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What is Causing My Heartburn?

By Brookhaven Gastroenterology Associates
February 28, 2018




Got heartburn? Heartburn is a condition that's caused when stomach acid flows up into your esophagus. This leads to a burning discomfort heartburnbelow your breastbone or in your upper belly. Brookhaven Gastroenterology Associates in East Patchogue, NY, offers treatments for heartburn. Read on to learn about the causes of heartburn.

1. Tobacco 

Nicotine is thought to relax the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) that keeps acid in the stomach. When that ring of muscle relaxes, acid can trickle up and cause heartburn. Nicotine patches and gums are healthier and safer than cigarettes or chewing tobacco, and they are less likely to give you heartburn.

2. Fatty Meals

While some fats are necessary for wellness, others should be limited. Meals high in fats often lead to heartburn. Fatty, fried, greasy foods lead to acid reflux because they prevent the LES from fully tightening. This creates an opening for stomach acid to flow upward. Eating large meals may also contribute.

3. Coffee

Coffee can stimulate excessive gastric acid secretion causing heartburn in some people. If drinking coffee causes your heartburn, eat something while you drink coffee. Sometimes, it's not the coffee that is causing heartburn but the caffeine. Try switching to decaf to see if your symptoms disappear. 

4. Alcohol

Alcohol can trigger heartburn for many people. Alcohol can make it more difficult for your body to clear acid out of the esophagus. Not everyone gets heartburn after drinking alcohol. Some people may have a faulty or weak sphincter muscle to begin with. Being overweight significantly increases the risk.

5. Medicines

Many nonprescription and prescription and medicines can cause heartburn. Medications that can irritate your esophagus and cause heartburn pain include: NSAIDs, anxiety medications, antibiotics, high blood pressure medications, steroids and antidepressants. If you think that your heartburn symptoms may be caused by a medication, call your East Patchogue, NY, doctor to find out if you should stop taking the medicine or take a different one. 

6. Excess Weight

Anybody can get heartburn, but the more weight you carry the more likely it is. Researchers speculate that excess weight around the belly causes increased pressure against your stomach, causing fluid to rise up. Gaining weight, even if your BMI falls within the normal range, can also boost your heartburn risk.

Need treatment for heartburn? Make an appointment with one of our gastroenterologists! Call Brookhaven Gastroenterology Associates at 631-289-0300 today to schedule an appointment in East Patchogue, NY. You'll be amazed by the great relief we bring.

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