Track Your Heartburn Triggers

Your first step toward preventing heartburn? Understanding why you get it

Sponsored By: PRILOSEC OTC ®

Track Your Heartburn Triggers

Sometimes your heartburn triggers are all too clear. For instance, does a glass of orange juice or your morning latte tend to bring on the burn?

Citrus and coffee are just two of many triggers. Learn about the most common causes of heartburn. And note that the trigger for any given heartburn episode may be multifactorial—that is, attributable to multiple factors, such as the glass of OJ you drank while exercising and the big dinner you ate just before bedtime.

How Triggers Cause Heartburn

Triggers can cause heartburn in a variety of ways. Chocolate and mint, for instance, appear to relax your lower esophageal sphincter (LES), the valve that keeps stomach acids where they belong, thereby allowing those juices to rise up to the esophagus and irritate it. Other substances, such as coffee and beer, increase the amount of acid your stomach produces. And some activities—bending over, wearing a tight belt and clenching your abs, for example—simply put pressure on your stomach, forcing up its contents.

Tracking Your Heartburn Triggers

To track your triggers, download our Reflux Record as an Adobe® Acrobat® Portable Document Format (PDF) file. Use it to take notes on the foods and drinks you consumed prior to the episode; the medications you were on; and your activities, including sleep and exercise. In addition, record any treatment you took to ease heartburn and whether it worked.

If you decide to consult a health-care practitioner, your Reflux Record will also help that professional better understand why you experience heartburn—and the kinds of treatment most likely to ease your symptoms.

The material in this site is intended to be of general informational use and is not intended to constitute medical advice, probable diagnosis or recommended treatments. OTC PPIs are only indicated for treatment of frequent heartburn. For severe heartburn or heartburn that persists after trying over-the-counter treatment or lifestyle modifications, visit your doctor to determine the right treatment for you. See the Terms and Conditions for more information.