Millions of people have heartburn or acid reflux, which is why antacid drugs have been among the best sellers for more than a decade, grossing tens of billions of dollars each year for the pharmaceutical companies.
But what if heartburn had nothing to do with having too much acid in your stomach?
Instead, what if it was to do with a simple equation:
Too much "bad stuff" in your body, combined with not enough "good stuff"?
Well, it turns out this is exactly the case and once you know how and why heartburn and acid reflux develop, you can begin doing something about it.
Here are ten reasons you might get these symptoms, along with some tips on how to alleviate them:
1. H. pylori infection – this bad bug screws into your stomach lining, causing redness, swelling and pain that feels like your chest is on fire. I had H. pylori between 2004 and 2007, but I only found out about it when I ran a stool test in summer 2007. My heartburn went away quickly when I treated the H. pylori using herbs. Tip: Ask your doc for a breath or stool test for H. pylori and get rid of it if needed.
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 in wheat, rye and barley. According to some experts, 80% of the population may be genetically prone to gluten intolerance, which causes inflammation in the intestine that can feel like heartburn. Tip: eat a gluten-free diet.
4. Low stomach acid – as strange as it may seem, tests on some 2,000 patients by Dr. Jonathan Wright, MD. showed heartburn occurred more frequently 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 your good bacteria and stomach acid levels drop too low. It can overgrow in your mouth, throat, stomach and intestine and can cause heartburn. Tip: run a comprehensive stool test to check for Candida overgrowth.
6. Hiatal hernia – a hiatal hernia can cause heartburn and acid symptoms. Your doctor can check for this. Tip: a good chiropractor or physical therapist can perform a manipulation to resolve the hernia (I've seen this done on patients who report full resolution of their heartburn afterwards).
7. Alcohol consumption – alcohol can burn the lining of the stomach, causing pain and burning sensations. Tip: minimize alcohol consumption and only ever 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 bury into your gut lining like H. pylori bacteria, causing significant burning and discomfort. Tip – run a comprehensive stool test to check 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 made in goblet cells to protect your stomach lining degrades, opening up your stomach tissue to erosion by acid. Tip: drink 8-10 glasses of water per day and sip them gradually.
10. Eating spicy food – as simple as it may seem, reducing your consumption of spicy foods can really help to reduce heartburn, and that's my final tip for you.
Go away and try these tips, implementing the simple ones first – drink more water and avoid gluten and cow's milk.
If this doesn't work, move onto the other tips – get tested for H. pylori, parasites and Candida and find out what's in your gut that shouldn't be!
I hope this article has helped.