You may already know that there are certain foods that trigger heartburn but did you know there are lifestyle factors that can affect it as well? Below are the primary lifestyle factors that can lead to heartburn.
Like stress, smoking causes the esophagus to not close properly.
Excess weight can put pressure on the stomach.
Lying flat makes it easier for stomach acid to escape into your esophagus.
Stress causes the esophagus to not close properly, allowing acid to back up into the throat.
Heartburn is caused by acid from your stomach backing up into your esophagus. But what causes that acid to back up? And why do you get heartburn at all? That’s a bit more complicated. But we have a simple explanation for that, too.
Where your throat meets your stomach is a special valve called the lower esophageal sphincter (aka the LES). Think of this valve as a little door that lets food through to your stomach and then closes. Normally, the door shuts tight, keeping your stomach acid safely in your stomach. But for some of us, the door doesn’t close all the way. This allows acid to escape. Unlike your stomach, your esophagus doesn’t have an acid-proof lining, so when the acid comes in contact with the lining of your esophagus, you feel a burning sensation. This feeling is called heartburn.