Understanding the Causes of Heartburn – Your First Line of Defense against Heartburn

Do you know what causes of heartburn? Understanding what causes this painful condition is the first step toward preventing it. It is a condition that can be caused by many different factors, all of which you have control over.

Knowing what heartburn is

Heartburn is the irritation of the esophagus what is caused by stomach acid being pushed back up to your esophagus then to your throat. Normally, the lower esophageal sphincter (or LES) keeps stomach acid within the stomach with the help of gravity. It opens to allow the food to go inside the stomach and then closes right away to prevent stomach acid from coming back up. However, if the LES stays open longer than the usual, or it does not close tight enough, then the problems start.

Stomach acid will go back up, called acid reflux, and damage the esophageal walls. This causes the burning sensation in the esophagus known as heartburn. If this condition continues worse complications may develop.

The Two Major Causes Of Heartburn

There are two major reasons why heartburn occurs. One is having too much food in the stomach (overeating) and second is too much pressure in the stomach (usually from obesity or pregnancy).

When you overeat your stomach is stretched until it could not be able to handle the food you intake. When it is overly stretched, your stomach might need to alleviate the stretching. One way it can do so is by contracting, which could force your food back up the esophagus. This is one thing which also leads to too much pressure in the stomach. Other factors which cause high pressure are obesity and pregnancy, in both cases, your body produces extra enzymes that lead to hyperacidity.

The Food Causes of Heartburn

There are also certain food items which lead to heartburn. Now, some might not lead to heartburn for you since every person’s reactions to food is different.

Some of the food items that contribute to acid reflux, and eventually heartburn include coffee, carbonated drinks, alcoholic beverages, tomato-based products, chocolate and citric fruits and juices. They make the LES less responsive to the food that go through your esophagus, making the valve react slower. This gives forces the stomach acid to be ousted back into your esophagus, and in some case through your throat and mouth.

Fried and fatty foods is also one of the causes of heartburn. These slow down digestion, which creates more pressure inside your stomach. Large meals or too much fat deposits in general, put extra pressure on the LES, giving it a bigger chance to malfunction and crates reflux.

Overcoming Heartburn

Overcoming the causes of heartburn is easier now because you know what they are and how to avoid them. There’s nothing drastic that you need to do to cope with this condition. Just knowing the causes already gives you a good chance to prevent and cure heartburn. In case your are experiencing severe heartburn attacks, better consult your physician for better medical attention. Frequent attacks may lead to acute damage in your esophagus or development of cancer.