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Three things you had no idea were triggering - or worsening - your heartburn

by , 14 December 2017
Three things you had no idea were triggering - or worsening - your heartburn
Almost everyone will experience heartburn, characterised by a burning sensation in your chest and a slightly bitter taste in your mouth, at some point in life, according to the National Institutes of Health.

So why is it that most people are completely clueless about the condition? Sure, you may know that fatty foods can trigger heartburn, or that spicy foods worsen that burning feeling - but did you know that the following three daily habits can trigger or worsen heartburn, too?

Got heartburn? Avoid these three burning traps!

#1: You start every day with a cup of coffee
There are two main causes of acid reflux: An underlying medical problem like a hiatal hernia, or a trigger that relaxes your sphincter muscle in your oesophagus that normally prevents stomach acid from rising back up your throat. Certain foods and behaviour can relax the muscle. The triggers are different for every person, but certain ones pop up again and again – and drinking coffee is one of them.

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#2: You’re addicted to peppermint-flavoured gum
Are you a big fan of chewing gum? Peppermint flavour in particular? You might want to stop chewing, or at least switch to a different flavour. Like caffeine, peppermint relaxes the sphincter muscle that blocks stomach acid. This means that anything else that’s peppermint flavoured – think teas, sweets and desserts – can have the same effect as your favourite gum. The best way to identify food triggers of heartburn is to keep a food diary.
 
#3: You often snack late at night
Do you often get the midnight munchies? While there’s sometimes nothing wrong with eating at night (in fact, the right snacks can even help you drop weight), it might be best to steer clear if you’re prone to heartburn. Try avoid eating at least two hours before bed – as soon as you lie down, it’s a lot easier for acid to wash back up your oesophagus. Plus, eating before bed will rev up your digestion system, so you’ll have even more acid in your stomach.
 
Who would’ve guessed that these simple daily habits can trigger or worsen heartburn?

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