Your risk of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and heartburn increases if you are overweight and if you smoke. Pregnant women are also at increased risk of GERD and heartburn. Taking certain medications increases your risk because they can increase the amount of stomach acid that leaks from the stomach to the esophagus. These include aspirin, ibuprofen, opioids, antibiotics, calcium channel blockers, nitrates, progesterone, quinidine, sedatives, tranquilizers, theophylline, and anticholinergics. Some dietary supplements, such as iron and potassium, can irritate your esophagus and increase the risk of heartburn. Eating certain foods can also increase your risk of heartburn because they can irritate your esophagus. These include spicy, acidic, or fried foods; chocolate; peppermint; and citrus fruit. Consuming caffeinated sodas, other carbonated drinks, coffee, and alcohol also increases your risk.
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UCLA Health answeredHelpful? 1 person found this helpful.
Things that increase your risk for symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) include your lifestyle and certain health conditions.
- Being overweight.
- Drinking alcohol.
- Eating certain foods, such as chocolate or peppermint, that may relax the valve between the stomach and esophagus.
- Being pregnant. Many pregnant women have symptoms of GERD during pregnancy. Most of the time, symptoms get better after the baby is born.
- Having a hiatal hernia.
- Taking certain medicines. If you think that a medicine you take may be causing your GERD symptoms, talk to your doctor.
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