The Causes of Heartburn and Acid Reflux

Studies show that millions of people experience heartburn each week. Along side heartburn, there is acid reflux. This article is about the causes of each. Some people might not know, but heartburn and acid reflux are not the same! Heartburn is actually a symptom of acid reflux, so you may have acid reflux, but not heartburn.

Heartburn Causes

Large Meals

Fried, Greasy and Fatty Foods

Alcohol

Tomatoes and Tomato Sauces

Pepper

Garlic and Onions (Raw)

Spicy Foods

Chocolate

Citrus Fruits (Oranges, Lemons, and Grapefruit)

Caffeinated Beverages (Coffee, Tea, and Soda)

Abdominal Exercise

Blood Pressure and Heart Disease Medication

Several foods are the trigger for most people’s heartburn. Any large (meals), fried, greasy, or fatty foods will give you heartburn, especially if you eat before bed! Large meals will stretch your stomach, thus causing you LES to relax (More info at Heartburn Sucks). Alcohol is a big trigger for heartburn as well, specifically if you are drinking red wine. Red sauces should be avoided too! Which means you should avoid that pizza, especially if you like your pizza with black pepper! Garlic and raw onions on pizza will also give you heartburn. Any spicy foods, such as curry. Don’t eat dessert before bed, especially chocolate, as it is another trigger of heartburn! Oranges, grapefruit, lemons, and any juice relating to those fruits are acidic! As most know, citrus fruits are one of the main triggers of heartburn and acidic build-up. Coffee, tea, and soda all contain caffeine which can cause a bit of a heartburn. Exercises that focus on the abdomen, causes pressure in your abdomen, which can lead to heartburn. Exercising on a full stomach can do this too, so wait awhile. Lastly, if you are taking any sort of blood pressure or heart disease medication, you might experience heartburn as well. Don’t mistake the symptoms of heartburn for the symptoms of a heart attack (More info at Heartburn Sucks)!

Acid Reflux Causes

Hiatal Hernia

Pregnancy

Smoking & Alcohol

Chocolate

Citrus Fruits (Oranges, Lemons, and Grapefruit)

Caffeinated Beverages (Coffee, Tea, and Soda)

Fried, Greasy and Fatty Foods

Tomatoes and Tomato Sauces

Garlic and Onions (Raw)

Spicy Foods

Being Overweight

Lying Down After Eating

Aspirin and Ibuprofen Medication

Acid reflux triggers are similar to that of heartburn (especially the foods), but there are a few major differences. A hiatal hernia is when the stomach bulges up into the chest. If this occurs, it is much easier for acid to flow into your esophagus. Pregnancy, mostly during the third trimester, is another trigger. It is due to higher levels of hormones as well as pressure from the fetus growing. Smoking, as well as alcohol, is another trigger, as it increases acid secretion and relaxes the LES. Being overweight or obese, or lying down right after eating (which is why you don’t eat a big meal before bed) may cause acid reflux as well as heartburn. And of course the medications that can causes acid reflux are mainly pain relievers, such as aspirin and ibuprofen.

If conditions of acid reflux worsen, it can lead to gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).