Heartburn, the painful feeling of your gastric juices irritating your stomach lining and esophagus, has many causes. Many people associate it with unhealthy eating habits such as consuming too much food without properly chewing it or eating too much at once. Certain kinds of foods, especially spicy ones or cuisine that you don't normally consume, can lead to heartburn as well. These types of situational heartburn can generally be eased by talking antacid tablets or a special pill. You can also eliminate heartburn-causing foods from your diet. Some people have a more severe form that doctors call gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). This is chronic and weakens the muscles at the bottom of the gullet, allowing stomach acids to leak back into the esophagus and cause pains. Despite the different causes, the symptoms are generally the same with burning sensations in the chest and stomach, mild nausea, and sometimes sweating.
Certain eating habits may cause heartburn - and that's backed up by medical evidence. Eating very fast, not chewing your food well, and having very large meals make you more likely to experience it. Additional habits to avoid include eating just before going to sleep, as the changes in your wakefulness and the prone position can induce heartburn. For many, the heavier the meal eaten, the greater the chance of burning pains. Things like processed meats, hearty portions of spicy foods, and certain vegetables, like onions, tomatoes, or peppers, can lead to an upset stomach. Even exercise is a bad idea after a full meal; heavy lifting in particular.
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