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What is heartburn?

Heartburn: This is characterized by a burning sensation in the chest, most commonly after eating, but it can be a scheming little nuisance that sneaks up at anytime. The pain can worsen when lying down or bending over. Some individuals can even feel that they may be having an issue with their heart. Scary feeling right?! And how could they possibly feel the same? Well, the stomach acid that raises up the esophagus during heartburn, can then radiate pain into the neck, jaw, or throat. In fact, an article on health.com states that according to the Mayo Clinic, there are about 300,000 cases of non-cardiac chest pain diagnosed annually.

However, if you suspect that something may be wrong with your heart please seek medical care right away, but if everything else checks out ok then you may be suffering from heartburn.

 Common heartburn symptoms

The first, and most evident, heartburn symptom is that burning in your chest. Some other signs that you may be dealing with heartburn or acid reflux are: a burning in the back of your throat, fluids in the back of your throat taste hot, sour, acidic, or salty, and/or you’re suffering from a chronic cough, sore throat, or hoarseness.

Heartburn causes

Heartburn can be caused by many different things. Most commonly I see that the stomach is not working well and is damaged, or I see hiatal hernias. Let’s start with the latter of the two. A hiatal hernia is when the cardiac sphincter does not align with the diaphragm. Imagine you have your back against a wall and you are pushing forward on an object, you can apply a good amount of force because the wall prevents you from moving backwards. Now let’s imagine you are pressing on the same object but the wall is not there, you will not be able to apply the same amount of force. This is what happens when the sphincter does not line up with the diaphragm, and this can lead to stomach acid finding its way out of the stomach to the esophagus causing the heartburn symptoms.

The most common reason for heartburn that I see and treat, is the stomach is not working well and may be damaged. For some reason as a medical community we are ok with other organs not working at 100%: gallbladder, liver, thyroid, etc., but the stomach and digestive tract will always work. That is not the case, and if these problems go untreated a person’s overall health will suffer greatly. Most patients that come into my office with this issue take antacids which only cover up the symptoms. Think about it. What happens when you stop taking the antacids? Exactly, if you stop taking them at any time the problem comes right back. So, not much of a heartburn remedy. The same is true with heartburn medications.

 Heartburn Treatment

One of the best ways to recover from this issue is specific enzyme therapy. This works very well because the enzymes will allow the stomach to work less and repair. Supplements cannot deliver the same results because only enzymes can do their own work. What I mean by that is if you are having trouble digesting, and you add supplements, you have just given your body more work to do. Adding enzymes, however, can help with the digestion of your food and allow you to absorb and use more nutrients; which in turn allows the organs to heal faster.

So if you suspect that you may be suffering from this issue and would like to have a practitioner look for the cause and stop treating just the symptoms please contact us at our St. Louis office.