Many people frequently reach out to me and ask what can be done to relieve their heartburn. Gastroesophageal reflux disease is a condition in which mucosal damage is done to the esophagus from chronic stomach acid, pepsin, bile, or endotoxins trapped between the stomach and the upper esophageal sphincter. Persistent “trapping” of reflux gives you the characteristic feeling of heartburn. Someone with GERD usually suffers from many symptoms, including a sore throat, chest pain, throat pain, dysphagia (trouble swallowing), bad taste in the mouth, halitosis, and breathing difficulties (asthma). If you are suffering from heartburn, you might hopefully do a few things to find relief.

Change Your Eating Habits

Hopefully, a person could make many different changes to their eating habits to find relief from their heartburn. Not overeating, not snacking, and eating more frequent smaller meals if necessary, can help your digestion by reducing gas production from fermentation in the stomach and duodenum if you suffer from dysbiosis. Reduce or eliminate your added sugar consumption. Many bacteria and yeast that cause stomach dysbiosis are easily able to ferment sugar which will produce gas. Reduced fermentation will cause less abdominal pressure and put less stress on your lower esophageal sphincter leading to less reflux.

I would recommend eating no more than four meals daily, not interrupting migrating motor complex (MMC) function. MMC controls your motility from frequent eating. I also would recommend not drinking more than six to eight ounces of liquid with a meal because it can raise your stomach’s pH and hinder digestion. Eating only during the daytime and eating breakfast exposed to sunshine is also essential for digestion concerning maintaining proper circadian rhythm. Finally, avoid foods that are known to cause reflux.1

I would also recommend not laying down for a few hours after eating or going to bed at least four hours after your last meal. When you lay down but are not propped up, gravity pushes on the side of your stomach and not the top of your stomach. Gravity pushing on the side of your stomach will press the stomach chyme towards the pyloric sphincter and the lower esophageal sphincter. This pressure allows chyme to enter the throat if your lower esophageal sphincter is weakened and causes reflux symptoms. Many people with heartburn sleep better when lying down either on their left or right side. Sleeping on your stomach increases abdominal pressure, which can worsen reflux during sleep. Finally, walking for ten to twenty minutes an hour after a meal can help to improve digestion and relieve reflux.

Decrease the pH of Your Stomach During Digestion

One of the many causes of reflux disorders appears to occur from having an elevated stomach pH. I know that is counter to everything you have heard from mainstream medicine. Most people are told that they have too much stomach acid, which causes heartburn. You see advertisements all the time on television for acid-reducing medications, including antacids and proton pump inhibitors (PPIs). You have probably seen the television commercials with Larry The Cable Guy telling you that if you take a PPI, you can eat a million hot dogs, guzzle gallons of soda, ride four-wheelers, and not suffer from any reflux. Elevated stomach pH can occur from taking certain medications, chronic alcohol consumption, hypothyroidism, age, gastric cancer, gastric inflammation, pernicious anemia (vitamin B12 deficiency), and having upper gut dysbiosis. I have discussed in my betaine HCL blog in depth why having elevated stomach pH causes heartburn.2 3 4

If you can tolerate lower pH foods, including vinegar and citrus fruits, ingesting them with a meal might help relieve your heartburn. Mix some organic apple cider vinegar with your vegetables, or mix a little organic lemon juice with your beverages when eating a meal. If ingesting lower pH foods worsen your heartburn because the acid encounters your esophageal tissue, try supplementing betaine HCL, which is inside a capsule, to see if it relieves your heartburn.

Other Supplements That Might Help Relieve Your Heartburn:

Hopefully, some of my above advice will help you if you are suffering from heartburn. If you are still having issues reach out to me for coaching, I will do my best to relieve your reflux.

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