Name some of the triggers leading to heartburn.

Expert Answers
coachingcorner eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are quite a few triggers for heartburn, the slightly painful sensation between chest and oesophagus that occurs with a hot sour sensation.


As part of the digestive process, we have naturally occurring acids in our stomachs to help to break down food. To stop these acids leaking up and burning the oesophagus there is a little valve between it and the stomach. If the stomach is pushed out of line or stressed, the valve may be breached and the acid is allowed to escape and burn the tissue-lining of the oesophagus.

One trigger is over-eating and overloading the stomach,obesity is another and eating too close to sleeping or exercising is a third. Alcohol can make it worse and pregnant women sometimes suffer from heartburn because of the distension of organs.

readerofbooks eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The stomach has natural acids that are needed to break down food. However, heartburn takes place when the valve that is located at the end of the swallowing pipe does not open and close  properly. In other words, after eating food the valve should close. When it does not, we have that uncomfortable feeling of acid coming up.

The most obvious cause if someone has an acid reflux problem. Other than that, certain foods trigger this, such as very spicy foods. It might be a good idea to stay away. Also sometimes coffee can trigger this. There are also non-food causes, such as a tight belt! Thankfully there is medicine.

sillylillie | Student

Some triggers not yet mentioned:

  • Eating large meals that cause the stomach to distend can cause the LES (the band of muscle at the end of the esophaugs) to not function properly.
  • Lying down after eating can cause the LES to open, creating heartburn.
  • Pregnancy, obesity and even tight clothing can cause the LES to stay closed by putting pressure on the stomach.
  • Greasy,spicy foods or certain foods such coffee, chocolate, and peppermint can affect the LES.
  • Certain drugs or medications: morphone, nitrate for the heart, dopamine, nicotine, alcohol and Valium just to name a few.



ankur2486 | Student

over eating.

less sleep

lack of exercise