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Heartburn, Acid Reflux and Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

Updated on December 27, 2016
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Jo has been an ITU nurse at the London North West NHS Trust for 14 years. She obtained her RN at University College London Hospital.


More than 60 million Americans get heartburn at least once a month

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Heartburn, Acid Reflux and GERD


As the holiday season fades into the distance, many of us are looking for ways to recover and repair the damage we may have inadvertently done to our bodies. Enjoyable though it may be, the holiday season comes with its own brand of stress and health hazards.

We've drunk too much, ate too much, and millions of people worldwide are frantically reaching for those handy little tums indigestion tablets. The antacids provide some welcome relief from heartburn or what may simply be a touch of indigestion that will soon pass. While this may indeed be the case, heartburn can also be a symptom of more serious, even life-threatening conditions.

Hospitals typically receive higher numbers of patient admissions at this time of the year, many cases of acid reflux are often confused with symptoms of peptic ulcers and cardiac pain or angina.

Due to the seriousness of cardiac conditions, doctors and patients alike will tend to concentrate on the heart when presented with epigastric pain, but around a fifth of all patients admitted to hospital with chest pain, are found to have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or related oesophagal conditions.

Despite the name, heartburn is not a heart condition, but like constant acid reflux and GERD; it can mimic the symptoms of a heart attack or angina. Studies from the Mayo Clinic found that between 22% and 66% of patients with noncardiac chest pain have GERD.

Heartburn from acid reflux can affect anyone including children. According to estimates, around 2% of children aged 3 to 9, and 5% aged 10 to 17 have experienced heartburn.

Acid reflux in newborns is not an uncommon disorder, in very young children heartburn is caused by an immature digestive tract that causes stomach acid to regurgitate into the oesophagus. Heartburn is more frequent in the elderly, more women than men suffer from it, many women experience heartburn and acid reflux during pregnancy.

According to statistics, more than 60 million Americans suffer from heartburn or gastroesophageal reflux at least once a month.

An estimated 10-20 percent of adults in developed countries experience reflux symptoms or heartburn at least once a week; this equates to between 4 to 8 million adults in England and Wales, with 229,000 new primary care diagnoses for GERD per year in the UK

Surveys show that two-thirds of the population experience heartburn but only around one third will consult a doctor.

Most of us consider mild heartburn or a feeling of acid in the throat that occurs about once a week, more of a nuisance than a real problem. However, a new study suggests that people who have frequent episodes of heartburn have a 78% higher risk of throat cancer.

The research study also suggests that taking antacids have a protective effect, and people who suffer from heartburn but take antacids, have a 41% lower risk of throat cancer than those who do not take medication.

Gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD also referred to as acid reflux disease, is a severe or chronic acid reflux. A condition caused by the backflow of stomach acid and bile into the oesophagus. Although acid reflux and GERD are closely related, they are not necessarily the same condition.

Acid reflux occurs when the lower oesophagal sphincter (LES) that acts as a valve allowing food to enter the stomach from the oesophagus does not close properly. Acid stomach content can enter the oesophagus, and once there, it can give rise to indigestion symptoms, heartburn, and burning in the throat.

Severe acid reflux can lead to inflammation of the oesophagus (esophagitis) and GERD.

Although some people are born with acid reflux and GERD, there are known risk factors that will increase the likelihood of an individual developing these conditions. It is possible to develop GERD with or without the risk factors, but the greater the risk factor, the greater the chances of developing GERD. Risk factors include:

  • Obesity, many studies suggest that obesity contributes to GERD and may increase the likelihood of esophagitis, a severe inflammation of the oesophagus. Research has also found that an increased body mass index or BMI is associated with more severe GERD symptoms.

  • Heartburn in Pregnancy, hormonal and physical changes are the primary causes of heartburn during pregnancy. Pregnant women are particularly susceptible to GERD in the third trimester, this is due to the pressure exerted on the uterus, in this instance, medications like antacid are seldom effective. Although there is no real cure for heartburn in pregnancy, choosing foods and drinks that are easy to digest, avoiding rich spicy and high-fat dishes, avoiding citrus juice and coffee can help to relieve or reduce acid reflux. Drinking water before and after meals, eating small frequent meals at regular intervals, not eating at bedtime, sleeping in a propped up position can all help in the prevention of acid reflux and heartburn.

