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 Do certain foods and beverages contribute to acid reflux?
- Q What factors can worsen the damage caused by acid reflux?
- Q How does diet contribute to acid reflux?
- Q What causes acid reflux?
- Q Why does being overweight contribute to GERD?
- Q Can medications cause gastrointestinal (GI) disorders?