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Causes of heartburn

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Causes of heartburn

Posted by R. [27.1490] on April 24, 2005 at 12:45:45:

Is anyone here aware of reliable evidence that high acidity is the cause of heartburn? How about evidence to the contrary? My brother-in-law started suffering it about 2 or 3 months ago, and I'd like to help. All he does is take antacids. I remember hearing that it's actually low acidity that causes heartburn, not high. And I wonder if anyone of you has come across what seemed a reliable evidence. He is NOT going to practice SR.



Re: Causes of heartburn

Posted by R. [27.1490] on April 24, 2005 at 12:48:32:

In Reply to: Causes of heartburn posted by R. [27.1490] on April 24, 2005 at 12:45:45:

He told me that it started when he ate a lot of chocolate chips (when they were on sale in Wal-Mart :) ). And now he can't even eat his regular vegetarian stuff (cereal, nuts, etc.). Kefir or buttermilk, though, feels good to him. Perhaps, it's Ca in it that calm his heartburn.



Re: Causes of heartburn

Posted by
DianeAC [210.1580] on April 24, 2005 at 23:29:47:

In Reply to: Causes of heartburn posted by R. [27.1490] on April 24, 2005 at 12:45:45:

R. - I am in the middle of two books that would answer your questions: "Why Stomach Acid is Good For You" by Jonathan V. Wright, MD, and "No More Heartburn" by Sherry A. Rogers, MD.

I have heard vague suggestions of the same thing through the years - that stomach acid typically lessens as we age and that treating it with antacids and proton pump inhibitors is the worst thing you can do.

My husband has had GI problems for years and his GI doctors have always recommended treatments for excess acid. When I started hearing about the opposite being true and asked them, they more or less said, "No way." So much for sound medical advice!

Our very good Pharmacist had the same thoughts and got the same reactions from doctors he questioned.

Apparently, years ago, there was a test called the Heidleburg Gastric Analysis test which measured actual stomach acid. A little capsule was lowered into the stomach and via radio telemetry, radioed out readings. The only reason I can figure for this test no longer being used is the overwhelming profit enjoyed by the manufacturers of various pharmaceuticals. The GI doctors I asked about this test claimed no knowledge and, worse yet, offered no interest.

As I understand it, with lowered stomach acid at work the body is less able to withstand hostile germs, less able to digest completely and assimilate nutrients, manufacture some of the B vitamins. To me all this sounds pretty serious but again, the doctors pooh-pooh my questions and claim that there is sufficient acid left regardless of medications.

As I said, I haven't completed either book yet but I THINK they're leading up to a common culprit - the lower esophageal sphincter being loose, or slow to react, thus allowing stomach contents to enter. The esophagus is not designed to withstand the same amount of acidity as the stomach and reacts in pain.

I think LGS will turn out to have a role in things as well.

Oh, one other possible cause of the lower esophageal sphincter may be the taking of Beta Blockers which cause a relaxing of various muscle tissue. Nice, huh?

My husband is probably somewhat like your brother-in-law insofar as not being a likely candidate for SR. It's been a major battle to wean him off of potato chips!

Both books I mentioned are paperbacks, around $15, and I imagine available at amazon.com for quite a bit less, used.

To me this is a situation of enormous significance - somewhat like the Vioxx, etc. I hope you'll also pursue this as I feel very alone in trying to at least achieve a useful discussion with anyone who SHOULD know.

I hope maybe that Dr. Stoll will poke his head in here!



Re: Causes of heartburn

Posted by R. [27.1490] on April 25, 2005 at 00:38:08:

In Reply to: Re: Causes of heartburn posted by DianeAC [210.1580] on April 24, 2005 at 23:29:47:

Thanks, Diane. I will try to find out if there's another test to determine level of acidity. It can also be determined by less technological methods (using a probe tube).

Talking to my brother-in-law about health related issues is sometimes like talking to a wall (but a talking one :) ). I told him that reducing stomach acidity (if it's not too high) may hinder his digestion, but he said: "But my digestion is fine: my stomach doesn't hurt, and I have regular BM!" I had to explain that not everything manifests in pain and constipation.

