Unexpected Triggers of Acid Reflux
If you suffer from acid reflux, you’ve probably started to compile a list of all the things that cause your symptoms. Tomatoes, citrus fruits, peppermint, fatty foods, spicy foods—these are among the most common triggers, but they’re far from the only ones.
As you continue working to control heartburn, it can help to learn about some of the triggers that don’t get as much attention. Your problems with acid reflux may be caused by a variety of different factors, and taking stock of all of them will help you make heartburn as infrequent as possible.
To help yourself reduce acid reflux and heartburn, remember to pay attention to potential triggers like:
Ibuprofen, naproxen and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can help you get a handle on headaches and chronic pain, but because they can trigger heartburn, they may have less soothing effects for acid reflux sufferers.
Many prescription medications can cause similar effects, including:
- Some high blood pressure medications (calcium channel blockers)
- Some asthma and COPD medications (bronchodilators)
- Some osteoporosis medications
- Some sedatives
Though these medications may contribute to your problems with acid reflux, they may be vitally important to your health for other reasons, so you should always speak with your doctor about how these drugs may influence heartburn instead of independently discontinuing their use.
Fish Oil Supplements
Because of a high concentration of omega-3 fatty acids, fish oil is a popular supplement, especially for those trying to prevent conditions like heart disease. Unfortunately, fish oil supplements can also spark heartburn. Instead of taking fish oil supplements, it may be a better choice to get more omega-3 fatty acids by simply eating more fish.
If you’ve ever had butterflies in your stomach, you’ve experienced the effects that stress can have on digestion firsthand. Stress can have direct physical effects like nausea and increased acid production, but research also shows that stress can influence the way we perceive acid reflux and the pain it causes.
When we’re stressed, we may have a heightened awareness of the symptoms we’re experiencing, and the pain receptors in the esophagus can become more active. Because of this, stress relief can not only reduce the amount of acid reflux we experience, but how severe it feels as well.
As you continue to learn your triggers, remember that each person’s problems with acid reflux are caused by different factors. Paying attention to less obvious triggers can help you ensure that your lifestyle is free of the things that may be contributing to your symptoms.