What is heartburn caused by and how to get rid of acid reflux?
What is heartburn caused by?
Before we answer these questions we need to answer this – what is heartburn and acid reflux? Is there a difference?
The short answer is yes – there is a difference.
Heartburn is “the burning feeling” that occurs after you eat certain foods. After you swallow your food it is supposed to go down from your mouth to your stomach. Normally, it does.
However, some people’s contents of food are forced back into the esophagus (the tube that carries food down from your mouth), and that feeling in your chest of acid traveling up towards your throat is called “acid reflux.”
If it keeps happening, it’s called gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) and is quite common among people with endometriosis and fibromyalgia.
Because both chronic illnesses affected my wife, she often struggles with heartburn and acid reflux, I decided to tackle this subject not only because it’s close to my heart, but because many chronically ill people suffer the same problems.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a chronic condition that affects your digestive system. While most people experience heartburn or indigestion from time to time if you feel that burning sensation in your chest more than twice a week, you might fall into the category of people suffering from GERD.
But what is heartburn caused by since anyone can develop GERD?
Heartburn is one of the most common symptoms of Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux Disease. It might sound scary, but in most cases, it is not.
However, persistent episodes can damage the lining of the esophagus. That is a big worry for my wife because a damaged esophagus can cause cancer, so have a chat with your GP or pharmacist if you are also concerned.
In a nutshell, heartburn is caused by:
- Chronic illnesses such as endometriosis or fibromyalgia.
- Stress and anxiety.
- Fatty or spicy food such as curry or chocolate.
- Drinks such as coffee or alcohol.
- Being overweight.
- Smokers or are regularly exposed to second-hand smoke.
- Taking antihistamines, painkillers, or antidepressants.
What is heartburn caused by on a more detailed level? Let’s see…
Certain foods can increase the likelihood of heartburn for many reasons. You should avoid fried or greasy foods, high-fat ready meats, and whole-milk dairy products because all of them can cause the valve to relax.
Caffeinated drinks such as our beloved coffee, alcohol, and spicy foods can stimulate excess acid production and increase the likelihood of you having heartburn.
Some people find they experience heartburn when they are stressed. My wife is a very anxious person. Endometriosis brought a lot of worry to her life, but being additionally diagnosed with fibromyalgia made her additionally depressed.
M’s Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder hits the roof each time she has problems with acid reflux. It causes her more stress, and stress, in turn, causes her heartburn itself.
It’s a vicious cycle many people struggle with!
Being overweight means that you can be more likely to suffer from heartburn because of increased pressure on your stomach. That pressure forces to open the valve after a meal. Additionally, tight clothing can do this.
Acid reflux (indigestion) and heartburn are actually the most common symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease themselves. They often cause the most common symptoms such as:
- Burping frequently.
- Feeling bloated.
- Having acid in your esophagus can make it spasm.
- Having pain and a feeling of tightness in your chest.
- A burning sensation in your chest or throat after eating.
- A hot sour or salty-tasting fluid in the back of your throat and difficulty swallowing.
- The pressure behind the breastbone.
- Feeling sick.
But there may occur also less-common symptoms, such as:
- Nausea or/and vomiting.
- Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia).
- Tooth erosion and bad breath.
- Respiratory problems.
- Abdominal pain.
Unfortunately, the impact of chronic illnesses like endometriosis and fibromyalgia can be the answer to what is heartburn caused by, because heartburn and acid reflux can be in that case more serious and long-lasting.
Knowing what is heartburn caused by we can move on to the treatment part because the symptoms were self-explanatory.
Most people can relieve heartburn and acid reflux with remedies such as over-the-counter medications or those prescribed by their doctor. However, this is where the problem begins.
People rush to the doctor who in most cases offers a quick solution, that brings relief to the patient. Most common PPIs include:
- Omeprazole (Zegerid)
- Lansoprazole (Prevacid)
- Pantoprazole (Protonix)
- Rabeprazole (Aciphex)
- Esomeprazole (Nexium)
- Dexlansoprazole (Dexilant)
What happens next is that their doctors don’t inform people about the dangers of this type of medication, and people get hooked on them.
You are supposed to take them for up to 8 weeks max, no longer!
But what happens is the opposite – people begin to take them for longer because it brings them relief, it feels good, their life seems to be okay again…
They stay on them a year, two, five! Is this the treatment?
The pharmaceutical corporations are very happy, but what about you? Are you happy?
The acid reflux problems should be healed short term because it takes up to 8 weeks to achieve the desired effect. But years…?
Gastroparesis is thought to be the result of a problem with the nerves and muscles that control how the stomach empties. If these nerves are damaged, the muscles of your stomach may not work properly and the movement of food can slow down.
This is what my wife suspects she has, and it may be a consequence of fibromyalgia.
