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Thursday, 06 September 2012 09:02

Heartburn : Identifying the Triggers

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Identifying heartburn triggers can dramatically reduce the chances for burning chest….

acid-refluxHave you ever experienced a sudden gush of bitter acid into mouth or repeated burning sensation behind a breastbone? Mostly yes…as heartburn is such a common condition experienced by everyone once in a life.

Understanding Heartburn

Heartburn, a feeling of painful burning sensation in chest or throat, is due to reflux of acid from stomach backs into the esophagus. Normally lower end of the esophagus has a muscle sphincter, called as a lower esophageal sphincter (LES), which prevents upward flow of stomach acid. However, inability of muscles of the esophagus to close tightly due to certain reasons weakens sphincteric action.

Weak sphincter relaxes easily favoring upward flow of stomach acid. Over the period of time acid damage the esophagus and lead to burning sensation.

Untreated heartburn may raise risk for esophageal cancer- says study findings published by healthday. Repeated reflux of acid into the esophagus from a stomach can bring changes in tissue lining and lead to Barrett's esophagus. People suffering from Barrett's esophagus are 40 times more likely to suffer from esophageal cancer.

As heartburn can be triggered by certain foods from your diet, identifying those foods and preventing them is one way to ward off risk of heartburn.

Triggers of heartburn


In the list of life-threatening diseases caused by smoking, one more addition is of heartburn. Smoking weakens the muscular valve at the lower end of an esophagus, called as LES reports National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse. Additionally, tobacco hinders the production of saliva, which is required for neutralization of acid.


Alcohol stimulates more acid production inside the stomach. Secondly, alcohol relaxes lower esophageal sphincter (LES) allowing stomach acid to flow back into the esophagus.


One of the most favorite but discomforting foods for you is chocolate. Chocolate counts to rise in the level of serotonin, a neurotransmitter associated with mood and emotion. Serotonin has a relaxing impact on lower esophageal sphincter and elevates the chances of acid reflux.


Unfortunately your refreshing drink, your energy booster may be one of the reasons for repeated heartburn. Like a stimulant effect on brain caffeine increases acid secretion in the stomach. Excess acid put pressure on LES sphincter causing it’s opening and acidic reflux.


Peppermint is a popular herb used for a wide range of digestive condition ranging from stomach upset to irritable bowel syndrome. However, peppermint must be avoided in person with heartburn reported by University of Maryland medical center.

Peppermint relaxes LES sphincter and favors the acid reflux into the esophagus.

Carbonated beverages

Carbonated soft drinks, another most favorite and widely used beverages, is a culprit for your heartburn symptoms. Soft drinks  leads to stomach distension and increased inside pressure. High stomach pressure forces acid back into the esophagus.

Spicy foods

If you are spicy food's lover, then you are increasing your chances for heartburn many more times. Pepper, chili, sauces and other spices used during cooking has stimulant effect on stomach and increased acid secretion, a most likely reason for incidence of acidic reflux.


Don’t be surprised…high acidic content in tomato or tomato sauce may land up you in chest burning condition.


A stress can be a reason for heartburn in variety of ways. Firstly, stress disturbs your routine, especially bad impact on your lifestyle pattern. A stressful person is more likely oriented for smoking, drinking, eating unhealthy foods or caffeine intake. All of them are well known triggers for heartburn.

Secondly, stress is associated with an excess release of hormone cortisol, a stress hormone increasing body fat and raising your chances for heartburn.


Your extra pound is another high risk factor for acidic reflux. Being overweight, especially around an abdomen increases intra abdominal pressure and force stomach contents upward inside the esophagus.

If these heartburn triggers are identified and taken care dramatically reduce chances of heartburn.





Read 4274 times Last modified on Thursday, 06 September 2012 09:32

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