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Help Eliminating Heartburn And Acid Indigestion

Updated on May 15, 2016

Acid Reflex is miserable. Many people suffer with it, but it can be effectively reversed. Just taking a pill won't permanently eliminate acid reflex/heart burn. But it can be done.

My dad and uncle died of esophageal cancer. I talked with a lady last night whose father and uncle died of the same cancer. Esophageal cancer isn't supposed to be hereditary. After some investigation it appears heartburn is the common factor in esophageal cancer. Heartburn can be caused when food and drugs irritate the esophagus. This seems to be the generally common cause, but more controversial causes are low stomach acid and bad posture.

I also found many of the medical solutions, such acid reducing medication, may reduce symptoms temporarily, but in the long run may actually make them worse by decreasing how well the body digests food.

One of the greatest frustrations of treating heartburn is medical and alternative doctors don't agree on the causes of heartburn. Too much acid, too little acid. Traditional medical doctors usually are on the side of too much acid caused by foods and drugs. Alternative doctors agree high fat and acidity foods cause acid reflex, but that posture, breathing and low acid in the stomach also contribute to symptoms of acid reflex.

It is certain most people want to take the easiest cure regardless of how effective it is for the long run and that dictates much of what medical doctors prescribe.

Regardless of what course of action you choose there is hope for eliminating heartburn. I am living proof.


Acid reflux,indigestion and heartburn it can be argues are all different names for the same malady. The symptoms of which are:

  • Burning sensation in the back of the throat or just behind the breast bone.
  • Food tasteless or metallic
  • Feeling as though something stuck in your throat,
  • Difficulty swallowing,
  • A sore throat.
  • Needing to burp repeatedly

**** Heartburn may mimic a heart attack. Knowing the symptoms for a heart attack can be life saving. If you have burning in your throat or chest pain that worsens, sweating, pain that radiates to you shoulder or jaw, trouble breathing Call 911.****

Do not drive yourself to the hospital. Call 911. Take an aspirin, unlock your front door, sit by the door until help comes.

Causes Of Heartburn

There are several causes of heartburn all of them cause the esophagus to malfunction.

  • Poor posture
  • Loose esophageal sphincter
  • Overweight
  • Excess acid
  • Insufficient acid
  • Spicy foods
  • Chemotherapy
  • Allergies

Heartburn is acid sloshing up past the esophageal sphincter into the throat. The esophagus is the valve that allows food to go from your throat to your stomach. Sometimes even partially digested food will slosh from the stomach into malfunctioning esophagus. The cause of heartburn can be too little acid, causing the sphincter to not work correctly or too much acid in your stomach, thus irritating the esophageal sphincter. Too little acid, or too much, both will eventually lead to more serious problems.

Ways To Eliminate Heartburn Without Medication

  • Apple Cider Vinegar

If you are healthy and there are no other outside factors, heartburn might be caused by too little acid in your stomach. The acid in your stomach is supposed to slosh onto your esophageal sphincter causing it to close. When you have too little acid in your stomach food can slosh into the opening of the esophagus and get stuck resulting in the symptoms of heartburn.

If you are otherwise healthy, there is a test to see if you have too little acid in your stomach. Take a shot class of unfiltered apple cider vinegar with a meal. Not just a snack. After you have taken several bites of food swallow some of the vinegar. Then take a couple of more bites and swallow the rest of the vinegar. Finish your meal. Take some apple cider vinegar with each meal for two days. If it relieves the heartburn you know that you have too little acid in your stomach. The apple cider vinegar can be difficult to swallow. The good new is if this improves your heartburn you don't have to keep taking the vinegar. You can begin taking Betaine Hydrochloride.(HCL) . Begin with a low dose.(One 600mg tablet) with a meal. If you need more go to two tablets with a meal and so on. You will feel burning when you have reached saturation. One quarter teaspoon of baking soda mixed with 8 ounces of water will neutralize the excess acid. You will know also know that you don't need to take so much the next time. Gradually you will find that you need less and less until you no longer need any for heartburn

It is important not to take apple cider vinegar for any length of time because it can damage your teeth. Switching to Betaine is the wiser choice.

