By in Health & Fitness

Five Unusual Triggers of Heartburn

Heartburn can be a very serious medical problem and can often interfere with everyday life. Heartburn is often described as a warming or hot sensation that travels through the chest causing some moderate to severe pain. Often when we think of heartburn we think of common triggers like spicy foods, chocolate or ice cream even. There are many people who suffer from heart burn everyday and most of them are unaware of other common yet unusual triggers for their heartburn. Heartburn is a misleading name for this medical condition because heartburn has to do with stomach acid and in no way is related to your heart. If you suffer from heartburn and have ruled out the common causes then you might want to think about some unusual triggers to solve your heartburn problem.

1. Smoking is one of the most surprising triggers to heartburn and it can be just one more reason to quit. Smoking can weaken the valve between the stomach and the esophagus which can create the stomach acids going back into the esophagus. Smoking cuts down on our natural saliva creation which is one of the things responsible for flushing the stomach acid out of the esophagus. Our saliva contains bicarbonate which is a natural acid fighting agent which fights heartburn. Smoking is a very surprising trigger because most people do not know smoking contributes to the heartburn or the deterioration of the valve running between the stomach and esophagus.

2. Ibuprofen and other anti-inflammatory drugs is also an unusual trigger for heartburn . Ibuprofen and anti-inflammatory drugs contain chemicals within the pills that might be causing your heartburn to continue, even if you are taking pills to counteract the heartburn. There are also a lot of other medications such as asthma medication and calcium supplements that can also contribute to the heartburn. It is often not the medication itself that causes the heartburn but the fillers and other ingredients in the medications that are to blame. If you take medication on a daily basis you should consult your doctor to see if these medications can be the cause of your heartburn.

3. Peppermint products are also very unusual triggers of heartburn and can be worse for people with Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease . Whether it is peppermint tea, peppermint oil or even peppermint candies these can pose a trigger for heartburn. The peppermint contains a menthol ingredient in it that often soothes and numbs the inner esophagus. The peppermint actually makes the valve that separates the stomach and esophagus relaxes to an unsettling point. When the valve is too relaxed it means the stomach acids can travel easier to the esophagus creating a vulnerability to heartburn. Peppermint products have often been thought as a treatment for heartburn but it can really depend on the level of acid reflux and heartburn you have.

4. Being obese can also be a surprising trigger for your heartburn and just another reason to get healthy. Having a larger body mass index significantly increases your chances of getting heartburn and other related medical conditions. Obese women are at a higher risk for developing heartburn symptoms than their obese male counterparts. Obesity is linked to many health conditions so it should really not be that unusual that it triggers heartburn as well. The most surprising aspect of obesity being a cause for heartburn is the fact it is probably due to the excess abdominal fat. The fat in the abdominal area has a higher level of chemicals in it which flow through the body and possibly are the reason why heartburn occurs. Also the fact obese people are more likely to suffer from poor eating habits and eating too much of the wrong foods plays a factor in it being a cause of heartburn.

5. Genetics is also another surprising trigger for heartburn and ultimately it is out of your control. Even if you do everything right and eat the right foods you still might be predisposed to heartburn and other related medical conditions. There are a number of factors that might have happened genetically to make you have a predisposition for heartburn or other stomach conditions. If you know from a young age that your mom or dad suffers from heartburn then you can learn to prevent and manage symptoms before they really begin. The most surprising aspect of the genetic role is that sometimes no matter what steps you take for prevention you still could end up with heartburn.

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LeaPea2417 wrote on August 14, 2014, 11:15 PM

Thankfully, I have never had this problem and hope it never happens.