  • Asthma, people, who have asthma are at a very high risk for GERD, between 50%, and 90% of people with asthma show some symptoms of GERD.

  • Eating Pattern, strenuous activity immediately after eating, snacking at bedtime, eating heavy or spicy meals then lying on the back or bending over from the waist or straining after eating are habits that may increase the risk of heartburn and GERD. Food and drinks to avoid include alcohol in excess, caffeine drinks, citrus fruits, chocolate, fried foods, spicy foods and tomatoes.

  • Smoking, there is more research evidence to show that smoking increases the risk for GERD, it reduces the LES muscle function, increases acid secretion, impair muscle reflexes in the throat and causes damage to the protective mucus lining. Smoking can also lead to emphysema that is a form of COPD, also a risk factor for GERD.

  • A hiatus hernia, this occurs when part of the stomach prolapses through the diaphragmatic oesophagal hiatus. The gastroesophageal junction becomes incompetent in the patient with a hiatus hernia, and the oesophagal acid clearance is compromised enabling the development of GERD.
  • Diabetes, Where diabetes has been uncontrolled for some time, high levels of blood sugar can cause damage to the vagus nerve that controls the stomach and intestine. When the vagus nerve fails to work effectively, the gastrointestinal tract fails to move food efficiently; this results in "backup" digestion and delayed gastric emptying, a condition known as gastroparesis.
  • Alcohol can have a duel effect when it comes to GERD. When consumed in excess, alcohol causes the LES muscles to relax, resulting in acid reflux that irritates the oesophagal mucosal membrane. Conversely, small amounts of alcohol can help to protect the mucosa.

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease Symptoms and complication associated with Acid Reflux

  • Silent reflux is a type of reflux that does not exhibit symptoms of heartburn or indigestion, individuals with silent reflux are often unaware of the condition that can still cause cancer. Silent reflux affects over 50 million American.
  • Heartburn
  • Nausea
  • Acid food regurgitation
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Damage to the oesophagus
  • Persistent cough
  • Damage to the teeth
  • Respiratory symptoms
  • Esophageal cancer

The most common complication of acid reflux and GERD is inflammation leading to esophagitis, stricture, Barrett's oesophagus, ( potentially a precancerous condition) and adenocarcinoma.

Severe heartburn can cause different types of abnormal cells that are likely to become cancerous, to grow and develop in the oesophagus.

By J Alexis-Hagues © 16/01/2014

Cardiac Condition or GERD

Research show, between 22% and 66% of patients with noncardiac pain have GERD
Research show, between 22% and 66% of patients with noncardiac pain have GERD

Bad News For Chocolate Lovers

Foods to Avoid Unfortunately Includes Chocolate. Chocolate appears to cause more reflux than any other food. It contains stimulants like caffeine and theobromine, it is high in fat and cocoa which causes reflux.
Foods to Avoid Unfortunately Includes Chocolate. Chocolate appears to cause more reflux than any other food. It contains stimulants like caffeine and theobromine, it is high in fat and cocoa which causes reflux. | Source

Lying in an upright position can help to reduce heartburn


Treatment for Indigestion, Heartburn and Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

GERD is treated initially with simple lifestyle changes such as weight loss, cessation of smoking, consuming less spicy foods, less caffeine and alcohol. The first line recommended drug treatment is proton pump inhibitors (PPIs). Proton pump inhibitors are a group of medicines that act on the cells that line the stomach to reduce the production of acid.

PPIs are the most potent inhibitors of acid secretion, they are effective and long lasting, and are believed to be safe with little or no side effects. However; a study looking at postmenopausal women who were taking the drugs found a modestly increased risk of fractures of the spine, lower arms and overall fractures compared to women who did not take the medications.

