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Learn GERD Triggers and Avoid Heartburn | Stop Acid Reflux Now

Learn GERD Triggers and Avoid Heartburn

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When it comes to preventative action, you need to learn GERD triggers that affect your body the most and cause your symptoms to become aggravated. There are many different theories on the cause of acid reflux – but the majority focus on the behaviors and condition of the lower esophageal sphincter (LES - a valve-like muscle which is located at the top of the stomach where the esophagus and the stomach meet).

Acid reflux tends to occur when the LES valve is functioning abnormally and allowing stomach acids, pancreatic digestive juices, bile salts, and even food to rise up into the esophagus. Such abnormal functioning can include a lower-than-normal pressure in the valve, or it may open at inappropriate times for some reason.

If you have a condition called a hiatal hernia, your sphincter may have displaced into your chest, causing it to function abnormally. When acid reflux occurs and the aforementioned substances rise up to the level of the esophageal lining; severe irritation and discomfort usually follows.

There are many different kinds of triggers that can set off these irritations and symptoms. If you experience acid reflux, you should be aware of the various common GERD triggers so that you know what to do to prevent is recurrence. Such triggers can include the following, which cause the lower esophageal sphincter to relax and therefore contribute to the worsening of its symptoms:

Lifestyle – many different lifestyle choices can cause you to experience heartburn, so take note of the GERD unfriendly activities in your life to allow yourself the opportunity to correct them and ease your symptoms. These unfriendly activities may include drinking alcohol, smoking, being overweight or obese, and slouching or maintaining poor posture. Living a high-stress lifestyle is also among the most common contributors to aggravating acid reflux symptoms.

• Diet – many foods are known to lead to acid reflux symptoms. Foods to avoid include high-acid foods such as citrus fruits and tomatoes, spicy foods, fried and fatty foods, chocolate, caffeinated beverages, sulfuric foods such as garlic and onions, and mint flavorings.

Eating Habits – beyond the food you’re eating, your eating habits can also encourage or discourage heartburn. GERD eating habit triggers include eating large infrequent meals instead of several smaller meals, sudden dietary change, and eating before lying down or sleeping instead of waiting two or three hours.

Medications – sometimes the drugs you’re taking for other conditions can aggravate your acid reflux symptoms. Drugs known for encouraging heartburn are theophylline (Tedral, Marax, Hydrophed, Bronchial, and Quibron), calcium channel blockers, antihistamines, and nitrates.

Health Conditions – these can include many different kinds of medical, health, and body conditions, such as pregnancy, rapid weight gain, diabetes, the release of certain hormones, a hiatal hernia, or even over-exercising.

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9 Responses

  1. sameer
    June 21st, 2008 | 1:39 am

    can aspirin or blood pressure drug triggers acid reflux? sometimes i m surprised when i find no reasons of sudden reflux,

  2. June 23rd, 2008 | 1:41 pm

    Sameer -

    Some medications can make symptoms worse, irritate the oesophagus, or relax the LES muscle and make acid reflux more likely. Anti-inflammatory painkillers are often culprits (like ibuprofen or aspirin).

    Other medications can similarly have the side effect of making acid reflux worse. If you are unsure about the medication you are prescribed there are usually other options available if you speak with your doctor.

  3. dianna
    June 23rd, 2008 | 11:00 pm

    does anyone get headaches with acid reflux?

  4. June 27th, 2008 | 9:52 am

    Dianna -

    Quite a number of people report headaches related to their acid reflux.

    Here is an interesting article from Reuters that covers some research that was carried out on that very subject:


    Also, there are a number of acid relflux medications that can give headaches as a side effect.

  5. betty
    July 31st, 2008 | 5:59 pm

    I’ve heard that women who have had total hysterectomies usually get acid reflux. Is this true?

  6. August 5th, 2008 | 5:26 pm

    Betty -

    Although there is not a lot of documentation and research to support that women who have hysterectomies are at a higher risk of GERD I have seen one study that does confirm their may be a connection.

    Here is a link to the report:


  7. susan
    November 1st, 2008 | 1:24 am

    Does soar throat and bad breath have any thing to do
    with hiatis hernia ? I do not get the acid up the throat but have spasms in the back and constipation .
    The Dr put me on Proton Pump inhibitors but they are
    not working.

  8. November 1st, 2008 | 4:54 pm

    Susan - Here is a post I did before on Hiatal Hernias that should help.


  9. deann
    April 9th, 2009 | 12:31 pm

    Hello…I am 33 and a fitness instructor that experiences a need to clear my throat several times an hour and although the sore throats have subsided, I do believe I am dealing with acid reflux.How does a person know if they are producing too much or too little acid? I love ice tea and drink 2-3 glasses a day. I used to eat tomatoes on my salad daily and was experiencing more sore throats then.I would love to know if it is the tanteric acid in tea that would be bad or is it the caffine? Would decaf green tea be safe to drink? I believe in good health remedies and refuse to take medication. Can you help me?

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