General Question

janbb's avatar

Why do I have heartburn?

Asked by janbb (59209points) December 24th, 2018

Never have before. I’m under tremendous stress from a family situation. Could that be causing it? Any easy remedies?

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16 Answers

kritiper's avatar

Stress could cause it. Spicy food, coffee, fatty meats.
Raise the head of your bed 2”. Drink tea instead of coffee(less acid.). Get some Zantac. Drink ½ tsp. of baking soda in a 6 oz. glass of water

Demosthenes's avatar

I get it predictably if I eat late at night; I don’t seem to get it for any other reason. Even the type of food doesn’t seem to matter, though some cause it worse than others.

Calcium carbonate (Tums) works for me. The chewy ones aren’t as chalky and gross and they cure it within minutes.

LadyMarissa's avatar

Stress will definitely cause heartburn. Anything with caffeine will also cause it to flair up. Chocolate is one of the worst things too. I can’t take Zantac & I’ve found that Tums just doesn’t work for me either. Alka Selzer now makes a Heartburn Relief Chew that seems to work best for me. These are tropical fruit flavor & they aren’t very chalky tasting like Tums.

rebbel's avatar

Stress, in my body anyway, can come in many forms, and can cause me complaints in several different areas/organs in my system.
The last couple of years I have found out that it can come as back pain, neck pain, bowel pain, eye pain, ear pain, headache, overproduction of pee, exhaustion, etc.
And of course numerous psychological annoyances.
If I can deduct my complaints as a likely result of my stress at that moment in time, I take it as that (and won’t go to the doctor immediately (it’ll usually die down when the stress subsides)).
So my advice is to check if this goes for you now.
Can you relate the heartburn (directly) to the stressor?
If yes, it may ease your concern?
(I know it works like that for me).

As for a remedy: in the past I had heartburns myself, and what I did then, was, either drink milk, or eat a table spoon of sugar (let it melt in my mouth, before swallowing).
I would go for the milk route now, myself, since I cut all added sugars out of my diet.
Sugar is bad.

canidmajor's avatar

I do well with Tums. Sometimes it’s lots and lots of Tums, but Tums will get me through.
Poor Little Penguin. :-(

Love_my_doggie's avatar

Stress can most certainly be the cause. The symptoms might be severe, sometimes mimicking a cardiac incident – chest pain and pressure, moving to the neck, jaw, and temples.

Prilosec always works best for me.

Jeruba's avatar

Yes, stress can certainly cause it. From your description, it sounds most likely to me.

Family crises always affect my gut. One of the first things that happen is that I lose my appetite, typically for three days. At the same time, I don’t dare get far from the bathroom. In a recent two-year period, I lost 60 pounds to stress and anxiety, and believe me, that’s not how you want to do it.

A few years ago in December I actually went to the ER thinking I was having a heart attack. No, it was intestinal response to out-of-control stress.

For my husband, he says these things tie his stomach in thorny knots. That’s his version of the same thing.

My first step with heartburn is to reach for Rolaids. I also immediately start avoiding acids in my diet. And anything else that helps to reduce stress is good: meditation, Serenity Prayer, vigorous walks, talk therapy, total distraction and absorption in something, escapism, denial. I don’t recommend the latter as a general principle, but sometimes you just need a break.

I’m so sorry for your distress, and as you may know, I can empathize deeply.

mazingerz88's avatar

Stress is a big factor. But in my case it was the over-eating. Took me a few months taking those anti-heartburn pills before I realized I couldn’t and shouldn’t fix it by taking pills before or after I eat. I couldn’t see myself doing it for years so I just stopped over-eating. No more heartburns.

rojo's avatar


JLeslie's avatar

My husband gets heartburn for days or weeks, and then it disappears for months, sometimes over a year. We never have pinned down what causes it. For a while we thought peanuts, but that hasn’t proven to be the cause.

I suggest take a Tums, it usually helps very well for occasional heartburn, and fairly benign relative to other drugs. See if it helps. If nothing helps, and it persists you might consider seeing a doctor.

Other little suggestions: don’t lie down immediate after eating, avoid very spicy foods, eat some fruit like raisin or plums to avoid constipation.

flutherother's avatar

Heartburn can definitely be caused by stress. Christmas and heartburn go together as family disagreements and overeating are likely to occur together. I like Christmas and I always have but whereas Christmas arrangements were once relatively simple and straightforward following divorce they are a bit more fraught. I leave the arrangements up to my kids nowadays and I mostly fit in with their plans. They know they are always welcome here and I always see them at some point over the Christmas period.

Have a great Christmas, and go easy on the mince pies.

seawulf575's avatar

Stress can bring it on. Maybe you are changing. Lactose intolerance? Have you noticed it flare up after you eat certain foods?
For an OTC cure, I recommend Zegrid. It attacks the immediate sensation and helps control acid production later on.

Zissou's avatar

Could be stress, though I notice my stomach has become less tolerant of junk food as I’ve aged. I’ll second the baking soda remedy. I’ve had success giving it to younger acquaintances who don’t remember when that remedy was printed on baking soda boxes. I wonder why they took it off the box? Taking too much can be dangerous, so I’m guessing the company lawyers were worried about liability.

JLeslie's avatar

The junk food comment reminded me that sweets sometimes hurt my stomach, feels more like an inflammation or open wound though, and it’s towatds the left, not in the center. Also, high fatty foods can cause pain center right, which people will call reflux, related to gall bladder.

Anyway, it might be the time of year, and all of that holiday food. I’ve gained 3 pounds from it, and probably other problems.

Pinguidchance's avatar

For GORD sake, as your new second best consultant physician I’d recommend that you take two antacids and call me in the morning if pain persists.

On a more serious note monitor the situation and see your doctor if the gastro-oesophagal reflux continues.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Stress. Quite a few folks watching the stock market have it too.

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