Millions of people suffer from acid reflux and it is definitely not a fun experience. If you have been consistently having acid reflux, you know it from symptoms like:

  • Heartburn or a burning sensation felt on your chest that can sometimes spread to your throat with a sour taste in the mouth
  • Dysphagia or difficulty swallowing
  • Chest pain
  • Sore throat or hoarseness
  • Feeling there’s a lump in the throat
  • Dry cough
  • Regurgitation of sour liquid or solid food particles

If you have the symptoms above, you’re probably wondering what could have caused it. There are various reasons why you have heartburn right now. Common causes include pregnancy, eating a lot and lying down right after eating, being heavy or overweight, and snacking too close to your bedtime. But there are surprising triggers many people don’t know about:

1. Cigarettes

We all know the health dangers of smoking, but what’s not well-known is that this bad habit should be kicked if you suffer from frequent heartburn. Nicotine relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), which leads to acid reflux. Plus, your mouth makes less saliva when you smoke which causes the acid from the stomach to rise to the esophagus.

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2. Medications

If you keep taking ibuprofen for your aches and pains, you will notice that you have heartburn too. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can trigger acid reflux. Other prescription drugs also cause the problem, including calcium channel blockers for people with hypertension, antibiotics, and bronchodilators for people with asthma.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can trigger acid reflux / PicHelp

3. Fish Oil

Fish oil supplements are getting a lot of hype lately because of their health benefits. However, if you experience acid reflux frequently, it is time to stop taking them. The fish isn’t the problem, but the oil itself as it can cause gastrointestinal side effects.

4. Stress

Unlike other causes, stress will not cause an upsurge in the production of your stomach acid. Instead, it is how you perceive your symptoms according to a study published in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research. In other words, if you’re stressed, your body is more aware of the heartburn symptoms and this can trick the pain receptors found in your esophagus, causing acid reflux.

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Heartburn or acid reflux can have a huge effect on your life. It will start by restricting your food choices, and then it can disrupt your sleep until it gets in the way of how you live your life. Know the symptoms and what triggers your heartburn so you can steer clear of these causes. In doing so, you can help yourself avoid the discomforts brought about by heartburn.


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