Symptoms of gastroparesis include:
- feeling sick (nausea) and vomiting
- feeling full very quickly when eating
- tummy (abdominal) pain or discomfort
- loss of appetite
Complications of gastroparesis include:
- Dehydration from repeated vomiting.
- Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) – where stomach acid leaks out of your stomach and into your esophagus.
- Malnutrition – when your body is not getting enough nutrients.
My wife experiences all of the above and they may be the reason for what is heartburn caused by.
The question remains… How to get rid of acid reflux?
Even though they know what is heartburn caused by, classical medicine and the pharmaceutical corporations aren’t here to cure you of it. They are here to treat your long-term.
Their business model is easy – the longer you stay on their product more money falls in their pockets.
In order to answer the question of how to get rid of acid reflux, you need to understand the physiology behind your daily eating routine… let’s take a look…
After you swallow, food travels from your mouth, through your throat, down to your stomach. The lower sphincter of your stomach is closed during high hydrogen ion concentration, which means a high acidity in your stomach, where PH stays between 1 and 3.
This PH is so strong, that if you were to put your finger inside your stomach, it would leave you with a bare bone. And rightly so, the function of your stomach acid is to digest food such as meat.
However, because the food is never digested fully, it moves along through the lower sphincter of the stomach further into your duodenum. This is a place where more digestion magic happens.
The “juices” flow from your liver and pancreatic further into the duodenum in order to finish the job of digestion. The trouble is, they can’t and so for some people, their digestion is never fully accomplished.
That’s what is heartburn caused by and to know how to get rid of acid reflux, we need to dig deeper…
So, what happens if your digestion is never fully accomplished?
Your system recognizes it, then raises the alarm as if was poisoned. How does it look?
Your duodenum feels threatened, it has “a vomiting reflex” and acts in a reverse motion, pushing food back to your stomach.
If looked at the ultrasound it would show the so-called “bile lake” which means that the food went back from the duodenum back into your stomach.
The situation causes the duodenum’s alkaline PH (low acid), to be mixed with the acid from your stomach.
That lowers the strength of your stomach acid, which is commonly called “low acid”. The acid is still there but mixed with your duodenum’s alkaline PH loses its strength and digestion is slowed down.
When the stomach doesn’t have strong acid (remember the phrase “low acid”), the lower sphincter of your esophagus relaxes, which is the cause of your so-called “acid reflux” and “heartburn”.
Now, going back to the doctors. In the situation where a patient comes to their practice with the question of how to get rid of acid reflux, doctors offer them a quick solution in the form of PPIs (Omeprazole) or H2-blockers (Ranitidine).
Such quick-fix suits them and their pockets.
What doctors don’t tell you is the fact, that you should never take these meds long-term.
Such intake of this kind of medication will cause you in the long term plenty of dangerous side effects which again is the reason for what is heartburn caused by…
Let’s begin with side effects that don’t seem to cause much trouble and people can usually cope with:
- Abdominal pain
But there are more dangerous side effects such as:
- Serious allergic reactions
- Stevens-Johnson syndrome
- Toxic epidermal necrolysis
- Reduced kidney function
- Reduced liver function
- Erythema multiforme
Not to mention they interact with other drugs causing more problems.
Allow me to describe it closer because the absorption into the body of some drugs is affected by the very presence of acid in the stomach.
This can vary, as we explained before because PPIs reduce acid in the stomach, they may affect the absorption of these drugs too.
Looking at it scientifically, PPIs can reduce the absorption and concentration in the blood of ketoconazole (Nizoral) and increase the absorption and concentration of digoxin (Lanoxin).
This may lead to reduced effectiveness of ketoconazole and an increase in digoxin toxicity.
So, Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs) can reduce the breakdown of some drugs in your system by the liver and lead to an increase in their concentration in the blood.
Omeprazole (most common) is more likely than the other PPIs to reduce the breakdown of drugs by the liver. For example, it may increase the concentration in your blood of Diazepam (Valium) or Warfarin.
Omeprazole can cause more damage than good in the long run, so why do doctors still offer these pills without much concern?
This combination should be avoided!
We’re getting closer now to the answer to how to get rid of acid reflux, although it might sound tricky and contradictive…
Forget the pills, there is another way!
You can get off these pills, you should get off them before the more serious side effects will affect your body. The mechanism of long-term PPI use leads to decreased absorption of calcium and that results in negative calcium balance.
This will cause increased osteoporosis, development increased bone loss and so you will begin to fracture your bones.
Many people aren’t aware of the dangerous side effects. They don’t read the label, but most importantly aren’t informed by their doctors.
Why is that?
They were thought to give them like candies due to a few factors:
- It’s a quick fix, although temporary.
- People find relief, even though they must rise the dose after a while.
- Pharmaceutical companies make a lot of money on PPIs.
So, how can you solve this problem if the logic tells you to stay on the medication?
