Heartburn or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease is a painful medical condition characterized by a burning sensation in the chest cavity. This disorder has many known causes, but there are some other habits that can bring on heartburn as well. We will discuss 5 little known causes of heartburn.
The National Digestive Diseases information Clearinghouse suggests that smoking causes heartburn because it weakens the muscles in the lower esophagus that breakdown food and keeps stomach acid at bay. When this muscle is weakened it allows stomach acid to flow upward. Smoking also increases the amount of stomach acid, which in turn increases the probability of heartburn.
Alcohol also increases the production of stomach acid, and it makes your body more sensitive to the effects of stomach acid. The organs of the digestive system become sluggish and lax, so although your body has produced stomach acid in preparation to receive the food in the stomach alcohol delays the digestive process. This causes the acid to flow upwards since the timing of the digestive process has been thrown off.
Years ago a friend of mine was a heartburn sufferer. She went to man y doctors to find the cause. She was a vegetarian, she did not drink nor did she smoke and led an overall healthy lifestyle. After an x-ray if was found that she had a stomach hernia that was pressing on her digestive organs causing sever heartburn. Heartburn was the only symptom she had. If you are suffering from constant heartburn and you do not engage in habits that would lead to GERD, consult your doctor as there are other medical reasons for heartburn.
When a person has heartburn after exercising, it is usually because they worked out too soon after eating. Professors at John Hopkins Medical School say that exercises that are particularly animated with abrupt motion are more likely to cause heartburn. Drinking water will help your digestive system stay hydrated and work properly.
Wearing Tight Clothes
Tight clothes around the waist puts pressure on the stomach and other digestive organs, which forces food and stomach acid back into the esophagus. Try to avoid snug belts and pants within 2 hours after eating.
Simple lifestyle changes can mean the difference between living pain free and suffering from painful heartburn. Make the necessary changes to avoid causing yourself undue harm in the future. Please consult your doctor if your heartburn is severe or constant as this can be a symptom of other medical diseases.
Smoking and Your Digestive System National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse
R. Morgan Griffin, Nighttime GERD, heartburn and sleep WebMD