Heartburn Has Nothing to Do with Your Heart

heartburnHave you ever experienced that burning sensation in the lower to the middle part of the chest? This is normally heartburn and doesn’t have anything to do with your heart. This burning sensation happens when the acid from your stomach encounters your esophageal lining. This creates a burning feeling that can travel all the way up to your mouth. Most of the feelings tends to be in the chest area, thus the name “heartburn”.

What can cause heartburn? Here are some causes of this uncomfortable and sometimes painful condition:

  • There are specific foods that will cause the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) to relax and allow acid into the esophagus. Alcohol, caffeine, fried foods, and peppermint can tremendously affect the LES.


  • Smoking will increase the chances of experiencing heartburn.


  • Consuming very large meals or eating your meals right before you go to bed for the night.


  • Any kind of pressure on your stomach such as tight clothing, obesity, and lifting heavy objects.


  • Some medications have been known to cause the LES to weaken, or relax a bit.


Some people experience mild symptoms of heartburn which are manageable. But, there are some people who have very severe and painful bouts of heartburn, which is referred to as Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease. Those who suffer from this chronic condition should seek their doctor’s advice on how to treat it. If you have a little heartburn from time to time, there are some ways that you can manage it at home:

  • Eat slowly


  • Do not eat right before you go to bed. Give your body at least three hours to digest your meal.


  • Avoid eating foods that cause heartburn symptoms


  • Quit smoking


  • Raise the head of your bed up a few inches. This will help you sleep more comfortably and avoid the acid reflux of heartburn


If acid reflux is interfering with your life due to the pain and frequency in which it happens, contact your doctor for help. IPALC.org has many doctors in the Lee county area of southwest Florida. Search for a doctor here.

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