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What Causes Heartburn?


The holiday season is here, and that means lots of big family feasts. But heartburn may be plaguing you, especially after a large meal. If you suffer from regular heartburn in Pensacola, Florida  or in Baldwin County , Alabama, Dr. Mashner at the Gut Authority is ready to help. 

What Causes Heartburn? 

Heartburn is a painful burning sensation that you may feel in your chest after eating certain foods. Heartburn occurs when stomach acid backs up into the esophagus. The esophagus is the tube that carries food from your mouth to your stomach. 

When you swallow, a band of muscle called the lower esophageal sphincter relaxes, allowing your food and liquids to flow down to your stomach. After you finish swallowing, the lower esophageal sphincter tightens back up again. Sometimes the lower esophageal sphincter relaxes abnormally or weakens. This allows stomach acid to flow back up into your esophagus and cause a burning sensation. 

What Foods Cause Heartburn?

Heartburn occurs most often after eating a large meal, spicy foods, foods that have a high acid content, and fatty foods. If you suffer from frequent heartburn, you should cut back on the foods that aggravate it. Common foods that trigger heartburn are:

  • citrus fruits and juices such as lemon, lime, grapefruit, pineapple, and orange
  • tomatoes, tomato sauce, and ketchup
  • garlic
  • onions
  • chocolate 
  • coffee
  • alcoholic beverages
  • carbonated beverages such as sodas and seltzer waters
  • cheese
  • mint, peppermint, and spearmint


Should I See a Doctor for My Heartburn?

The discomfort of heartburn is usually more severe in the evening when you lay down or bend over. If you experience occasional heartburn, there is no cause for alarm, and you can probably avoid it when you recognize its triggers. But you should seek medical attention if the symptoms persist or get worse. 

Make an appointment with your doctor or with a natural health practitioner if your heartburn occurs more than twice a week, or you have difficulty swallowing. If symptoms continue even when using over-the-counter medications, you should seek medical attention. If your heartburn is causing constant nausea or vomiting, weight loss, and poor appetite, you need to speak to a medical professional.

How Can I Prevent Heartburn?

There are several measures you can take to avoid the uncomfortable symptoms of heartburn. If you get frequent heartburn, you should:

  • Avoid lying down for two to three hours after eating a meal
  • Chew gum after your meal to increase saliva and clear the esophagus of acid 
  • Sleep on your left side
  • Sleep with your head elevated
  • Wear loose clothing instead of wearing tight clothing such as pants, tight belts, or bras 
  • Eat smaller meals
  • Quit smoking
  • Maintain a healthy weight

What Foods Help Heartburn?

Some foods are known to trigger the discomfort of heartburn, but there are also foods that can help relieve the symptoms. To reduce heartburn symptoms, you should eat:

  • Lean proteins such as chicken, egg whites, and fish
  • Ginger
  • Yogurt
  • Fruits 
  • Vegetables
  • Legumes
  • Nuts such as almonds, walnuts, and peanuts
  • Seeds such as chia, flaxseed, and pomegranate
  • Healthy fats such as avocado or olive oil
  • Contact Us for Help Managing Your Heartburn

Dr. Mashner and his associates at the Gut Authority want to help heartburn sufferers like you in Pensacola, Florida or in Baldwin County,  Alabama. His approach to healing includes establishing a relationship with his clients that is based on mutual trust. He will work with you to develop an action plan for health recovery.

Unlike traditional medical doctors, Dr. Mashner will not prescribe you a pill and send you on your way. He will take the time to gather your medical history and learn about your lifestyle to determine the root cause of your discomfort. If you are ready to be responsible for your health and start feeling well again, contact Dr. Mashner today.


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