  • Betaine Hydrochloride.(HCL)
  • Deep breathing (See video above)
  • Papaya enzyme. Chewing a few papaya enzyme tablets after a meal can help.
  • Improve posture intentionally with exercise The way Prince Phillip walks with his hands locked behind his back opens the chest,and improves posture.
  • Drink Aloe Vera juice.
  • Elevate the head of your bed.
  • Drink lots of water all through the day, but drink nothing when you eat. Liquids dilute acid in your stomach slowing digestion.
  • Probiotics help assure the bacteria in your digestive track is healthy.

Reasons To Eliminate Heartburn

Human beings are marvelous and complex creatures with great ability to think. What we think, we can do. Motivation is the key to accomplishing great things. Many years ago I was in my best friend's wedding. A side view of the six bridesmaids show five well comported tall beautiful women. The sixth woman slouched. I still regret that posture. Good posture makes for good pictures and allows the digestive system to work at maximum capacity.

Esophageal cancer does not seem to have a genetic link. Acid reflux seems to be the unifying factor between my uncle and dads cancer. Both had bad posture and sat at desks all day. What is known now, but wasn't 30 years ago, is that acid sloshing out of the stomach causes damage to the esophagus. Barrett's Esophagus is the name for a damaged esophagus. Proton pump inhibitors help heal the esophagus, but do not address the cause of the disorder.

Heartburn, acid re-flux, indigestion, whatever name you wish to call it is serious. If you have the symptoms that accompany acid backing into your esophagus they need to be addressed. Get help! Exercising and improving your posture are excellent noninvasive ways to eliminate symptoms. Your doctor, acupuncturist, or chiropractor can help. Please do something. It will improve your quality of life greatly.


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    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 4 years ago from California

      LoL. We ride the Hotter n Hell bike ride every other year. Last year we didn't make it. I could not face my grandson's other grandparents without the kid. He was too little to travel alone and his mommy was too pregnant to join us. Next year.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      I'm in the DFW area.

      Been to Wichita Falls. Often hotter up there in the summer than it is down here.

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 4 years ago from California

      Au fait,

      Nice to see you tonight.

      What part of North Texas? We have family in Wichita Falls.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      Very interesting information. I agree with Wilderness, it doesn't seem like taking more acid would be helpful for heartburn or acid reflux, but I guess it doesn't hurt to try. What a Godsend if it works! Will have to bookmark this article for the next time this happens to me, notice I didn't say if it happens . . . ;)

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 5 years ago from California

      Peg, I am becoming the posture police it is so important.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 5 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Interesting information here. My Mom has been complaining about acid indigestion quite a bit lately and I can see the correlation between that and her posture which has gotten much worse due to osteoporosis and compression fractures. Thanks for this helpful advice.

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 5 years ago from California

      Elisha, thanks for stopping by. Hope the papaya helps and posture is a continuous struggle, but well worth the battle.

    • Elisha Jachetti profile image

      Elisha Jachetti 5 years ago

      This is a great article! I suffer from acid reflux caused by a stomach ulcer-- the vinegar won't work for me, but I will definitely try the posture videos, as well as the papaya enzyme. That's for the tips!

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 5 years ago from California

      wilderness, It certainly worked for me. Stop by anytime.

    • wilderness profile image

      Dan Harmon 5 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      I would not have though of taking acid to relieve heartburn. My wife suffers from that all the time - we'll give it a try. Thanks!

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 5 years ago from California

      ptosis, I have been looking into neutralizing the body's PH as a ways of fighting cancer and haven't been successful in finding a way to do so successfully. I had terrible heartburn yesterday. I believe much of my heartburn comes from food allergies. With the holidays my poor body was so loaded with allergens. I dithered between baking soda and apple cider vinegar. I am so glad I picked the vinegar. Headed to the health food store for Betaine (Hydrochloric Acid)

      Thanks so much for visiting.

