Heartburn ranges in severity. From being an annoying distraction that goes away within a few hours, to a more serious problem that can linger and disrupt your life. Most of us know what heartburn is from experience, but we might not be as familiar with what causes heartburn.
What Causes Heartburn
Heartburn occurs when stomach acid intrudes into the esophagus. Stomach acid is natural and important for digesting food and the lining of the stomach can withstand the acidity of stomach acid in most cases; however, when this acid leaves the stomach it causes problems.
So what contributes to stomach acid moving into the esophagus?
There are several reasons why someone might experience this. One reason is that the sphincter separating the stomach from the esophagus may be weak, providing an imperfect seal between the esophagus and the stomach’s contents.
Another reason could be that you’ve just had a very large meal, to the point where acid is forced out of the stomach because there just isn’t enough room. Another reason could be that you’ve just consumed a meal that was very rich in fat, which could relax the sphincter that normally protects you from misplaced stomach acid and its related pains.
Now combine all of these individual causes into one sitting. For example, how many of us have over-indulged in a fatty meal like pepperoni pizza? If you’ve filled up on a meal like this, you’ve overfilled your stomach and consumed a high amount of fat. Combine this with a naturally imperfect esophageal sphincter and you have a recipe for disaster.
Fortunately, there are changes you can make that may help to decrease the frequency and severity of your heartburn. Here are some of the best examples.
Cut Problem Foods
If you notice that you suffer from heartburn after fatty meals like pizza, reduce your consumption of these foods, both in serving size and frequency. You may find that you have other triggers, whether because of high fats, lack of fiber, or some personal sensitivity that’s unique to you. Identify your heartburn triggers and plan your meals accordingly. This step alone could give you big results.
Veggies are high in fiber but low in fat and sugar. They promote healthy digestion, so they’re less likely to cause stomach conditions that lead to heartburn. It’s also harder to fill yourself on veggies, so you’re unlikely to crowd your stomach in the same way you would if you were eating junk food.
Ginger has been a stomach discomfort remedy for many centuries. No one is completely sure why the enzymes in ginger work so well for this purpose, but if you’ve ever taken the stuff for an upset stomach, you know it works.
Fatty fish won’t give you the same fat-acid reaction as cheese. Neither will nuts or egg whites. If you love fat you can still have the stuff. Just make sure it comes from a source that’s good for your stomach.
If you’ve tried the above options and you still get heartburn, it’s probably time to take things up a notch. We recommend these supplements that work to provide temporary relief from occasional symptoms related to heartburn.
- MegaGuard Nature’s Stomach Support from Microbiome Labs is a novel digestive aid that combines clinically-studied licorice polyphenols, cleansing artichoke leaf extract, and soothing ginger to promote normal digestion, balance stomach acid, balance H. pylori levels, and reduce occasional digestive discomforts such as gas, bloating, and indigestion.
- Heartburn Tx Powder from Vital Nutrients is a combination of herbs and nutrients designed to work synergistically and provide relief of occasional heartburn and indigestion.
- Reflux Soothe from Priority One has been designed to provide relief from occasional indigestion. This synergistic formulation provides ingredients to soothe stomach acid, regulate stress hormones, and stimulate the body’s natural protective factors.
Try changing your diet, habits, and adding supplements to your daily routine and see if that helps to provide the comfort that you are looking for each day!