I need a reliable evidence to be able to convince other people. I am free to believe whatever I wish (and change my opinion 10 times a day), but persuading other people requires having some sort of proof.

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Re: Causes of heartburn

Posted by lissa [1263.1967] on April 25, 2005 at 06:55:28:

In Reply to: Re: Causes of heartburn posted by R. [27.1490] on April 24, 2005 at 12:48:32:

Could possibly be gallstones. I would suggest he go to the doctor and get some GI testing done.

As far as acid causing heartburn. Yes I think so, but on the other hand, eating too many antacids isn't good because some acid is supposed to be there. Chocolate definitely could cause heartburn but it shouldn't persist.



Re: Causes of heartburn

Posted by Walt Stoll [93.1889] on April 25, 2005 at 08:12:58:

In Reply to: Causes of heartburn posted by R. [27.1490] on April 24, 2005 at 12:45:45:

Hi, R.

SOME heartburn is due to low acid. He would have to try taking some HCL to find out which helps more. The HCL would have to be taken for a day or so to see results but the long term results would be a lot better than the immediate results of antiacids--which is why this simplistic approach is so popular.

The personality of those who "will not do SR" matches EXACTLY the kind of personality that has chronic heartburn. This is called "survival of the fittest". Your stubborn brother-in-law is creating his own reality.

Walt



Re: Causes of heartburn

Posted by Jayne [819.4] on April 25, 2005 at 09:34:08:

In Reply to: Re: Causes of heartburn posted by DianeAC [210.1580] on April 24, 2005 at 23:29:47:

Thanks for sharing that book info., DianeAC -

I have a "better half" like yours!

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Re: Causes of heartburn

Posted by R. [27.1490] on April 25, 2005 at 18:35:13:

In Reply to: Re: Causes of heartburn posted by lissa [1263.1967] on April 25, 2005 at 06:55:28:

Could possibly be gallstones.

Can they cause heartburn? How?

Chocolate definitely could cause heartburn but it shouldn't persist.

Is chocolate known to be able to do that? Do you know what the mechanism is?



Re: Causes of heartburn

Posted by R. [27.1490] on April 25, 2005 at 18:39:10:

In Reply to: Re: Causes of heartburn posted by Walt Stoll [93.1889] on April 25, 2005 at 08:12:58:

Thank you. I will try to get him to try HCL.

Would you please explain the mechanism how chronic stress could cause heartburn? I'll try to explain this to him too. I am sure he'll remind me that it started when he ate a lot of chocolate. Do you think that is most likely a coincidence?

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Re: Causes of heartburn

Posted by lissa [1263.1967] on April 26, 2005 at 21:01:12:

In Reply to: Re: Causes of heartburn posted by R. [27.1490] on April 25, 2005 at 18:35:13:

I certainly had heartburn when I had gallstones. and don't have it after surgery so I'd say the cause of the heartburn was the stones.

What do you think?

same with chocolate. it always gives me heartburn.




You want to know how..oh sorry

Posted by lissa [1263.1967] on April 26, 2005 at 21:08:55:

In Reply to: Re: Causes of heartburn posted by lissa [1263.1967] on April 26, 2005 at 21:01:12:

the stones prevent the digestive juices from entering the stomach and you get acid indigestion (heartburn)

I don't know how chocolate causes heartburn. but it gives me heartburn.



Stress does not cause heartburn but

Posted by lissa [1263.1967] on April 26, 2005 at 22:15:48:

In Reply to: Causes of heartburn posted by R. [27.1490] on April 24, 2005 at 12:45:45:

it is believed that it makes it worse.

don't ask me why I don't know.



