With any illness or disease there are usually a number of risk factors. For examples, exposing yourself to certain chemicals can cause Cancer. The same can be said of Heartburn; there are certain foods and eating habits that can lead to this uncomfortable and often painful condition. Knowing what Heartburn risk factors are will help you to avoid the nasty symptoms associated with it.
Let us start by saying that the term heartburn does not have a thing to do with your heart. It is simply called heartburn because it is a burning pain that travels up the esophagus from the stomach as a result of an excessive amount of stomach acid being produced. One of the most obvious risk factors for heartburn is of course the food you incorporate into your diet. People who eat spicy foods, fatty foods and foods that contain high levels of sugar are often afflicted by heartburn more often.
Being overweight can also cause heartburn as there is added pressure to your stomach and esophagus. Another heartburn risk factor is smoking cigarettes. There is not a lot of information as to why smoking would cause heartburn other than the fact that it irritates the lining of the stomach and lungs. Sometimes when people lie down too soon after eating heartburn can develop. The best rule of thumb is to wait for at least an hour or two after eating to lie down in bed.
It is important to note that heartburn mimics heart attack. The only time heartburn can occur is after food has been eaten. If a person experiences what feels like heartburn four hours before or after a meal a visit to the hospital may be a good idea. Unfortunately, a heart attack can feel exactly like heartburn and vice versa.
Above all advice when it comes to heartburn risk factors is to know your own body. If you know that something tends to cause heartburn, do not eat it. If there is something that you absolutely love and would like to eat once in a while then try using an acid reducer medication an hour before your meal.
Heartburn that happens a couple of times a month is probably not a big deal but if you begin noticing it occurring more than once a week then you may have a chronic problem and should seek medical attention. Heartburn can lead to GERD, ulcers and a number of other complications if it is not treated properly.