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Although many of the causes of heartburn and gas are not directly related, some may experience a connection between the two. Some foods, for example, may tend to cause both heartburn and gas, but the chemicals responsible for causing the gas may not be the same as those responsible for causing the heartburn. Therefore, those individuals that suffer from both heartburn and gas may need to try to find remedies for each one separately, rather than treating the two conditions as being intrinsically related.
One thing that may lead to both heartburn and gas is stress. For those people who tend to notice incidents of both increase when they are feeling more stress, that may be a good indication of the cause. In such cases, there may be little long-term relief for the conditions until the cause of the stress is under control. Taking some medicines, such as simethicone for gas, and acid reducers for heartburn, may offer some temporary improvement. Some of these medications could have negative side effects, especially if taken for an extended period of time.
The two main causes of gas are swallowing too much air and eating foods that have higher levels of complex sugars (carbohydrates). Foods with many carbohydrates break down in the stomach and, during that process, produce byproducts such as carbon dioxide and hydrogen. Scientists have also discovered that approximately one-third of all people also produce methane in their digestive gasses. The odor of digestive gasses comes from sulfur produced by bacteria in the stomach.
Heartburn, also known as acid reflux, is caused by a number of conditions as well, but the most common are certain foods and eating habits. Eating foods that are higher in acidity may produce more acid in the stomach, which may seep up into the esophagus causing heartburn. Overeating, or eating and then laying down, can also cause heartburn, by pushing acids up into the esophagus.
The lower esophageal sphincter (LES) is responsible for keeping acid inside the stomach. Certain foods or drinks, such as alcohol, can cause this muscle to relax too much, and therefore let more acid into the esophagus as well. Some may also have a problem with this muscle if it becomes weaker over time. In cases where the LES is weakened, surgery may be an option.
Those who have persistent problems with heartburn and gas should contact a physician to make sure the problem is not serious. Nearly every human being suffers from heartburn and gas conditions at some point in his or her life. Those who continuously suffer may have other medical issues that show up as gas or acid symptoms. Only a trained medical doctor can make an accurate diagnosis.