Re: You want to know how..oh sorry

Posted by R. [27.1490] on April 27, 2005 at 04:30:54:

In Reply to: You want to know how..oh sorry posted by lissa [1263.1967] on April 26, 2005 at 21:08:55:

According to my knowledge of anatomy and physiology, gall stones can only prevent bile (it helps digestion of fats) from entering the stomach. Actually, if I remember correctly, bile enters intestines, not the stomach. So, I have no idea how gall stones could cause heartburn.



Re: Stress does not cause heartburn; Dr. Stoll, please visit this thread again!

Posted by R. [27.1490] on April 27, 2005 at 04:32:50:

In Reply to: Stress does not cause heartburn but posted by lissa [1263.1967] on April 26, 2005 at 22:15:48:

I hope Dr. Stoll will stop by this thread again to explain more.



Re: You want to know how..oh sorry

Posted by lissa [1263.1967] on April 27, 2005 at 07:00:27:

In Reply to: Re: You want to know how..oh sorry posted by R. [27.1490] on April 27, 2005 at 04:30:54:

Bile aids digestion. and indigestion causes heartburn.



some more info

Posted by lissa [1263.1967] on April 27, 2005 at 07:30:00:

In Reply to: Causes of heartburn posted by R. [27.1490] on April 24, 2005 at 12:45:45:

some of the causes of heartburn:

indigestion
GERD
hiatal hernia
reflux (acid regurgitation)
scleroderma
short bowel syndrome
stomach cancer

My suggestion to get GI testing done still stands or you could try Dr. Stoll's suggestion first.



chronic heartburn is not a good sign

Posted by lissa [1263.1967] on April 27, 2005 at 07:34:01:

In Reply to: some more info posted by lissa [1263.1967] on April 27, 2005 at 07:30:00:

Like I said before. heartburn should not persist.

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Re: You want to know how..oh sorry

Posted by R. [27.1490] on April 27, 2005 at 12:45:57:

In Reply to: Re: You want to know how..oh sorry posted by lissa [1263.1967] on April 27, 2005 at 07:00:27:

Yes, details are important. Bile aids digestion of fats, and it happens in intestines. Biles enters there directly. So, it is unclear how lack of bile can cause heartburn. Moreover, my brother-in-law eats little very fat; yet, his suffers from heartburn.



Re: Correction

Posted by R. [27.1490] on April 27, 2005 at 12:46:44:

In Reply to: Re: You want to know how..oh sorry posted by R. [27.1490] on April 27, 2005 at 12:45:57:

I meant to say: "Yes, BUT details are important." This makes a difference.

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Re: You want to know how..oh sorry

Posted by lissa [1263.1967] on April 27, 2005 at 12:56:44:

In Reply to: Re: You want to know how..oh sorry posted by R. [27.1490] on April 27, 2005 at 12:45:57:

All I know is I had heartburn with gall-stones. No heartburn after.



and the doctor said it was because of the indigestion

Posted by lissa [1263.1967] on April 27, 2005 at 12:59:17:

In Reply to: Re: You want to know how..oh sorry posted by lissa [1263.1967] on April 27, 2005 at 12:56:44:

lissa



so...

Posted by lissa [1263.1967] on April 27, 2005 at 13:05:32:

In Reply to: and the doctor said it was because of the indigestion posted by lissa [1263.1967] on April 27, 2005 at 12:59:17:

Go back to what I originally said.

It could be gallstones. whether this is an indirect or a direct cause, in my opinion is not an important detail.

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Stress does not cause heartburn; Dr. Stoll, please revisit this thread. Archive.

Posted by Walt Stoll [93.1889] on April 28, 2005 at 08:13:36:

In Reply to: Re: Stress does not cause heartburn; Dr. Stoll, please visit this thread again! posted by R. [27.1490] on April 27, 2005 at 04:32:50:

Thanks, R.

