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.
- Q Why does eating before going to sleep cause heartburn?
- Q Can playing sports make acid reflux worse?
- Q What causes gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)?
- Q Can smoking cause acid reflux?
- Q What effect do canned foods have on acid reflux?
- Q Can medications cause gastrointestinal (GI) disorders?