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Heartburn, also know as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), is a sensation of burning and/or pressure in the chest caused by stomach acid that regurgitates up into the esophagus. It may or may not also be associated with bloating, belching, a sour taste in the mouth, a dry cough, and pain surrounding food intake.
While heartburn is most commonly thought to be due to too much acidity, it more often is associated with a weakness in stomach acid levels (called hypochlorhydria), or poor closure/relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter. Heartburn may also be a results of certain medications, or food sensitivities. High levels of stress, improper eating habits, irregular routines, and a poor diet can all lead to an inactivation of our digestive organs, ultimately resulting in weakened acidity of the stomach and improper food breakdown. What's important to note is that if hypochlorhydria is present, you wont get anywhere in healing the gut until the deficiencies are addressed.
Furthermore, heartburn may be a result of anatomical anomalies, such as a hiatal hernia or a weakened lower esophageal sphincter tone. The goal of therapy is to identify and correct the imbalances, restore digestive function, and avoid use of heavy duty medications, such as proton pump inhibitors.
If you have any further questions, feel free to contact Dr. Courtney Holmberg here: