Heartburn After Drinking Water: Causes And Tips To Prevent It

Heartburn is one of the most common digestive problems experienced by people all around the world. Contrary to the belief, heartburn has no association with any heart related disease. It is a burning discomfort just below the chest bone. It occurs when the gastric juice regurgitates back into the food pipe irritating its lining.

It is not uncommon for people to experience sporadic episodes of heartburn after a heavy spicy meal once in a while or after drinking too much of coffee and tea.

However, frequent bout of acidity is a symptom of acid reflux disease, often triggered by ingestion of foods and beverages which also includes water. Even if it is difficult to believe, the truth is that drinking water can cause heartburn under certain circumstances. Once you know the underlying pathology, it will be easy to remain well hydrated without suffering the untoward effect.

What Causes Heartburn After Drinking Water?

Primarily it is necessary to understand the reason for heartburn.

It occurs when the acidic juices present in stomach backs up into the lower end of esophagus. It is a tube connecting the mouth and stomach through which food and liquid enter into the stomach. At the lower end of esophagus, there is a valve also called lower esophageal sphincter (LES).

It relaxes as soon as you eat or drink and closes once the food enters into the stomach. In a way it prevents the acidic content of stomach entering into the esophagus. Occasionally, the sphincter also relaxes to release trapped gas in stomach which you experience it as a belch. It can also open due to external pressure on stomach caused by wearing tight clothes or after overeating.

While stomach and the sphincter have its own protective mechanism to prevent damage from the stomach acid, esophagus is devoid of it. Therefore when the content regurgitates into the esophagus, the lining gets irritated resulting in burning sensation.

There are few reasons for heartburn to occur after drinking water.

  • If your stomach is full from the previous meal and if you drink excess of water, the volume and pressure of stomach may increase substantially. As a result, there is a possibility of LES opening. The gastric juices may enter into the esophagus leading to heartburn.
  • Heartburn can occur after drinking water even if the stomach is empty. This happens after drinking large amount of water. Even though there is no food, acid is released once water enters into the stomach. Water along with stomach juices can enter into the lower esophagus, especially when the sphincter is weak.

Simple Tips To Prevent Heartburn After Drinking Water

Here are few effective recommendations that are valuable to prevent heartburn after drinking water and at the same time keep your body well hydrated.

  • Drink sips of water keeping a gap instead of gulping large amount of water at one time.
  • Avoid drinking water soon after eating meals or before the meal. Instead drink water before or after an hour of meal or in between meals. If at all you want to drink water, drink few sips as the stomach will be able to adjust it.
  • Drink water which is at room temperature or drink slightly warm water as it helps to prevent heartburn.
  • Wear loose fitting clothes as tight apparels will put pressure on stomach which may result in opening of lower esophageal sphincter.
  • Avoid few general triggers which may exaggerate the symptoms of heartburn after drinking water. These triggers are excess of coffee, spicy food, overeating, acidic food, lying soon after eating etc.

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