About 50% of people who take PPIs experience a return of the symptoms within a year, as the body compensates by increasing the amount of acid it produces. Although not recommended as a routine treatment, alginates and antacids are also used.

Laparoscopic Nissen Fundoplication (LNF)

This procedure is performed on patients for whom drug treatment are not appropriate or has failed; it is also a first-line treatment for a hiatus hernia. This anti-reflux surgery involves wrapping the upper curve or stomach, or fundus around the oesophagal sphincter where it is stapled or sewn into place. The procedure allows the lower portion of the oesophagus to pass through a small tunnel of stomach muscle to reinforce and strengthens the LES. Thus helping to prevent acid reflux while giving the oesophagus sufficient time to heal. Studies show LNF improved GERD symptoms in 8 out of 10 people who have had the procedure that can be performed as keyhole or open surgery.

Side effects include:

  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Increased flatulence
  • Bloating and inability to belch.

Endoscopic Injection Of Bulking Agents

The procedure is performed with the use of an endoscope to find the site where the oesophagus joins the stomach known as the gastroesophageal junction. A thin catheter is passed down the endoscope through which a combination of plastic and liquid is injected into the junction. The procedure results in narrowing the junction to prevent leakage of acid from the stomach into the oesophagus. Common side effects of this type of surgery are mild to moderate; chest pain occurs in around 50% of all cases. Other procedures includes:

Endoluminal Gastroplication (ELGP) With the use of an endoscope, a series of pleats or folds are sewn into the LES to restrict opening. Ninety percent of patient reported complete cessation of regurgitation symptoms within 9 to 10 months after this procedure.

Endoscopic Augmentation With Hydrogel Implants, similar to endoscopic injection but here, a hydrogel is used.

Endoscopic Radiofrequency Ablation a balloon is passed via an endoscope to the gastroesophageal junction where it is inflated. Small electrodes are attached to the outside of the balloon where a pulse of heat is generated. The heat causes small scars to form in the tissue of the oesophagus causing it to narrow; thereby helping to reduce the leakage of acid from the stomach.

Bracelets of Magnetic Titanium Beads Restores Barrier to Reflux

LINX Reflux Management System

The LINX Reflux Management System

A relatively new technology for the treatment of GERD is the LINX Reflux Management System that works by reinforcing the LES. A small flexible ring of magnetic titanium beads is placed around the lower oesophagus; this procedure is performed through keyhole surgery.

The device is designed to allow the movement of food and gas through the LES by the separation of the beads under the pressure of swallowing, the magnetic attraction returns the beads to their original position after swallowing, thereby preventing reflux.

A two-year study of 44 patients with GERD found that after receiving the LINX Management System, 77% of 39 patients who were followed up, 90% of 20 patients followed up, had normal oesophagal acid exposure. None of these patients had normal oesophagal acid exposure before the device was implanted. There is a chance that the ring of beads could move and lose its effectiveness. However; the data collected so far shows no indication of this occurring, nor are there signs of the metal eroding through the oesophagus wall.

The LINX System was introduced in the UK in April 2011 but was accessible only through private hospitals, and clinics. Fortunately, the system is now available on the NHS.

Quick Facts about Heartburn Acid Reflux and GERD

  • Research suggest that people who take antacids for heartburn have a 41% lower risk of throat cancer than those who do not take medication
  • Heartburn is the most common symptom of GERD
  • Symptoms include a persistent sore throat, hoarseness, chronic cough, asthma, chest pain, burning and feeling like there is a lump in the throat.
  • GERD can affect anyone, from small infants to the elderly
  • Chest pain are often confused with symptoms of angina
  • Heartburn is extremely common in pregnancy, due to hormonal and physical changes
  • Infants regurgitate easily because the gastroesophageal sphincter mechanism is not fully developed at birth.