    • ptosis profile image

      ptosis 5 years ago from Arizona

      I thought it was from too much acid and would taking Baking soda - but I guess that would make it worse?

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 5 years ago from California

      Craig, I would be interested in your additional information.

      You are indeed correct that prevention is best.

      I realize I didn't address acid reducing medicine. They are amazing, but I was aiming toward the more natural remedies.

      Thanks for visiting.

    • Craig Hartranft profile image

      Craig Hartranft 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      Interesting hub, but only a sliver of the information available to those suffering from GERD or acid reflux disease. I know. I struggled with it for better than eight years before finding a cure. Prevention as with any disease, of course, is the best way to go. Yet if you have it, the solutions here are merely adequate. Nevertheless, a good hub.

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 5 years ago from California

      B 85745 pineapple is so good, but I can't take very much of it.

      theframjak- that is a really good doc.

      Georgie- Great ideas. I don't eat yogurt because I am allergic to cows milk. I have found Greek Yogurt recently and it is yummy. Thanks for stopping.

      Alycia- Greetings, Eating well is indeed a piece of the puzzle. But occasionally I am stymied. I had a vegetarian omelet when I was out to breakfast this morning. I felt terrible afterward. I think they must have cooked the veggies in butter. Allergic to dairy and forgot to ask.

    • benisan85745 profile image

      Ka'imi'loa 5 years ago from Tucson, AZ.

      Wow, i cannot relate to any type of acid indegiestion, or I know a few in my family that do suffer pain such as what you are decsribing, but what I eat and what my family eats on a daily basis when they do get their heavy heartburns, is the consumption of pineapple during and after every meal. If applicable of course, not everyone like the taste of pineapple, but it seems to work for everyone I know.

    • theframjak profile image

      theframjak 5 years ago from East Coast

      Thanks for informative hub tirelesstraveler. Sorry to hear about your Dad and Uncle. I had bad heartburn and I happened to mention to my doctor that I ate cinnamon every day with my oatmeal. He put 2 and 2 together and said that cinnamon relaxes the stomach valve and promotes reflux and that I should remove it from my diet. I stopped eating cinnamon and haven't had the problem for several months. He also said mint has the same effect.

    • Georgie Lowery profile image

      GH Price 5 years ago from North Florida

      I have bad problems with indigestion and heartburn. I also have peptic ulcers and gall bladder problems even though I now eat healthier - I've done a lot of damage to my body over the years.

      I can't stand the taste of vinegar, so I use apple cider vinegar extract capsules that I get cheap from Vitacost. I also take probiotics and odorless garlic - cuts down on the acid and fights bad bacteria. I double up on all of them if I'm having stomach problems.

      Some things I would add are Pepcid Complete chewables - 1 a day keeps the acid down, and you can buy the generic at Wal-Mart or your favorite drug store. The second is yogurt. The cultures in it balance the digestive tract. One cup of it a day works wonders. I would not recommend low fat or sugarless. A little fat goes a long way and I believe aspartame is bad for us.

      This is a great Hub, I'm glad you're getting the message out. I'll share it so other people can get some help, too!

    • Alecia Murphy profile image

      Alecia Murphy 5 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      This hub is great. And I understand about your family history- digestive troubles seem to run in my family as well. I hate having to take medicine but these tips are good for eventually eating better and not worrying about acid as much.

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 5 years ago from California

      donnah75, Do try the Betain. Too much vinegar ruins the teeth. Thanks so much for visiting.

      Ignegent17 Thanks for stopping. Always glad to have my writing substantiated.

    • profile image

      ignugent17 5 years ago

      Sorry about your dad and uncle.

      This is really an interesting hub because I always have heartburn after eating food with tomato sauce. I heard about apple cider vinegar but I never tried it. I might this time.

      Thanks for sharing.

    • donnah75 profile image

      Donna Hilbrandt 5 years ago from Upstate New York

      The apple cider vinegar does help. I am going to try some of the others as well. Thanks for this important info. Voted up and sharing.

