Causes for Heartburn and Acid Reflux

The main cause for heartburn is from stomach acid backing up into the esophagus which irritates the esophagus and causes heartburn pain. If you have ever experienced heartburn, then you know how uncomfortable it can be.

The muscle that keeps food into the stomach sometimes doesn't work properly, and it allows food and liquid to get into the esophagus. Some of the causes for this muscle to stop working correctly are consuming a diet high in fat and caffeine, alcohol, lack of exercise, smoking, and genetics.

Our diet often is the culprit in bringing on heartburn and acid reflux. We often eat foods and drink beverages that aggravate acid reflux. Some of these foods and beverages that cause heartburn are soda drinks, caffeine, coffee, chocolate, orange juice and other citrus juices, tomato based sauces, and foods high in fat and sugar. If you are experiencing heartburn, try limiting these foods and you'll probably feel better. Try to eat more vegetables, including salads, and fresh fruit. Many heartburn sufferers find that eating fresh fruit does not bring on heartburn like citrus fruit juice, so reach for an orange rather than a glass of orange juice.

Another cause for heartburn is eating very large meals and eating too much at once. Try eating smaller meals and eating more often, like 5-6 times a day rather than the traditional three meals.

The way you eat might be bringing on acid reflux as well. Many people who suffer from heartburn eat their food quickly and do not chew it enough to allow for proper digestion. You should chew your food slowly and so well that it is almost entirely liquid before swallowing. Many of us often live our lives in such a rush we don't take the time to enjoy meals and eat them properly. Try this simple change in your diet by chewing each bite slowly and completely and see if this one tip doesn't cut down on heartburn.

If you smoke and are experiencing heartburn, then you have a good reason to stop smoking, as it tends to aggravate esophageal problems and can lead to damaging the esophagus. Drinking alcoholic beverages, especially late at night, can lead to heartburn and acid reflux as well. If you do drink alcohol, try to limit it to one or two drinks, and don't go to bed soon after drinking.

Genetics can play a part in experiencing heartburn, but this is something you cannot change. What you can do is control your diet, exercise, and avoid smoking and drinking alcoholic beverages.