Acid reflux: Avoid THESE foods to prevent heartburn and leaky stomach acid

Acid reflux is usually caused by the muscle, which keeps food inside the stomach, weakening.

Stomach acid can seep back up the oesophagus, causing an unpleasant, sour taste at the back of the mouth.

The condition can lead to oesophagitis - a sore, inflamed gullet - and bad breath.

Garlic, fizzy drinks and acidic foods can all trigger acid reflux, according to GP Dr Roger Henderson.

“The main foods to avoid are spicy food, onions and garlic and caffeinated drinks, including coffee,” said Henderson.

“It is richer food, and more of it washed down with alcohol.”

Common triggers, according to a survey of acid reflux patients, included red wine, cheese, oranges, peppermint and nuts.

Over-eating could also lead to acid reflux, which is scientifically known as gastro-oesophageal reflux disease.

Symptoms of acid reflux include bloating, pain when swallowing, difficulty swallowing, tooth decay, and a sore throat.

Being overweight or obese increases the risk of developing the condition, according to the NHS.

Those most at risk are pregnant women, smokers, and very stressed people.

Acid reflux can also develop when suffering from gastroparesis - where the stomach takes longer to get rid of gastric acid - and hiatus hernia, where part of the stomach pushes up through the diaphragm.

Heartburn and acid reflux can usually be treated by making lifestyle changes.

Eating smaller, more frequent meals could reduce symptoms. Avoid wearing tight-fitting clothes, and prop the head of your bed up with a wooden block to get a more restful night’s sleep.

Over-the-counter medicines are available from pharmacies, too.

Almost 11 million people in the UK suffer form frequent heartburn.