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 5 years ago from California

      It is quite the challenge, but worth it. Just remember to switch to Betain/ Hydrochloric acid if it works. Vinegar will damage your teeth if used for too long.

    • harmony155 profile image

      harmony155 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      I will try the apple cider vinegar test!

    • stars439 profile image

      stars439 6 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

      Very helpful information. Thank You. GBY

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 6 years ago from California

      tobusiness- Thank you for visiting. I was just visiting family in Memphis and they all have acid indigestion. I was amazed.

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 6 years ago from Lincolnshire, U.K

      A good informative hub, a lot of people will find this very useful.Voting up

    • creativelycc profile image

      Carrie L Cronkite 6 years ago from Maine

      Very good information. This is something I suffer with. I'm going to try the papaya enzyme tablets and aloe vera juice. I do drink a tablespoon of Braggs Apple Cider in vinegar every now and then and it does help. Thank you very much for this excellent information!

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 6 years ago from California

      I suspected papaya had the same effect. Ate lots of it when we lived in Guam and never had indigestion.


    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 6 years ago from Orange County, CA

      Thanks for this suggestion on a problem that plagues me more often as I get older. Do you know if eating papaya has the same effect as a tablet? Voting this Up and Useful.

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 6 years ago from California

      Deborah -Thank you so much for visiting. :)

    • Deborah Brooks profile image

      Deborah Brooks Langford 6 years ago from Brownsville,TX

      wow how interesting I have this problem I have to take Nexium every day. I was told if I did not I would get cancer.. I love Apple cinder vinegar I use it on my salads.

      Thanks for a wonderful hub


    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 6 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Excellent hub. I didn't know apple cider vinegar could detect low acid in the stomach. Some really good info here.

      Thanks for linking my water hub in here.

      Voted up, useful and interesting. Shared this hub.

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 6 years ago from California

      Vellur- Thanks so much for the vote. It seems everyone has heartburn at sometime or another.

      Eiddwen- As always I smile when I see you have visited. Thanks for stopping.

      always exploring- glad you stopped.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 6 years ago from Dubai

      Thank you, heart burn is awful. Thanks for sharing and voted up. Very useful information.

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 6 years ago from California

      Dear Followers, Am traveling and will reply when I get home. Blessing TT

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 6 years ago from Wales

      Very useful indeed;take care and enjoy your daya


    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 6 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Very informative hub..It's good to know about the vinegar. Thank you..

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 6 years ago from Olympia, WA

      After reading this I realize how lucky I am to have never experienced either of these....he said crossing his fingers. Well-done hub!

    • Angie Jardine profile image

      Angie Jardine 6 years ago from Cornwall, land of the eternally youthful mind ...

      Thank you so much for researching this, TT ...

      My husband often has heartburn so I will keep this hub and experiment on him. :)

    • SouthernHoney profile image

      SouthernHoney 6 years ago from Woodinville, WA

      Interesting, I didn't know that allergies and poor posture could be a cause! I have pretty bad acid reflux, and unfortunately the vinegar cure doesn’t work for me. I know people who have success with it, however, so definitely worth trying!

      Prilosec does work wonders for me, but it’s incredibly expensive over the counter so you'd want a prescription.

      Vote up!

    • JCielo profile image

      JCielo 6 years ago from England

      I wasn't aware of apple cider vinegar for heartburn. I know a couple of people who suffer really bad with heartburn, so I'll pass this along to them.

    • diogenes profile image

      diogenes 6 years ago from UK and Mexico

      If I read about it, I've got it! Something else to worry about, but better we know than not.


    • suzzycue profile image

      Susan Britton 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I did not know that cider vinegar will improve heartburn. I was interested because I use to use cidar vinegar after meals to help with bloating and it really works. Sounds like I had a bit of both problems and still do. I agree slouching on a couch or a desk does affect heartburn a lot. Good hub. Great advice.

    • seigfried23 profile image

      seigfried23 6 years ago

      Thank you for taking the time to put this together. A very important reminder of things to research further.


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