I have not participated further since even allopathic medicine established this connection nearly 100 years ago. Remember the study (more than 100 years ago) where trauma had exposed the lining of the stomach to the outside of this unfortunate and docs could watch the changes in the mucosa with various stimuli? The most dramatic changes were from STRESS! It was just that the mechanisms were not known. Now we know that this is at least partly due to the bracing that produces LGS. Chronic stress effect storage can cause this ALL BY ITSELF but more commonly participates with the many other contributing causes already accepted by the AMA (smoking, drinking, H Pylori, REALLY spicy foods, etc.). ADDITIONAL mechanisms are revealed in Gershon's "The Second Brain".

Hope this helps.

Walt



learn something new every day

Posted by lissa [1263.1967] on April 28, 2005 at 10:03:49:

In Reply to: Stress does not cause heartburn; Dr. Stoll, please revisit this thread. Archive. posted by Walt Stoll [93.1889] on April 28, 2005 at 08:13:36:

I didn't know that stress alone can cause this.

Considering that most of us do not live in a healthy environment--e.g. pollution and do other things that can cause damage to the stomach/esophagus I would think that that would be a difficult study to do. The environment would have to be very controlled.


Thanks for clarifying.




No I don't remember that study...I think I was milking the cows....nm

Posted by lissa [1263.1967] on April 28, 2005 at 10:35:29:

In Reply to: learn something new every day posted by lissa [1263.1967] on April 28, 2005 at 10:03:49:

l

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Re: learn something new every day

Posted by Walt Stoll [93.1889] on April 29, 2005 at 08:23:49:

In Reply to: learn something new every day posted by lissa [1263.1967] on April 28, 2005 at 10:03:49:

Thanks, Lissa.

The only thing that is saving most of us so far is that there is a bell curve of genetic susceptibility to this.

Walt



survival of the fittest as you say nmi.

Posted by lissa [1263.1967] on April 29, 2005 at 11:56:37:

In Reply to: Re: learn something new every day posted by Walt Stoll [93.1889] on April 29, 2005 at 08:23:49:

nm

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Re: Causes of heartburn

Posted by Jan S. [3524.1382] on April 30, 2005 at 17:43:22:

In Reply to: Causes of heartburn posted by R. [27.1490] on April 24, 2005 at 12:45:45:

Dr. Jonathan Wright has a book out, "Why Stomach Acid is Good for You". I haven't read this one, but it is sure to have relevant research and discussion in it, as his books always do. Here is a review...

--

Why Stomach Acid is Good For You: Natural Relief from Heartburn, Indigestion, Reflux, GERD - book review in Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients, June, 2002 by Beatrice Trum Hunter

by Jonathan V Wright, MD and Lane Lenard, PhD, M. Evans & Company, 216 E. 49th Street, New York, New York 10017 USA. Quality paperback, 208 pages, $15.95

Judging from the prevalence of ads in the media for over-the-counter relief for heartburn, indigestion, and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), many Americans suffer from these ailments. Gallup pollsters report that 44% of our population suffer from these conditions at least once a month.

In Why Stomach Acid is Good For You, the authors state that commonly used palliative over-the-counter medications for these problems may bring temporary relief, but do not improve or reverse the conditions. Research shows that when acid indigestion erupts, it may reflect too little rather than too much stomach acidity. The authors of Why Stomach Acid is Good For You suggest natural treatments and nutritional supplements that help create the acid needed to help reduce and clear up the digestive problems.

The book dispels some common myths. For example, contrary to popular belief, stomach acid secretion tends to decline with age, although heartburn and GERD tend to increase with age. Hence, the stomach acid cannot be held responsible for these digestive problems. (more...)



Re: Causes of heartburn

Posted by gabriella [180.890] on April 30, 2005 at 18:13:15:

In Reply to: Re: Causes of heartburn posted by Jan S. [3524.1382] on April 30, 2005 at 17:43:22:

Thanks Jan S., this is really interesting, I saved the link!

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Re: Causes of heartburn

Posted by lissa [1263.1967] on April 30, 2005 at 19:01:17:

In Reply to: Re: Causes of heartburn posted by Jan S. [3524.1382] on April 30, 2005 at 17:43:22:

A helpful link. Stomach acid is good for you. Hearburn however is not.

thanks Jan

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