What causes acid reflux?

By Terez Malka, MD
Medically reviewed checkmarkMedically reviewed
February 2, 2021

Acid reflux occurs when stomach acid backs up into your esophagus, triggered by certain foods, overeating, or lying down too soon after eating. If you’ve ever felt a burning sensation in your chest, you’ve likely experienced heartburn due to acid reflux.

For many, it’s an occasional discomfort triggered by eating certain foods, but for some the heartburn feeling is frequent enough to impact their ability to sleep, breathe and swallow comfortably. Research suggests millions of Americans suffer from heartburn daily, and Monday morning after the big game, we’ve seen a spike XXX of our members complaining of heartburn or acid reflux related symptoms. Reason being? Most of the trigger foods we mentioned earlier go hand-in-hand with watching the Super Bowl: 

  • High-fat foods such as fatty cuts of meat, french fries, onion rings
  • Citrus
  • Chocolate
  • Spicy foods
  • Salty foods
  • Tomatoes and tomato-based foods
  • Carbonated beverages
  • Alcohol
  • Coffee
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Mint and mint-flavored products (such as mint gum)
  • Ice cream
  • Whole milk

If you want to talk through your symptoms, you can always text with a doctor now in the K Health app – we’re open, even on weekends (game days too!)

K Health articles are all written and reviewed by MDs, PhDs, NPs, or PharmDs and are for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute and should not be relied on for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment.

Terez Malka, MD

Dr. Terez Malka is a board-certified pediatrician and emergency medicine physician.