According to Princeton.edu, heartburn is a painful burning sensation in the chest caused by gastroesophageal reflux (backflow from the stomach irritating the esophagus); symptomatic of an ulcer or a diaphragmatic hernia or other disorder. We all are aware of common heartburn triggers such as spicy or exotic foods, but you may be surprised with other unusual heartburn triggers. This article will focus on five unusual triggers for heartburn and explain why each cause triggers heartburn.
1. Sleeping pills
Benzodiazepine, a common form of sleeping pills is a leading cause for nighttime heartburn. According to webmd.com, up to 25% of the U.S. population suffers from nighttime heartburn, which lists sleeping pills, carbonated beverages, and a high BMI as top culprits. If you suffer from nighttime heartburn and are currently prescribed benzodiazepine sleeping pills, you should talk to your doctor about switching to a different type of sleeping pill.
2. Carbonated drinks-especially soda
Soda and other carbonated drinks are a leading cause for heartburn because the increased acidity levels in the carbonation irritates the stomach. If you have had trouble with frequent heartburn, check your diet to see if you consume soda or other carbonated beverages. This trigger is easily avoidable, cut soda and other carbonated drinks out of your diet, which will not only save you from heartburn, but also from empty calories.
3. All sugars
Sugars are not found in high levels in nature; however, through food evolution we have hidden sugars such as high fructose corn syrup regularly in our diets. Sugars make the body produce acid in order to break them down, which can cause heartburn. This was a surprising trigger for me because I would usually reach for a peppermint candy when I would get heartburn, but it actually is a leading unusual cause.
4. Fish oil
Surprisingly one of the best preventers of heart disease, fish oil, is an unusual trigger for heartburn. Some people have a sensitive stomach to fish oils, which is caused by gastro esophageal reflux. If you have taken fish oil pills and experience heartburn, you can switch to eating fish with high omega three fatty acids, as consumption of fish is not a likely trigger.
Heartburn may just run in the family with little room for avoidance. Of course, you should stay away from any heartburn triggers, but heartburn may be unavoidable. Speak to your doctor about your family history to see if the cause for your heartburn maybe your genes, rather than your diet.
*The advice presented in this article does not replace that of a medical professional or a doctor. Always speak to a doctor before engaging in a new diet, or if you feel that your heartburn maybe something more serious.
Personal experience with heartburn