JOPLIN, MO--"22 - 25% of the population suffers from heartburn," according to Freeman Gastroenterologist Dr. Navakanth Gorrepati. He added that in mild cases, lifestyle changes can make a big difference... for example, smoking. "Saliva is a protective mechanism whenever acid comes into the foodpipe and into the mouth, when you swallow saliva, it clears the acid down. And what smoking does, it decreases the saliva and causes more symptoms."
Heartburn symptoms can also increase when patients take ibuprofen. Dr. Gorrepati said, "Decreases the protective mechanisms in the stomach hence there is more acid secretion and causes more damage to the stomach wall."
Even taking fish oil supplements or peppermint oil can cause problems. Said Dr. Gorrepait, "Avoid hot and spicy foods. Try not to eat or drink three hours prior to going to bed. Try to sleep with two pillows because it increases the angle between your food pipe and the stomach, decreases the amount of reflux." But if you're experiencing heartburn on a daily basis, you should seek professional help.