Last Updated on June 10, 2016 by Michael Brockbank
Many people are plagued with heartburn on a regular basis. My Dad pounds down Rolaids like they were candy. Some of you may have problems experiencing this problem when eating certain foods. However, it can be caused by overeating in general.
What Causes Heartburn?
For those who are overweight, heartburn may be quite a common fixture. Essentially, a esophageal sphincter doesn’t tighten correctly. Often, this is caused by overeating, as in my case, or too much pressure caused by obesity or even pregnancy. Essentially, the mass of your body is pressing into the abdomen making it more difficult for your body to operate efficiently – thus preventing the sphincter from tightening completely.
Foods can play a common role in relaxing this sphincter including tomatoes, citrus fruits, onions, alcohol and even chocolate. It’s been my experience that it happens regardless of what foods I eat – if I eat too much. Coincidentally, eating too much also causes me to have severely bad “rotten egg” burps.
When the esophageal sphincter doesn’t tighten, stomach acid can make its way into the esophagus. This is what actually causes the burning sensation. Medications designed to neutralize acid can remedy the immediate symptom, but the cause will still need to be addressed.
Will Losing Weight Cure My Heartburn?
As there are so many variables that can play a role in heartburn, it’s difficult to determine if losing weight will indeed eliminate your heartburn. For myself, I never had this problem until I started gaining weight. I am fairly confident that it will be gone by the time I get down to a more manageable body size. So far, the frequency in which I get heartburn has decreased with my weight. However, it is possible for adults to become affected by foods over time. Onions that may not have caused heartburn for me before may do so in the future.
Monitor Your Food Intake Closely
One of the best ways to find out what you’re eating that is causing discomfort is to monitor everything you put into your body. Personally, I use MyFitnessPal to keep track of all my foods – which is why I know that neither caffeine nor garlic causes my heartburn. Every time I eat more than 1000 calories past my daily goal, my chest feels like it’s going to melt away from burning. When ever I stay within the green for the amount of calories I eat, I feel exceptionally better – no matter the food.
If you don’t want to use MyFitnessPal, I would still suggest that you write every thing down that you eat or drink. It can help you discover if you have a reaction against certain food products. Certain allergies could be affecting you in a similar fashion as well. This is why monitoring your intake is so important. You may be affected by foods you never realized before.
Although everyone is different when it comes to physical attributes, I can say without a doubt in my mind that overeating is what causes a vast majority of my heartburn. This doesn’t mean that you’re affected in the same way, but you may want to spend some time figuring that out. Many people often share the same afflictions, and your overeating may be causing your discomfort as it does mine.