Heartburn and Antacids
Body,  Nutrition

The Truth About Heartburn & Antacids

Heartburn after a meal is no fun. But did you know that it’s a completely avoidable experience with a conventional treatment that actually makes it worse?

Usually when we get heartburn, the known strategy is to reach for a bottle of antacids and keep chewing those chalky tablets until it’s gone. For chronic heartburn, you might even be prescribed an acid blocker for long-term use.

Say No To Antacids

But these antacids and acid blockers are actually doing the opposite of what they’re supposed to do.

Heartburn comes from low stomach acid, not having too much stomach acid. So taking an antacid or acid blocker will actually promote heartburn and cause long term damage because it further reduces already low stomach acid.

To treat heartburn, we have to get to the root cause. There’s a reason you get it because it’s not a normal, healthy human response to eating food.

Instead, we actually want to introduce more acid into the stomach to help it digest the food. A tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in water is a super easy way to help balance the stomach pH and eliminate heartburn without taking any harmful pills.

Heartburn Root Cause

Inflammatory foods and stress are both major causes of heartburn.

Long term changes necessary to eliminate heartburn include an improved diet that removes inflammatory foods.

Remove processed foods from your diet and limit alcohol and caffeine consumption. Carbonated drinks can also be an irritant. Don’t eat foods high in sugar (real or fake), fried foods, or vegetable oils.

Spicy foods can be a trigger for some people. Other times foods like citrus, tomatoes, garlic, and onion can cause heartburn. While some of these foods are healthy, if your digestive system is already irritated from frequent heartburn, you might have to stay away temporarily until you can heal.

Intentionally reducing stress and keeping the body in a parasympathetic state is also important not just as a critical link to overall health but also keeping heartburn at bay. The nervous system and brain are connected to the digestive system so your thoughts and feelings can directly impact your gut and cause heartburn to flare up.

Try activities like restorative yoga or meditation at the beginning and end of the day to mitigate stress and keep your digestive system happy.

Heartburn doesn’t have to be a way of life. There’s nothing normal about it to a healthy body. If you experience heartburn, consider it a red flag and look at what you’ve been eating and how you’re feeling to see what the root cause might be.