Health One Family Medicine

Top 5 Reasons for Acidity and Heartburn

Do you often feel a burning sensation in your chest and a sour taste in your mouth? You might be a victim of acid reflux and heartburn.

Acidity and heartburn are unpleasant conditions, and two of the most common gut complaints that hospitals across the United States report.

Let’s explore the reasons for acidity and heartburn and discuss some ways of prevention in this blog.

What Happens During Heartburn and Acid Reflux?

When the food we eat passes through the esophagus (the food pipe) into our stomach, the Lower Esophageal Sphincter (LES), a muscle at the bottom of the esophagus, prevents the food from moving back up the pipe. If the LES opens too often or does not close like it is supposed to, the acids in our stomachs can move up the esophagus. This phenomenon is called acid reflux or acidity and can cause burning discomfort in the chest called heartburn.

Symptoms of Acidity and Heartburn

A person experiencing acid reflux and heartburn may experience all or some of the following symptoms:

  • A burning sensation in the stomach, abdomen, chest, or throat
  • Sour or bitter taste in the throat or mouth
  • Bloating
  • Excessive burping
  • Bloody or black feces
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Weight loss
  • Hiccups
  • Dry cough
  • Sore throat
  • Wheezing
  • Hoarse voice

5 Reasons for Acidity and Heartburn

1. Obesity

If you are overweight or obese, the added pressure on your abdomen and stomach can cause the acid in your stomach or travel up the esophagus, causing acidity and heartburn.

2. Foods and Beverages

Certain foods and beverages can trigger acid reflux and heartburn in many people. Some of these are onions, citrus fruits, tomato-based products (like ketchup), fatty and fried foods, peppermint, chocolate, spicy foods, alcohol, carbonated drinks and caffeinated beverages like tea and coffee.

3. Medication

If you frequently take aspirin (like Bayer), ibuprofen (like Advil or Motrin) or certain sedatives, you might experience heartburn and acidity. Medication, including drugs for asthma, antihistamines, and antidepressants, are also risk factors for acid reflux and heartburn.

4. Hiatal Hernia

One of the most common reasons for acidity and heartburn is a medical condition called “hiatal hernia.” This condition occurs when a part of your stomach lies within your chest rather than your abdomen and affects how the LES functions. If the LES fails to work because of the hernia, it can cause acid reflux and heartburn. Hiatal hernia itself has no symptoms.

5. Bad Lifestyle Habits

Poor lifestyle choices and bad habits, such as smoking, eating large meals, lying down immediately after meals and eating close to bedtime are also common reasons for acidity and heartburn.

Preventing Acidity and Heartburn

Here are some steps that you can follow to prevent acid reflux and heartburn:

  • Avoid lying down for at least 3 hours after a meal
  • Quit smoking
  • Avoid putting pressure on your abdomen by wearing loose clothing
  • Eat smaller portions but more frequently throughout the day
  • Avoid consuming foods and beverages that can cause acidity and heartburn

Health One Family Medicine Can Help!

Now that you are aware of the reasons for acidity and heartburn and the disease’s prevention methods, you can start making changes in your eating patterns and overall lifestyle.

If you start losing excessive weight, experience heartburn for more than 3 days in a row, have difficulty swallowing or experience persistent nausea and vomiting, schedule an appointment with an experienced physician and Health One Family Medicine today. To make an appointment, visit our website or call (469)262-5762.

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