  • Untreated uncontrolled acid reflux or GERD can result in serious conditions such as esophagitis, oesophagal bleeding, strictures, ulcers, Barrett's oesophagus, scarring and risk of oesophagal cancer

Acid Reflux Remedies Include:

Over-the-counter medication like antacids helps to relieve mild to moderate symptoms, but should not be taken with other medication because it can prevent the absorption of other medication into the body.

Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs) works by reducing the amount of acid produced by the stomach; side effects are uncommon.

H2-receptor antagonists or H2RAs may be prescribed to be taken with PPIs for a limited time, about two weeks or as an alternative to PPIs, when it is unable to control symptoms of GORD

Prokinetics are medications that help to speed up the emptying of the stomach, to reduce the chances of acid irritation of the oesophagus. A small number of people who take prokinetics have experienced extrapyramidal symptoms, these are a series of related side effects that involving the nervous system, side effects includes:

  • Muscles spasms
  • inability to open the mouth fully
  • Tendency to stick the tongue out of the mouth
  • Slurred speech
  • Abnormal changes in body posture

People who are taking prokinetics and are experiencing these symptoms should contact their doctors or health providers immediately. Extrapyramidal symptoms should cease within twenty-four hours of stopping the medication.

Although antacids like Tums are used widely for indigestion and heartburn, many contain aluminium, a substance that is implicated in the cause of alzheimers. More information on this subject are in my hub Aluminium and Alzheimer's

Cure Heartburn With Diet and Lifestyle Changes

Honey Soothes and Relieves Inflammation Caused by Acid Reflux

Clinical studies suggest that the consistency and healing properties of honey makes it effective in the treatment of Acid reflux and GERD.
Clinical studies suggest that the consistency and healing properties of honey makes it effective in the treatment of Acid reflux and GERD. | Source

Some Natural Remedies used in the Treatment of Acid Reflux and GERD

Natural Remedy
Known for its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties
Clinical Studies BMJ
These are friendly bacteria found in the digestive tract. Believed to strengthen the lining of the GI tract by protecting it from harmful bacteria such as H. pylori.
Ongoing research
Papaya Enzyme Supplement
anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory effect. Contain digestive enzyme. Contact your doctor before taking this supplement for treating heartburn.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Believe to be able to neutralize stomach acid, however, this product is in itself highly acidic
No research to support claim
Baking Soda
Helps to neutralize stomach acid.
Journal of Dental Research
Aloe Vera juice
Reduces inflammation in the esophagus and stomach. Half a cup is recommended, juice can also have a laxative effect so choose a brand where laxative component has been removed as in Aloe Vera Powder. Aloe Vera is also thought to be able to strengthen the LES to improve its function and contains enzymes that aids digestion.
Limited Research Available
Chewing Gum
Chewing a piece of sugar free gum after a meal can help to relieve heartburn
Journal of Dental Research
Baking Soda
1 /2 teaspoon of baking soda added to a glass of water can help to relieve heartburn. Too often and this can result in nausea and swelling.
Journal of Dental Research
Contain natural stomach healing properties, too much can cause hypertension. Use DGL licorice which does not contain glycyrrhizic acid
Limited research Available
Slippery Elm
Used in herbal remedies for centuries to treat conditions such as GERD symptoms. Works by thickening the lining of the stomach to prevent acid damage
Maryland Medical Center
Prevent nausea and vomiting
University of Maryland Medical Center study suggest that 1g of ginger daily may reduce nausea and vomiting in pregnant women
Always consult your doctor or health provider before taking these or any other medication. Information in this article is for educational purposes only, not intended as a substitute for medical advice.


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    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 2 years ago from Lincolnshire, U.K

      Janet, as far as I'm aware, there is no definitive cure for emphysema, except, maybe a lung transplant/lung reduction surgery in the most severe of cases. However, with the use of, bronchodilators and vaccines, the symptoms can be improved to prevent further damages to the lung. For more information, take a look at my hub on COPD. Thank you for reading and commenting, much appreciated.

