Women’s Health

Heartburn: Causes and treatment

February 17 , 2020
Bara’a Haikal
Clinical nutritionist graduated from Hashemite university in Jordan, she is certified for many training courses including nutrition for diabetic cases...More

One of the most common digestive problems among people is the heartburn, every day we hear about a person who suffers from heartburn or complains of the symptoms even if he doesn’t know that’s a heartburn!
Heartburn is a painful burning feeling in your chest or throat. It happens when stomach acid backs up into your esophagus, the tube that carries food from your mouth to your stomach.

What are the factors that cause heartburn?

  1. Smoking
  2. Stress
  3. Certain medications that includes medicines used to treat asthma, high blood pressure and other medicines that have a side effect of causes heartburn.
  4. Being overweight or pregnant increase the risk of experiencing heartburn
  5. Certain foods and drinks trigger heartburn such as:
  • Spicy food
  • Onions
  • Citrus products
  • Large fatty meals
  • Tomato products like ketchup
  • Fatty or fried food
  • Peppermint
  • Chocolate

Is there a cure for heartburn?

There is no specific cure for Heartburn, but it can be relieved with lifestyle changes:

  1. Eat frequent smaller meals instead of three larger ones.  this will help prevent excessive production of stomach acid
  2. Eat slowly, one way to help you slow down while eating is to put your fork or spoon down between bites.
  3. Don’t go to bed with a full stomach, stay up at least three hours after eating your last meal or large snack before going to bed. This gives acid levels a chance to decrease before your body is in a position where heartburn is more likely to occur.
  4. Elevate the head of your bed, with your head elevated, it will help prevent reflux during the night
  5. Stop smoking, Nicotine can weaken the lower esophageal sphincter, the muscle that controls the opening between the esophagus and stomach and prevents the acid-containing contents of the stomach from entering the esophagus.
  6. Avoid foods that trigger your heartburn.
  7. Avoid tightfitting clothing, which puts pressure on your abdomen and the lower esophageal sphincter
  8. Lose weight, If you are overweight, losing weight can help relieve your symptoms.
  9. Chew gum, chewing gum can provide short-term heartburn relief by stimulating the production of saliva, which dilutes and flushes out stomach acid.
  10. Drink warm liquids, drinking a glass of warm water or herbal tea after a meal can dilute and flush out stomach acid.