The Real Reason You Suffer From Heartburn…
CATEGORIES: Healing & Herbs Nutrition
Find you get heartburn/reflux regularly? Maybe after every meal?
Taken antacid but it keeps coming back?
Not even sure why you get it?
Today I dive into what could be actually causing heartburn, reflux, GERD, so watch the video below or scroll down if you prefer to read.
*Note always see immediate medical profession with chest pain and consult your doctor to get diagnosis of reflux/heartburn
The Real Reason You Suffer From Heartburn…
If you ask anyone in the street and say “Why do you think people get heartburn?” they will probably say “ it’s because of too much stomach acid.”
We have this idea that if you get heartburn it is because there is too much acid in your stomach and it somehow bubbles up your esophagus and causes a lot of discomfort, burning and hotness. But this is commonly not the case.
Sure, the symptoms of heartburn itself is stomach acid getting into your esophagus and coming up creating that horrible burning feeling. But the reason for it is not because you have too much stomach acid but because you have too little stomach acid.
The majority of people who struggle with continuous reflux and heartburn are actually dealing with poor stomach acid; not too much. I know that might hurt your brain a bit because it raises the question of why antacids work…
What is really going on?
The studies (you can geek out some more here) behind this show us that our stomach acidity decreases the older that we get and we can also see the correlation of increase reflux alongside increased age. So if heartburn was caused by too much stomach acid, the older we get the less issues we should have with stomach acid – right?
But that is not the case when you chat with people nor is it what research shows us. With this in mind, it is really important that we look at this underlying issue.
Antacids do help the symptoms of stomach acid but they are never going to treat the underlying cause, the root issue of why you have stomach acid issues in the first place. So let us look at what could be causing this stomach acid coming up into your esophagus.
What can cause low stomach acid?
- With some people the valve that joins your esophagus and your stomach, the lower esophageal valve (or LES valve), is dysfunctional. So that means instead of being shut unless food is entering the body it can open and cause the little bit of stomach acid from the stomach to come up into your body.
- Increased intra-abdominal pressure can also cause stomach acid issues, meaning there is pressure in your body that is pushing the contents in your stomach up and causing that little bit of acid to actually come through the valve. This can be from overeating or it can be from being overweight.
- The most convincing evidence that I have seen is carbohydrate malabsorption and often alongside a bacterial overgrowth within the stomach itself causing this pressure. If you want more in-depth information Dr. Chris Kresser has done some great posts about the real reason on why you have heartburn and GERD.
The reason that you may have this ongoing reflux is very rarely because you have too much stomach acid (although it does happen – hence why you need to consult with a doctor) but you have too little. If you really want to see that change then you have to address that underlying root cause. Antacids will never address the root cause they just address immediate symptoms.
So what can you do about ongoing heartburn and reflux? I have many clients that really struggled with these issues even struggling to sleep at night and being in lots of pain after meals.
What can help?
1.One of the things that you can do is to optimize your digestion.
Often supplementing as well with some hydrochloric acid (HCL) which your stomach produces can help, I recommend that you do that under the advice of a doctor or nutritional therapist because it is not something to be ‘willy nilly’ about. It needs to be done with strategy and wisdom.
2.Next thing you can do to help is to remove any bacterial overgrowth in your stomach or overall gut. This can be done through specific cleanses, detoxes and diet. Taking 2-3 weeks to remove refined sugars (get your free eguide below) , grains, dairy, soya and any other food that you suspect you are intolerant to and eating lots of organic veggies, fish, meats and broth will really help ease get you started.
3. Another BIG thing you can do to help with heartburn and reflux is calm the heck down, de-stress, making it an intentional part of your day.
I hope this debunk some myths for you, and helps you understand your body a little bit more. So you can really eat well and heal your body. Just remember if you are struggling with heartburn and reflux, it is often not because you have too much stomach acid, most of the time it is because you have too little.