    • profile image

      Janet 2 years ago


      I was diagnosed of Emphysema in February 2015, my doctor told me it has no permanent cure, i was given medication to ease the situation, this affected me so badly as i constantly go short of breath, this continued till a friend of mine Anna Madsen told me about Dr Ejiro from South Africa who cured her mother from emphysema, I contacted this herbal doctor and he sent me the herbal medicine through courier service, when i received it i applied it for 3 weeks as prescribed and was totally cured of emphysema within 18-20 days of usage. Contact this herbal doctor via his email

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 2 years ago from Lincolnshire, U.K

      Hi Moonlake, It's lovely to see you, sorry about the reflux. Why do the things we enjoy seem to cause the most problems? :) At least, you know what to avoid and when. You appear to have it under control, keep up the good work. My best to you and many thanks for stopping by, comment, and share.

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 2 years ago from America

      I have problems with acid reflux if I eat too late. Milk, ice cream and spicy foods will cause me to have acid reflux. I don't get it often but when I do I hate it. Great Hub sharing.

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 3 years ago from Lincolnshire, U.K

      Hendrika, Thank you so much for reading this. I totally agree with you, it's time to consult a doctor, I'm sure you saw the statistics. Your doctor can make a diagnosis and rule out other conditions with similar symptoms, also left untreated GERD and acid reflux can develop into more serious conditions, so sooner rather than later. There are very effective treatment that can help. Good luck with the doctor. Take care and my best to you.

    • Hendrika profile image

      Hendrika 3 years ago from Pretoria, South Africa

      Once again, thank you for your hard work. I see I am going to have a serious talk with my doctor. I am obese, given. That is however not the real reason for my problem, stress is. I can be fine one second then someone simply mentions something that gives me stress and immediately it burn up to in my throat, instantly. I have never given much thought to the food stucking just before it enters my stomach, sometimes to carry on eating i have to drink some water. OK so now it is off to the doctor!

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 4 years ago from Lincolnshire, U.K

      Torrs13, I'm sorry to hear about your struggle with GERD. The condition can have serious consequences if left untreated, especially in cases where there is both bile and acid reflux, it's good that your symptoms have improved, looks like you are managing your condition well. Thanks for reading this article and for the insightful personal comment, very much appreciated. Take care and best wishes to you.

    • Torrs13 profile image

      Tori Canonge 4 years ago from North Carolina

      I was first diagnosed with GERD nine years ago and struggled with it for a long time. I still have episodes every now and then if I overeat, indulge in something too fattening/greasy, or eat too soon before bed. I found that getting my gallbladder removed helped my symptoms a lot. I have to avoid spicy foods and I don't drink alcohol. I also avoid fast food nearly all the time because I know it's not going to go well with my stomach. I still like my chocolate and can have it every once in a while as long as I don't overdo it. I have stopped taking medicine for my GERD aside from taking some Pepcid AC if it gets completely unbearable. I have found that drinking plenty of water throughout the day significantly helps as well. You provided a great overview of GERD and gave valuable information about it. Well done!

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 4 years ago from Lincolnshire, U.K

      Macoujor, thank you for mentioning Jo Goldsmith's gold award, I had no idea, it's a wonderful surprise. Thanks also for stopping by to read this. As I get older, I'm beginning to appreciate the many benefits of natural remedies, they provide an alternative to some traditional medication, many of which can have devastating side effects. Hope you are having a great Sunday, take care and my best to you.

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 4 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Rich with valuable information and strategies for the treatment of heartburn...

      I love your detailed inclusion of holistic / natural remedies.

      Thanks to Jo Goldsmith for her May Gold Awards where I was led to this excellent choice for the Health topics category.

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 4 years ago from Lincolnshire, U.K

      Hi PegCole17, I'm glad you found the hub useful, thank you for taking the time to read and comment, I do appreciate it.

      Sorry to learn that your husband was diagnosed with GERD, but it's good that the medication is working, make sure he continues to take it. I hope you're both having a lovely weekend, my very best to you.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 4 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Great rundown on this common condition and its causes and remedies. I never really knew what GERD was until my hubby was diagnosed with it after having an endoscopy in February this year. