If you are a heartburn sufferer, then you may ask yourself this question on a daily basis. We know that the uncomfortable feeling, caused by heartburn can really wear on you and even cause some serious stomach problems if this is not cared for properly. Don't let yourself go on suffering, read the rest of this article and get to the bottom of it right now!
To begin to understand what heartburn is caused by, you must first understand what the lower esophageal sphincter is. The LES is a muscle in between your stomach and your esophagus. This muscle is what keeps liquid and solid mass in your stomach and holds your food "down" in effect. There are certain things that cause this muscle to either relax or simply not be able to function correctly. This LES working improperly is usually what causes heartburn to occur for most people.
Top Causes of Heartburn
1. Caffeine and Chocolate - Any drink that has caffeine in it like soda, coffee, tea and others all can lead to heartburn because, caffeine can lead to the relaxation of the LES.
2. Fatty and Greasy Foods - Foods that are fatty and greasy are also a huge contributor to heartburn for many. Foods like this actually slow down digestion and cause food to stay in the stomach for longer periods of time. In many cases this will lead to excess pressure on the LES and this can cause long-term damage as well as short-term discomfort.
3. Alcohol and Tobacco - Yes, we all know these are not good for us in the first place, but both of these substances contain chemicals that lead to the relaxation of the LES. This is among some of the least damaging factors of these drugs, but they are contributing factors to many heartburn sufferer.
4. Citrus Fruits, Juices and Tomatoes - Any fruit or vegetable that is high in acid can cause heartburn problems, but in most cases it is not the acid that actually makes the burning sensation, it the effect they have on the LES. Again, relaxing the lower esophageal sphincter, these types of foods and drinks allow for your own stomach acids to move upward into your esophagus, thus causing discomfort.
5. Tight Clothes - It does sound a little silly, but true all the same. If you wear really tight fitting clothing around your waistline and stomach area, this may lead to heartburn. In effect, by squeezing your bodies mid-section, you may be putting pressure on the LES and actually forcing this muscle open and stomach acid upward.
Now that you know a little bit more about what actually can lead to heartburn, you may be well on your way to finding a permanent fix to your problem. However, if you do not find the relief you are looking for by making some of the above suggested changes, finding out how to stop heartburn naturally may be the next best solution for you. You can't always change the way you eat, sleep and dress, but if you had a natural remedy that would cure heartburn, this may be what you are really looking for!
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