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8 Surprising Facts About Heartburn

Food Triggers Aren't the Only Culprit

Eating a spicy meal or a big midnight snack aren't the only reasons you might feel the burning in your chest or upper belly called heartburn. When you eat, your stomach produces digestive acids. These acids are meant to stay in your stomach. When they back up into your esophagus or throat, you get heartburn. Being overweight, smoking, and eating certain foods can lead to heartburn. Here are eight more facts about heartburn that may come as a surprise.

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Medically Reviewed By: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS | Last Review Date:

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Medical References

  1. Peptic Ulcer Disease. National Institutes of Health. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-topics/digestive-diseases/peptic-ulcer/Pages/ove...
  2. Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease in Adults. NYU Langone Medical Center. http://nyulangone.org/conditions/gastroesophageal-reflux-disease-in-adults
  3. Gastroesophageal Reflux (GER) and Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) in Adults. National Institutes of Health. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-topics/digestive-diseases/ger-and-gerd-in-adults...
  4. Hiatal Hernia. Esophageal Cancer Awareness Association. http://www.ecaware.org/what-is-esophageal-cancer/risk-factors/hiatus-hernia/
  5. Exposure to tobacco smoke. Reflux Infants Support Association. http://www.reflux.org.au/articles/exposure-to-tobacco-smoke/
  6. When Heartburn Lingers Too Long. Rush University Medical Center. https://www.rush.edu/health-wellness/discover-health/chronic-heartburn
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If you're one of the 15 to 20% of Americans who have heartburn at least once a week, self-care can really help.  Here are some simple things you can do to keep stomach acid where it belongs -- in your stomach.

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