Sometimes when we are just sitting and relaxing and lean down, some of us feel a sudden burning sensation in the chest. This might occur sometimes after we have had something to eat. This burning sensation is called heartburns.
After our stomach have digested the food we have eaten, the acid in the stomach can sometimes flow in the esophagus. When this happens the esophagus lining gets irritated and a burning sensation is felt near the heart. This is the main cause of heartburn for most people.
The part of the body that is responsible for heartburn occurring is the Lower Esophageal Sphincter or LES. This valve’s function is to keep the stomach juices inside the stomachs. Our intestines are capable of dealing with the stomach acids. However if for any reason the LES relaxes then the stomach juices can flow into the esophagus and cause heartburn. The walls of the esophagus are very thin, therefore sometimes the esophagus can get irritated by the acids in the stomach juices.
There are a few factors for the cause of heartburn to occur. Here is a list of what is considered to be some of the top reasons for heartburn.
Caffeine: Coffee, tea, and other drinks that contain caffeine can relax the Lower Esophageal Sphincter (LES), thus allowing the stomach juices to flow into the esophagus. Chocolate contains certain amounts of a substance called theobromine.
This compound is found naturally in many caffeine bearing plants. The theobromine relaxes the LES muscle and causes the stomach acid to shoot up into the esophagus leading to heartburn. Skip the caffeine and save the pain and discomfort. It is simple to avoid this cause of heartburn.
Dried and fatty Foods: Of course fried and fatty foods have a tendency to slow down the digestion process. This leads to the food being kept in the stomach for a long time. This results in increased pressure to the stomach. This pressure build-up weakens the LES allowing stomach acid to pass into the esophagus.
Tomatoes and tomato-based products, and alcohol also cause the LES to relax. These foods lead to an increase in the production of more stomach acid. This is another heartburn factor.
The tobacco chemicals in cigarettes weaken the LES, as the chemicals pass from the lungs into your blood. In addition smoking reduces the blood flow to the inflammed tissue which again is a cause of heartburn.
Eating large amounts of food any time of the day puts extra pressure on your lower esophageal sphincter. Therefore there is a chance that some of this digested food will end up in the esophagus. This is especially true in the night as having a large dinner just before you go to sleep leads to the digesting food to press harder against your LES. Talk about a cause of heartburn.
Drinking and eating lots of citrus fruits and juices also causes the LES to become relaxed. This is another cause of heartburn.
The last cause of heartburn, is clothing that restricts your stomach. As the clothes press against the stomach walls they force the food up against the LES.
In short, and keeping it nice and simple, the best way to prevent heartburn is to realize that by changing your lifestyle to avoid many of the factors that are the cause of heartburn, you can have a healthy happy life stretching out ahead of you.