What causes heartburn? Is it only the spicy foods?

What causes heartburn? Is it only the spicy foods?

Are you wondering about that What causes heartburn? Is it only the spicy foods? If yes then the answer is that certain meals, drugs, and lifestyle factors are all common causes of heartburn.

What causes heartburn

What is heartburn?

Heartburn is a burning discomfort in the chest, immediately behind the breastbone. After eating, in the evening, or when lying down or bending over, the discomfort is frequently greater. Heartburn is a frequent thing that is not reason to be worried. Heartburn may usually be managed on one’s own with lifestyle adjustments and over-the-counter drugsa. If your heartburn becomes more frequent or interferes with your everyday activities, it might be a sign of a more serious issue that needs medical attention.

What is heartburn?

What causes heartburn?

What causes heartburn
  • Increased abdominal pressure

Excess pressure can be caused by being overweight, obese, or pregnant, eating large meals, or wearing clothes that is excessively tight around the belly.

  • Medication of several kinds

Never stop taking any medicine that your doctor has given or suggested without first consulting with your doctor.

  • Secondhand smoke inhalation or smoking

Smoking damages the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), which can lead to various digestive issues and even cancer.

  • Foods that are fatty, hot, or greasy

Foods that are fatty, hot, or greasy can cause or trigger heartburn.

Do you know strawberries are also acidic? Read more.

  • Caffeinated drinks

Heartburn is frequently triggered by coffee, caffeinated teas, sodas, and energy drinks.

  • Alcohol

Alcohol raises stomach acid.

Symptoms of heartburn:

Symptoms generally appear within minutes of eating and might last for hours or minutes. A foul taste in your mouth, coughing, or hoarseness may accompany the burning in your chest. You could also feel as though food is “stuck” in your throat. Many people’s heartburn is worse when they lie down or bend over, since these activities allow stomach acid to flow more freely into the esophagus.

Heartburn symptoms include:

  • Chest pain that happens after eating or during the night, usually following a meal
  • Pain that gets worse when lying down or bending over
  • Acidic or bitter taste in the mouth

Your doctor can better provide you with a better advice. We also offer free consultationBook your appointment today.

What can make heartburn worse?

  • Foods that are acidic

Citrus fruits and juices, tomatoes, and tomato sauces are all heartburn triggers to avoid.

  • Foods that cause stomach acid to rise

Sugary, heavy, oily, and fatty meals are more difficult to digest, requiring more stomach acid to break them down.

  • The act of lying down immediately after eating food

Acid may easily creep up from your stomach and into your oesophagus if you lie down horizontally.  Eating too close to bedtime might also cause heartburn.

  • Stress

Stress can aggravate heartburn and lead to the use of triggers such as cigarettes, alcohol, or fatty comfort food.

What habits can cause heartburn?

Many people are unaware that their eating habits or activities might contribute to heartburn. The following are some habits that may be causing your heartburn:

  • Eating too quickly or in huge quantities.
  • After a meal, immediately laying down.
  • When you eat close to bedtime
  • Drinking and smoking 
  • Constant bending over or tight clothing put pressure on the stomach.
  • Anxiety or stress
  • Exercising immediately after a meal 


Many over-the-counter medications can relive heartburn. Some of the options are:

  • An antiacid that neutralizes stomach acid. It can provide immediate relief. They can’t, however, heal an esophagus damaged by stomach acid.
  • Antagonists of the H2 receptor (H2RAs) reduce stomach acid production. Compared to antacids, H2RAs don’t work as quickly, but may provide longer-lasting relief.
  • You can also reduce stomach acid with proton pump inhibitors, such as lansoprazole (Prevacid 24HR) and omeprazole (Nexium 24HR, Prilosec OTC).

Consult your doctor if over-the-counter treatments don’t work or if you use them frequently. In such case, you may need special medications and tests.

Heartburn can also be eased by lifestyle changes:

  • Keep a healthy weight. Having too many pounds puts pressure on your abdomen, pushing up your stomach and causing acid to back up into your esophagus.
  • Avoid wearing tight-fitting clothing, as this puts pressure on your abdomen and lower esophageal sphincter.
  • Heartburn-causing foods should be avoided.
  • After a meal, avoid lying down. Allow at least three hours to pass.
  • You should avoid late meals
  • If you get frequent heartburn at night or during sleeping, raise the head of your bed. If this isn’t an option, wedge a wedge between your mattress and box spring to raise your body from the waist up. Adding more pillows to your head isn’t always a good idea.
  • Avoid smoking and consuming alcoholic beverages. Both smoking and consuming alcohol impair the capacity of the lower esophageal sphincter to function correctly.
  • Large meals should be avoided. Rather, spread out your meals throughout the day.

I lead a team of professional nutritionists and dietitians. We provide our consulting services in different areas of nutrition.

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