Heartburn is an uncomfortable burning sensation in the chest that occurs after eating. It usually lasts less than 30 minutes and is caused by acid reflux.
Acid reflux is a condition where stomach acids ow back into the esophagus. The esophagus is a tube that connects the throat to the stomach. If the esophagus becomes irritated, it can cause heartburn.
Several foods can trigger heartburn. These foods include spicy food, alcohol, coffee, chocolate, citrus fruits, tomato sauce, carbonated beverages, fatty foods, fried foods, and dairy products.
If you suffer from frequent bouts of heartburn, you should cut down on the number of acidic foods you eat. Try to limit yourself to small meals throughout the day instead of having large meals.
What foods usually cause heartburn?
The following list contains some common foods that may be responsible for causing your heartburn:
Spicy Foods – Spicy foods such as hot peppers, chilies, curry spices, pickled vegetables, and salsa contain capsaicin. Capsaicin stimulates the nerves located near the mouth and causes them to send messages to the brain. This results in increased salivation and irritation of the lining of the esophagus.
Alcohol – Alcoholic drinks like beer or wine have been known to increase gastric juices. These juices irritate the esophageal wall resulting in heartburn.
Coffee – Coffee has also been linked with increasing levels of gastric juice. As mentioned above, this increases the likelihood of heartburn occurring.
Chocolate – Chocolate contains caffeine and other stimulants that stimulate the nervous system. When combined with high-fat content, they create conditions favorable for heartburn.
Tomato Sauce – Tomato sauces often contain ingredients that make them very acidic. They tend to burn the sensitive mucous membranes inside the esophagus. In addition, tomatoes themselves contain chemicals called lycopene and beta carotene that act as antioxidants. Antioxidants protect cells against damage due to free radicals. The free radical activity contributes to inflammation and pain.
Carbonated Beverages – Carbonated beverages such as soda pop, colas, and beers contain phosphoric acid. Phosphoric acid helps break up calcium deposits in teeth.
Fatty Food – Fatty foods such as cheese, butter, cream, milk, eggs, bacon, sausage, and peanut butter all contribute to heartburn because they produce excess amounts of hydrochloric acid. HCL breaks apart proteins found in the digestive tract. Proteins are essential components of our bodies. Without protein, we would not survive. However, when too much protein is broken down, it produces more HCl. Too much HCl leads to heartburn.
Fried Food – Fried foods such as french fries, potato chips, doughnuts, and pizza crusts contain fats that promote heartburn. Fats provide energy, but if eaten in excessive quantities, they lead to weight gain. Excessive weight puts pressure on the diaphragm muscle. Pressure on the diaphragmatic muscles weakens their ability to push air through the lungs during breathing. Weakness in the diaphragms makes it easier for stomach contents to move back into the esophagus during digestion.
Dairy Products – Ice cream, cottage cheese, yogurt, sour cream, and cheeses contain lactose sugar. Lactose sugar is one of the primary sources of calories in dairy products. Calorie intake must be controlled carefully since extra calories add unwanted pounds.
Salty Foods – Salty food can trigger a gag reflex which may result in regurgitation. The combination of saltiness and acids from the stomach creates discomfort. Regurgitated material then moves back in to the throat, where it mixes with saliva forming an extremely salty mixture.
Stressful Situations- Stressful situations such as anxiety, anger, frustration, fear, worry, depression, and sadness can affect your body’s normal functions. If you feel stressed out, try taking deep breaths before eating something spicy or fatty. Try chewing slowly and thoroughly so that you do not swallow any large chunks of food at once. Avoid drinking alcohol while having meals. It will only worsen your symptoms.
Heartburn Causes: What Are Some Common Symptoms Of Heartburn?
The most common symptom of heartburn is a burning feeling behind the breastbone. Other signs include chest pains, difficulty swallowing, nausea, vomiting, burping, bloating, belching, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, constipation, indigestion, flatulence, gas, reflux disease, GERD, hiatal hernia, gastroesophageal reflux disease, and esophagitis.
How Will You Get To Know If Heartburn Is Getting Worse?
If you notice changes in how severe your heartburn becomes over time, talk to your doctor about what might be causing these changes. You should see improvement after treatment begins.
If your heartburn does not improve within two weeks, call your health care provider immediately. Your condition could become serious.
Can A High Fiber Diet Help Prevent Heartburn?
A high fiber diet helps prevent heartburn by keeping things moving along smoothly in your intestines.
When there is no room for digested food in your intestine, it causes heartburn. Eating lots of fruits and vegetables also helps keep things owing correctly.
Are There Any Natural Treatments For Heartburn?
Many natural treatments are available for heartburn, including peppermint oil capsules, ginger root tea, garlic supplements, aloe vera gel, apple cider vinegar, and other herbal remedies. These home remedies have been used successfully for centuries. They work well for mild cases of heartburn. But don’t use them if you experience pain or bleeding. Talk to your physician first.
Is Heartburn Associated With Acid Reflux Disease?
Yes! Heartburn frequently occurs among people who suffer from GER. This means that heartburn is often caused by problems associated with GER.
Does Taking Antacids Make More Likely To Get Heartburn?
Taking antacid medications increases the risk of developing heartburn. Why? Because antacids neutralize gastric juices. Neutralizing gastric juice reduces the amount of acid produced by the stomach lining. Less acid equals less chance of getting heartburn.
Do Antibiotics Cure Heartburn?
Antibiotic drugs kill bacteria that live on the surface of your tongue and inside your mouth. However, they cannot penetrate through the mucous membranes that line your digestive tract. Therefore, antibiotics won’t cure heartburn unless the source of the problem has already been treated.
Why Does Drinking Alcohol Increase Risk Of Heartburn?
Alcohol contains carbonic acid and hydrochloric acid. Carbon dioxide combines with water molecules to form H2O plus CO2. Hydrochloric acid breaks down proteins and fats found in meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, beans, nuts, seeds, grains, and many types of fruit and vegetable. As a result, when you drink too much alcohol, more acidic substances enter your bloodstream than usual.
When Should I Call My Doctor About Heartburn?
Call your doctor right away if you develop new symptoms of heartburn. In addition, contact him if your symptoms get worse or last longer than two weeks. He’ll want to know whether you’re experiencing any complications like weight loss, fever, shortness of breath, blood in vomit/stools, or swelling around your neck.
How Can I Reduce Chances Of Developing Heartburn?
Reduce stress levels. Many studies show that chronic stress raises cortisol, a hormone released during times of stress. Cortisol triggers inflammation throughout the body, including the gastrointestinal system.
So choose your food wisely and reduce the risk of heartburn!