‘Stress is one of the many lifestyle factors associated with heartburn,’ says Dr Pascale Anglade, Consultant Gastroenterology/Hepatology, Digestive Disease Institute, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi. ‘It’s believed that stressed individuals are more sensitive to the presence of acid in their esophagus. Other contributing factors to reflux are being overweight, smoking and making poor dietary choices.
He says, eating foods such as onions, chocolate, peppermints, high-fat foods, citrus fruits, garlic, spicy foods, and tomatoes or tomato-based products and drinking citrus juices, caffeinated and fizzy drinks can trigger symptoms in people prone to heartburn. ‘Also avoid eating large portions and eating at least three hours before reclining. Try to keep track of activities when heartburn hits, to identify their triggers and work to prevent them, he adds.