflux because it is one of the symptoms of this condition that can truly be felt by the sufferer. Heartburn occurs when gastric acid has remained in the lower esophagus for a prolonged period of time. The irritation the acid inflicts on the esophagus causes the sufferer to feel an uncomfortable, and often painful burning sensation behind the breastbone, which can rise to the level of the throat.
Heartburn occurs when the muscle valve between the esophagus and stomach, known as the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), fails to close while the stomach is digesting food. When the LES opens during digestion, acid can be refluxed into the esophagus and heartburn is often the end result. When the LES fails, it is often because it has become weakened. There are many causes that can weaken the LES. In fact many of these causes are the same factors that can make acid reflux, heartburn and GERD worse.
What causes acid reflux?
There are many dietary and lifestyle factors that can cause episodes of acid reflux to be prolonged, frequent, or intense. The following are the most common factors:
Caffeine. Drinks or foods that contain caffeine including regular and decaffeinated coffee and tea, soda, energy drinks and chocolate.
Fatty and spicy foods. Red meats, deep fried and processed foods, spicy foods such as chili and curry. These foods stay in the stomach longer and slow down digestion which places pressure on the LES.
Tomatoes. Tomato and tomato based products including sauces and juice. Tomatoes contain a compound that relaxes the LES.
Raw onion. Raw onion does not appear to cause acid reflux in those who do not have it, but it often makes heartburn worse in those who suffer from the condition, especially when eaten in large quantities.
Citrus fruits & juices. Oranges, grapefruits, lemon, lime, etc. Citrus relaxes the LES.
Peppermint. Mint candy, mint tea, or mint ice cream. Peppermint is beneficial for the lower digestive system, but it relaxes the LES.
Milk. Milk is believed to help heartburn sufferers find relief from their symptoms because it can work as an instant antacid. However, relief is often only temporary, as the calcium and protein in milk stimulate the production of acid, which can make your heartburn return worse in as little as 30 minutes of ingesting milk.
Alcohol. Wine, beer, liquors, spirits. Alcohol relaxes the LES and also increases acid production in the stomach.
Tobacco. Smoking cigarettes, cigars or chewing tobacco weaken the LES and decrease saliva production. Saliva helps to neutralize stomach acid.
Large meals. A large meal is any meal that leaves you to feeling ‘stuffed’ or ‘bloated’. Large meals can promote an increase in acid production, slow digestion, and place pressure on the LES by over filling the stomach.
Eating within 2 – 3 hours before bed. Lying down directly after eating pushes the contents of the stomach against the LES. Furthermore, when you sleep, all of your muscles naturally relax including the LES, which is why acid reflux is often worse at nighttime.
Strenuous exercising. Sit-ups, jogging, etc. Exercises that are tough on the abdominal muscles stress the stomach and the LES. Furthermore, bending after eating can also make heartburn heart burn worse.
Tight clothing. Tight pants, girdles, corsets, belts. Clothing that fits tightly around the abdomen squeezes the stomach and can force food up against the lower esophageal sphincter, forcing it to open.
Excess weight. Being overweight or obese places stress on the stomach which then places stress on the LES causing it to weaken.
Medication. Some medications can make heartburn worse including:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs/NSAIDs (ibuprofen, aspirin, etc.)
- Anticholinergic drugs (antihistamines and urinary tract disorders)
- Calcium channel blockers (high blood pressure)
- Nitrates (angina)
- Beta-2 agonists (asthma)
- Tricyclic (antidepressants)
- Diazepam(seizures and anxiety disorders)
If you are taking medication for another health condition, talk to your doctor to find out if your medication is making your acid reflux worse.
|How To Manage Acid Reflux, Heartburn and GERD Immediately With 7 Simple, Step By Step Natural Treatments.|
|Which Natural Home Remedies Bring Fast And Effective Relief.|
|The 3 Most Common Telltale Signs and Symptoms Of Acid Reflux, GERD and Heartburn and What Really Works...|
|Why Diet Can Have Such An Impact On Your Acid Reflux, Heartburn and GERD Symptoms.|
|And much, much, much more!!|
We respect your privacy and your information
will always be kept confidential - Privacy Statement.
You may unsubscribe at any time.