What is heartburn? Well, the question may appear to be quite obsolete and even ridiculous to some extent as most people are well familiar with it. However, many of the people may still wonder why they get heartburn when they have no issues with chest. It is, in fact, one of the most common symptoms of GERD or Gastro-esophageal reflux disease. This occurs when the acidic gastric contents flow back to the esophagus and irritate it. This causes the symptoms of heartburn. There are several causes of heartburn and one requires being careful if heartburn occurs frequently. Below are some causes of heartburn. The patients suffering from heartburn can understand these causes and avoid getting heartburn to a great extent:

• Hiatus Hernia: It is a condition in which a part of the stomach moves up to the chest. In normal conditions, this part of stomach rests in the abdominal cavity. When, this part of stomach protrudes or pushes through the esophageal hiatus and moves up to the chest, it is known as hiatus hernia. It may not cause heartburn all by itself; it does so when the lower esophageal sphincter or LES fails to function in a proper manner.

• Pregnancy: It may sound somewhat awkward, but pregnancy is also one of the causes of heartburn in some cases. It occurs when the abdominal pressure gets increased and it starts adversely affecting the function of LES resulting into the symptoms of acid reflux or heartburn.

• Obesity: The people suffering from obesity also fall prey to heartburn. This also occurs due to the increased abdominal pressure affecting the functioning of the lower esophageal sphincter.

• Alcohol: The alcohol, particularly the red wine, is considered to be one of the most notorious causes of heartburn.

• Smoking: Smoking also affects the functioning of the lower esophageal sphincter in a negative manner resulting in heartburn.

• Spicy and fatty foods: The people suffering from heartburn should avoid consuming the spicy and fatty foods as they cause acid reflux. The dairy items containing high fats should be avoided.

• Caffeine and carbonated beverages: One may consider the coffee as a part of the morning breakfast, but it is better to avoid if you suffer from heartburn. The caffeinated as well as the carbonated beverages cause heartburn and one needs to be careful.

• Acidic juices or foods: The juices of acidic fruits such as the pineapple, grape, and orange etc are known for triggering heartburn and it is better to avoid such food items. It is not that the acid reflux medicine or treatment is not available, but that there is no point consuming the food that adversely affects you.

Really speaking, there are several causes of heartburn. The people suffering from heartburn can keep away from these causes. The acid reflux medicine can be easily found almost everywhere, but why should one think of taking medicines if acid reflux or heartburn can be kept at bay by maintaining a safe distance from the causes.

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