heartburn and ibs

(img thanks to commons.wikimedia.org)
(img thanks to commons.wikimedia.org)

Acid Reflux and Heartburn: The Underlying Causes

Heartburn or acid reflux or GERD — whatever the name, if you are like millions of others, you are experiencing this gastrointestinal malady.

You may take your acid reflux problem for granted and buy your antacids at Costco, but you should be aware of the negative effects this has on your entire body. You also should know that heartburn is a sign of other problems, and can almost always be treated without acid blockers.

The Myth About Heartburn

It’s commonly believed that heartburn is the result of overeating. And although 116 million Americans may overeat, the size of the meal has no scientific correlation with the frequency of heartburn.

“Then we must be producing too much stomach acid,” you say. Having too much acid production is very rare. In fact, the opposite is the case. In most people, stomach acid decreases with age.

What Causes Heartburn? 


In order to cure acid reflux disease, you must remove the cause of the problem and promote the healing process.

The following are the most common causes: 



Food allergies: In my practice I have found that a majority of cases of heartburn are caused by food allergies. Food allergies often cause a host of other problems and can be diagnosed with a simple blood test. 



Foods: certain foods cause the lower esophageal sphincter to relax, thus leading to heartburn. These include peppermint, coffee, alcohol and chocolate. 

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(img from creativecommons.org)
(img from creativecommons.org)

In order to cure acid reflux disease, you must remove the cause of the problem and promote the healing process.

The following are the most common causes: 



Food allergies: In my practice I have found that a majority of cases of heartburn are caused by food allergies. Food allergies often cause a host of other problems and can be diagnosed with a simple blood test. 



Foods: certain foods cause the lower esophageal sphincter to relax, thus leading to heartburn. These include peppermint, coffee, alcohol and chocolate. 



Hiatal hernia: This is a physical condition where part of the stomach protrudes through the diaphragm. It can generally be reduced without surgery, though even when present it is not necessarily the sole cause of heartburn 



Low Acid Production: Ironically, low stomach acid levels can result in heartburn. This is much more common than increased acid. This problem can be assessed clinically and is readily treatable. 



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