Causes

Heartburn and indigestion can tend to have similar triggers. These include:

The Way You Eat...

  • Eating large meals can cause your stomach to produce too much acid. Physically 'overfilling' the stomach can also create pressure and cause acid to escape
  • Eating irregularly or too quickly can mean that acid levels in the stomach don't have time to regulate
  • Eating on the run or just before bedtime can make it easier for acid to escape back up into the oesophagus (food pipe)

The Types of Food You Eat...

  • Fatty foods tend to stay in your stomach for longer because fats are slower to digest
  • Foods such as chocolate and mint may have a relaxant effect on the sphincter (ring of muscle) at the entrance to the stomach enabling acid to escape back up
  • Spicy foods, onions and tomato products may also be triggers

The Types of Drinks You Drink...

  • Caffeinated drinks and alcohol tend to increase acidity in your stomach
  • Very hot drinks and citrus juices may also be triggers

Other known triggers include...

  • Certain medicines, such as those for heart problems, asthma and high blood pressure can sometimes make your stomach produce more acid
  • Being overweight or wearing tight clothes can put pressure on your stomach
  • Smoking can encourage acid production and cause the sphincter to relax. It may also slow down the production of saliva which helps protect the oesophagus
Many people can identify the triggers for their symptoms and take action accordingly, but if you are suffering regularly, or have any concerns, consult your GP.