More Than Trigger Foods: 6 Common Causes of Heartburn

06. 02. 2017

Heartburn is one of the most common types of digestive symptoms. Nearly everyone has experienced heartburn at some point in his or her lifetime, and an estimated 20 to 30 percent of the adult population experiences it on a weekly basis.

When heartburn develops, we often try to trace it back to the foods we’ve eaten. Common trigger foods such as tomatoes, onions, citrus, garlic, and tomatoes can sometimes be the culprit behind our painful digestives symptoms, but diet isn’t always to blame. Take a look at some other heartburn triggers that can contribute to acid reflux.

Eating habits

When it comes to heartburn, it isn’t just what you eat that matters, it’s how you eat. Eating too much or too quickly can cause the stomach to become distended and places pressure on the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), the muscle that prevents stomach acid from reaching the esophagus. Consuming smaller portions and taking your time while eating can prevent this from occurring.

Lying down after eating

Taking a nap or kicking back in your favorite recliner after meals could be the reason you experience heartburn. Lying down with a full stomach allows digestive acid to flow easily into the esophagus and cause that burning sensation known as heartburn. Try to allow food two to three hours to digest before lying down, and avoid late-night snacking before bedtime.


Some medications – including antibiotics, bone-strengthening drugs and iron supplements – can actually contribute to the occurrence of heartburn. If you suspect that your daily medications are responsible for your digestive symptoms, discuss these concerns with your doctor. Never make changes to your drug regimen without your doctor’s approval.

Tight clothing

The latest fashion trends may look great in the mirror, but they don’t always agree with your digestive system. Tight-fitting clothing places pressure on the midsection and promotes acid reflux. Try to avoid snug waistbands, constricting shapewear and cinch belts.


Increased hormone levels and crowded digestive organs are two reasons that heartburn affects more than half of all pregnant women. While pregnancy-related heartburn can be severe, it rarely causes complications and usually dissipates after the baby is born. Talk to your OB/GYN about heartburn treatments and remedies that are safe to use during pregnancy.


Smoking relaxes the LES, reduces saliva production and increases acidity in the stomach, all of which can contribute to severe heartburn. Talk to your doctor about techniques and treatments to help you quit smoking, or visit for cessation programs and support. Giving up cigarettes won’t just improve your overall health; it could eliminate your digestive issues.


Related articles:

Natural Ways to Combat Heartburn

Oh Baby! Tips to Naturally Relieve Heartburn during Pregnancy

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