Millions of people have heartburn or acid reflux, which is why antacid medications have been top sellers for more than a decade, generating tens of billions of dollars each year for pharmaceutical companies.
But what if heartburn had nothing to do with having too much acid in your stomach?
Instead, what if it had to do with a simple equation?
Too much “bad stuff” in your body, combined with too little “good stuff”?
Well, it turns out that this is exactly the case and once you know how and why heartburn and acid reflux develop, you can start to do something about it.
Here are ten reasons why you might be having these symptoms, along with some tips on how to relieve them:
1. H. pylori infection: This bad bug screws into your stomach lining and causes redness, swelling, and pain that feels like your chest is on fire. I had H. pylori between 2004 and 2007, but only found out when I had a stool test in the summer of 2007. My heartburn went away quickly when I treated H. pylori with herbs. Tip: Ask your doctor to do a breath or stool test for H. pylori and get rid of it if necessary.
2. Cow’s milk has been shown to create stomach and intestinal inflammation in some people. Tip: switch to goat’s milk.
3. Gluten is a protein from wheat, rye, and barley. According to some experts, 80% of the population may be genetically prone to gluten intolerance, which causes inflammation in the gut that can feel like heartburn. Tip: Follow a gluten-free diet.
4. Low Stomach Acid: Oddly enough, tests done on some 2,000 patients by Dr. Jonathan Wright, MD. showed that heartburn occurred more often in people who had LOW levels of stomach acid, not high levels. Tip: Try hydrochloric acid supplements with meals under the supervision of a trained professional.
5. Candida Overgrowth – Candida is a type of yeast that overgrows when the good bacteria and stomach acid levels drop too low. It can overgrow in the mouth, throat, stomach, and intestines and can cause heartburn. Tip: Do a comprehensive stool test to check for Candida overgrowth.
6. Hiatal hernia: A hiatal hernia can cause heartburn and heartburn symptoms. Your doctor can verify this. Tip: A good chiropractor or physical therapist can perform manipulation to resolve the hernia (I have seen this in patients who report complete resolution of their heartburn afterwards).
7. Alcohol consumption: Alcohol can burn the lining of the stomach, causing pain and a burning sensation. Tip: Minimize alcohol consumption and only drink alcohol with food.
8. Parasite infestations: There are dozens of parasites and bacteria that can overgrow in the gut and cause heartburn. One parasite, a tiny worm called Strongyloides, can burrow into the lining of your intestine as H. pylori bacteria, causing significant burning and discomfort. Tip: Do a comprehensive stool test for parasites.
9. Dehydration: If you don’t drink enough water, your stomach lining ends up looking like a dry desert. The protective mucus that is produced by the goblet cells to protect the lining of the stomach degrades, opening the stomach tissue to erosion by acid. Tip: Drink 8-10 glasses of water a day, sipping little by little.
10. Eat Spicy Foods: As simple as it sounds, cutting back on spicy foods can actually help reduce heartburn, and that’s my last piece of advice for you.
Go ahead and try these tips, implementing the simplest ones first: drink more water and avoid gluten and cow’s milk.
If this doesn’t work, continue with the other tips: get tested for H. pylori, parasites, and Candida and find out what’s in your gut that you shouldn’t!
I hope this article has helped.