It’s easy to tell you the cause of heartburn but there are many triggers. Heartburn is caused when the esophagus is irritated by stomach acid backing up into it. The irritation caused by this acid reflux is the burning sensation you have labeled as heartburn.

There is a valve that separates the esophagus from the stomach and it opens to allow food into the stomach. It also opens when you need to belch. Failure of this valve to tightly seal or the opening of it too often is what allows the stomach acid to reflux and cause you your discomfort.

The people most likely to experience heartburn are smokers, obese people and pregnant women. Overeating may also be a cause of heartburn.

Smoking is a major contributor to heartburn because it relaxes the muscle in the valve dividing the esophagus and the stomach and smoking promotes the creation of extra stomach acid.

Pregnant women, obese people and overeaters are all having extra pressure put on their stomachs which may help push stomach acid into the esophagus as soon as the valve opens.

Some foods and beverages relax the valve which makes it easier to experience the discomfort of heartburn. These are:

  • Tomatoes and tomato based dishes
  • Fruits high in citric acid – oranges, grapefruit, limes, etc.
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Peppermint
  • Caffeinated beverages such as tea and soda
  • Alcohol
  • Dishes that are high in either animal or plant fat

The above list and description isn’t complete but it will give you a basic understanding of what might cause acid reflux, GERD and heartburn. You can find out how to Naturally End Heartburn and that page will also give you additional information on the cause of heartburn.

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Ask Dr. Wayne Garland a specialist in natural remedies and natural products.

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