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Heartburn Myths Quiz

True or False
  • 1. Heartburn is caused by stress.

    False is the right answer.

    While stress may aggravate heartburn, it does not cause it. Heartburn is caused by the acid in your stomach backing up into your esophagus (the tube that connects your stomach to your mouth), where it irritates the tissue.

  • 2. Chronic heartburn has no long-term risks.

    False is the right answer.

    If left untreated, chronic heartburn can wear away the lining of your esophagus and increase your risk for certain types of cancer.
  • 3. Eating fatty foods can make heartburn worse.

    True is the right answer.

    Foods that are high in fat tend to relax the muscle that keeps acid out of the esophagus. Also, the higher the fat content of a meal, the longer it takes to digest, meaning the heartburn may last longer.
  • 4. Being overweight does not affect heartburn.

    False is the right answer.

    Extra weight increases pressure on the stomach, which can cause stomach acid to spill into the esophagus.
  • 5. Wearing loose-fitting clothes can ease heartburn.

    True is the right answer.

    Clothes that fit tightly around the abdomen can squeeze the stomach, forcing acid back up into the esophagus, so loosen those belts!
  • 6. Some people get heartburn when they lie down to sleep.

    True is the right answer.

    When you lie down it's easier for stomach acid to back up into the esophagus, particularly when you go to bed with a full stomach. Try not to eat at least 3 hours before bedtime and sleep with the head of your bed raised.
  • 7. I don't have to worry about smoking and heartburn.

    False is the right answer.

    Smoking makes heartburn worse, and quitting smoking is encouraged for people with heartburn. Nicotine can weaken the muscle that keeps acid out of the esophagus. Also, frequent sucking on cigarettes causes air to be swallowed, increasing stomach pressure and encouraging acid back-up.
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