What Causes Heartburn

What causes heartburn?

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by Neva J. Howell unless otherwise noted

Health Complications from Persistent Heartburn

Do you have heartburn a lot?

Apparently, most of the world does, judging from all the antacid commercials.

For some, heartburn is an occasional annoyance and not a true health issue but just the result of a particularly stressful event or dietary choices that include heartburn-triggering foods.

For others, however, persistent heartburn can affect the quality of living. Beyond the discomfort of having frequent heartburn, other medical conditions can develop if chronic heartburn is not addressed.

More serious conditions where heartburn can be a precursor and contributing factor:

Barrett’s Esophagus
Esophageal Cancer

What causes heartburn?

Though there can be many reasons for indigestion and heartburn, some of the most common causes are stress, dietary choices that include heartburn-triggering foods, and pre-existing irritation to esophagus such as acid reflux or GERD which allows stomach acids to back up into the esophagus.

Foods that may trigger heartburn:

High fat foods
Spicy foods
Alcoholic Beverages
Fried foods
Heavy Meats
Dairy Products (for some)
High-fat sweets

Tips for reducing heartburn:

Don’t eat right before going to bed. Allow at least a couple of hours after you eat, before retiring.

Reduce stress and avoid eating while in a stressful state. Some people actually use food to suppress emotions such as anger, fear, worry or sadness and, when used as a stress-suppressor, food can trigger heartburns. It’s better to walk away from the table and eat after dealing with the emotional issues.

Natural remedies for heartburn include slippery elm, aloe vera juice and marshmallow root tea.

One of the easiest and best remedies is to simply sip water. The body can do a lot with water. Sip the water every few minutes until the symptoms subside. Water can be warm or room temperature but should not be cold for this purpose.

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