Heartburn is one condition that affects a huge number of people. It is usually an unpalatable experience where the sufferer has a burning sensation in the chest and throat accompanied by a slightly bitter taste in the mouth.
The fact is that heartburn affects almost everyone at one point or the other.
Spicy and fatty foods are common triggers of heartburn including a number of other things you’re probably not privy to. A reason for this maybe because heartburn is not necessarily a health condition but a symptom known as acid reflux.
Heartburn is one of the most common symptoms of acid reflux or gastroesphageal reflux disease (GERD). Other symptoms include a sore throat, a dry cough, difficulty swallowing, and regurgitating food or a sour liquid. If you experience occasional heartburn, certain habits of yours may be responsible. Here are some things that might be making your heartburn worse.
Taking Cigarettes And Alcohol
Attending parties that go on late into the night can trigger heartburns especially when you smoke and drink late into the night. Some research has shown that alcohol and tobacco can affray the pressure on the lower oesophageal sphincter, which may cause acid reflux.
Furthermore, alcohol and tobacco are dehydrating agents which can severely reduce the amount of saliva in your mouth. The lower the quantity of saliva in your mouth, the lesser your ability to reduce the acid in your stomach. This may result in some of those acid making their way back into your throat.
You Take Lots Of Coffee
Acid reflux can be caused by an underlying medical problem such as a hiatal hernia which occurs when the upper part of your stomach pushes up into your chest cavity, or can be triggered when the sphincter muscle in your oesophagus that normally blocks stomach acid from rising back up your throat becomes open.
Caffeinated foods and drinks including coffee, tea, and even chocolate can trigger heartburns. Taking 2 to 3 cups of coffee or iced tea can cause heartburns.
You Constantly Chew Gum
Chewing peppermint gum especially can have a major effect on whether you have acid reflux or not. It is best to switch to another flavour because peppermint especially, (like caffeine) can make the sphincter muscles that help to keep the stomach acids at bay relaxed.
As such, if you eat or drink things that contains, peppermint, it is best to stay off them as they could be responsible for your heartburns. To identify the specific triggers of your acid reflux problems, you may want to consider monitoring your food intake and keeping a diary to help you identify specific foods that trigger the problems.
You Eat A Lot Of Food
Eating lots of food at once does not necessarily cause heartburns but going back again and again for more food can cause your chest to start burning. This usually occurs as an after-effect of eating a lot of food.
The moment you start eating food, the body gets itself prepared for digestion and begins to produce stomach acids for the purpose. The more food you consume, the longer it takes for the food to be moved through the digestive tract to the intestines.
What this means is that the body is producing a lot of acid that is not being emptied into the small intestine. This will cause more acid to go from the stomach back into the oesophagus.
You Eat All Through The Night
Eating late at night can make you prone to heartburns. If you find out that you have acid reflux, it’s best to avoid as much as possible, eating at least two hours before bed. This is because gravity tends to make things worse when you lie down flat on your back, side or stomach. Acid easily washes back up to your oesophagus this way and it can be a pretty uncomfortable experience.
More so, eating before bed means the digestion process starts almost immediately which means that you will have even more acid present in your stomach and a likelihood of acid reflux occurring.