Major Causes of Heartburn

Lots of people get heartburn from time to time. There is no obvious reason why.  Heartburn has nothing to do with the heart.

Sometimes, it is caused or made worse by

  • Certain food and drinks such as alcohol
  • Soda and other carbonated drinks
  • Full-fat dairy products
  • Coffee, chocolate or even peppermint
  • And fried foods

Other causes include:

  • Being overweight
  • Wearing Tight pants
  • Pregnancy
  • Lying down immediately after eating.
  • Emotional stress
  • Smoking
  • Some medicines such as anti-inflammatory painkillers ( Ibuprofen and aspirin)

A muscle called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) at the bottom of the esophagus normally prevents foods and acids from backing up. This muscle acts like a tight drawstring to close off the opening between the esophagus and stomach when a person is not eating.

Heartburn occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter does not close all the way.

The body’s position also affects the lower esophageal sphincter. It is easier for stomach acid to flow back into the esophagus if a person is lying down or bending over.

Anything that increases the pressure on the stomach can force stomach acid backward and cause heartburn. Lifting straining coughing tight clothing, obesity, and pregnancy can worsen heartburn.