Foods That Can Cause Heartburn
On occasion, most people will experience heartburn after ingesting certain foods or eating too close to bedtime. When you have heartburn more than twice weekly, and it is a consistent issue, it is time to address the cause and seek treatment.
Heartburn and acid reflux are symptoms of a condition called GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), when stomach acids back up into the esophagus, causing pain. Untreated chronic heartburn and acid reflux can cause more serious digestive health issues, erosion or ulceration of the esophagus, esophageal inflammation and even lung issues if stomach acids are aspirated.
Common Foods That Can Cause Heartburn
Many foods can cause heartburn, and it may be different for each individual. The foods below may be a trigger
- Fatty foods
- Spicy foods
- Acidic Foods
Sometimes the problem is not what you eat, but how much. Overfilling your stomach can put pressure on the lower esophageal sphincter that connects the esophagus and stomach, allowing stomach contents to back up into the esophagus. Eat smaller, more frequent meals until “satisfied” but not “full” to help manage symptoms.
There are several lifestyle changes you can try to manage symptoms. They’re simple and don’t require medication or expense. See if any of these help before trying medications.
- Quit Smoking
- Drop some weight
- Avoid tight-fitting clothing that puts pressure on your abdomen
- Avoid eating 2-3 hours before bedtime or lying down for a nap
- Raise the head of your bed 6 inches
Over-the-counter medications can be helpful for temporary relief of symptoms. However, if you are taking them more than twice weekly or if they are not controlling your symptoms, it is time to see a physician about your condition. Remember, no medication, over-the-counter or prescription, should be taken long-term without consulting a physician.
- Mylanta® or Maalox®
- Acid reducers
- Proton Pump Inhibitors
People may tend to think that heartburn is “no big deal” so they don’t treat it or don’t mention it to their physician. The fact is any frequent, chronic symptoms are a sign to talk with your doc. Don’t let something minor become major.
The gastroenterology specialists at Granite Peaks Gastroenterology evaluate and treat digestive health issues every day. Use their expertise to help you feel better, fast.
For additional information about GERD, read what Dr. Cutler wrote – When heartburn is more than simple indigestion.
This blog is offered for educational purposes only and should in no way to be considered medical advice, treatment or comprehensive in nature. Those with symptoms or questions should consult their primary care provider or gastroenterologist for evaluation and treatment.