Contrary to people’s belief, it can be done in a simpler and more effective way, because it’s harmless to your body, without side effects.
In order to restore your natural acidity, the solution to this problem can be found in this very sentence – it needs to be done naturally.
Firstly, to know how to get rid of acid reflux, you need to know the facts.
The gastrointestinal tract contains an immensely complex ecology of microorganisms. Your digestive system is sterile at birth, but after time changes happen.
The colonization of microorganisms (bacteria) typically begins within a few hours of birth, starting in the small intestine and progressing caudally over a period of several days.
So, contrary to people’s belief – your stomach is not sterile!
Secondly, you need to restore the bacterial cultures of your digestive system. Let me explain to you why…
Believe it or not, your gut contains roughly 175g and 1,5kg of guests called bacteria. They contribute to a variety of physiological and pathophysiological processes in your body.
Their imbalance may cause:
- Various immune disorders.
Irritable bowel syndrome (commonly known as IBS).
- Are responsible for the regulation of your blood pressure.
- May cause chronic kidney disease.
As you see, bacteria residing in the human gut are an important component of your physiology. Take it away and frankly, you will die!
We need them, we need their balance!
The earliest fossils of anatomically modern humans were discovered in the middle of the Palaeolithic era, about 200,000 years ago in Ethiopia.
The human race managed to survive 200,000 years without washing its hands, to begin with, so if someone tells you that you need to have clean hands because your stomach is clean, it’s the biggest misconception of modern humans.
In the beginning, we were one of the elements of the ecosystem and since then, bacteria accompany us all the way through 200,000 years.
We digest roughly 20% of food; the rest 80% is digested by bacteria. If we got rid of our bacteria, we wouldn’t have survived to this day.
The problem is, however, that our modern food makes changes in the kind of bacteria inside of our gut. It causes bloating, burping, pardon my language – farting.
If you get rid of gluten from your diet, it will help you with the above symptoms because gluten is undigestable!
You can achieve this by buying gluten-free products or beginning to bake them yourself with gluten-free flour.
Now, the nitty-gritty of how to get rid of acid reflux…
A very important thing in order to help to cure yourself of acid reflux is to eat every day a tiny bit of something acidic, such as a pickled cucumber or sauerkraut.
Additionally, in order to help your recovery, you need to consume vitamin B17, which you will never find in a form of a pill due to the fact that it works miracles against tumors.
You can’t access vitamin B17 because of F.D.A. which got rid of it for their pharmaceutical business. Otherwise, they wouldn’t make any money from B17 if people knew about it.
However, you’ll find it in foods such as apricot seeds, cherries, plums, or similar.
Vitamin B17 beautifully kills the bad bacteria which causes issues with your digestion. It lowers your bloating, gas, works as a painkiller, kills tumors, even cancer cells, helps your blood morphology, and overall makes you feel better.
But let’s go back to the stomach and something that many doctors worry about – Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori), which is a type of bacteria. These germs can enter your body and live in your digestive tract.
It’s been said that after many years, they can cause sores (known as ulcers), in the lining of your stomach or the upper part of your small intestine and for some people, an infection can lead to stomach cancer.
Doctors, who find this bacteria automatically want to give you two lots of antibiotics along with PPIs (such as common Omeprazole).
That lowers your already low stomach acid, causing more acid reflux and heartburn.
60% of the population has Helicobacter inside them. It simply exists, causing no problems at all.
However, F.D.A., as always, found another opportunity to make more money from it and so they introduced a false idea, that these bacteria are harmful, which on its own is a false statement.
Conclusion of how to get rid of acid reflux.
Gastroparesis cannot usually be cured, but dietary changes and medical treatment can help you control the condition. You have to take a different approach.
Here are some quick natural tips to get rid of heartburn:
- wearing loose clothing
- standing up straight
elevating your upper body
- taking licorice supplements
- chewing gum to help dilute acid
- staying away from cigarette smoke
- mixing baking soda with water
- sipping apple cider vinegar
And here we have other ways to relieve acid reflux without medication:
- Eat sparingly and slowly. When the stomach is very full, there can be more reflux into the esophagus.
- Avoid certain foods.
- Don’t drink carbonated beverages.
- Stay up after eating.
- Don’t move too fast.
- Sleep on an incline.
- Lose weight if it’s advised. …
- If you smoke, quit.
I hope you found this helpful and some answers to what is heartburn caused by and how to get rid of acid reflux?
It is common among people with chronic illnesses such as endometriosis and fibromyalgia to have heartburn and acid reflux problems.
Less known is gastroparesis but at the same time, it isn’t curable. You can only try and ease your heartburn and acid reflux with the above tips.
Hi, I’m Lucjan! The reason why I decided to create this blog was my beautiful wife, who experienced a lot of pain in life, but also the lack of information about endometriosis and fibromyalgia for men…