Weight Gain May Up Women's Heartburn

A lot of people can get heartburn, that painful and burning sensation you feel in the esophagus. This pain often rises to the chest and even radiates to the neck, throat, or the angle of the jaw. And even though the skinniest of persons can get heartburn, more cases are detected on people with excess weight.

More about heartburn

Also referred to as "pyrosis," heartburn is usually associated with regurgitation of gastric acid. Despite the term, heartburn has nothing to do with the heart. It is called as such because of the burning sensation of the breastbone where the heart is located, even though some heart problems do have a similar sensation to heartburn. Heartburn is also identified as one of the causes of chronic cough, and may even mimic asthma. It affects about 60% of the world’s population at some time each year.

If heartburn becomes severe, persistent, and untreated, it can lead to more serious conditions such as gastro esophageal reflux disease, which in turn can boost your risk of esophageal cancer or ulcers of the esophagus.

Weight gain and heartburn risk

A new study revealed that gaining just a few extra pounds can boost your risk of heartburn, even if your body mass index is still within the healthy range. Another study concludes that losing that extra weight may be one of the few lifestyle changes you need to make to find heartburn relief.

While there are over-the-counter medications readily available to treat heartburn, a change of lifestyle is likely to be advised to patients first. Experts say that any excess body fat gives off an excess risk of having heartburn. It still isn’t certain about the exact reason for this, but it is speculated that surplus fat around the belly causes increased pressure against your stomach, which in turn cause gastric fluids to rise up.

Losing weight to lose the heartburn

Health experts in Archives of Internal Medicine recommend two lifestyle changes that are effective in reducing heartburn: losing weight, and elevating the head of the bed. They also say that it would be wise to avoid spicy foods or some beverages that you know would trigger your heartburn.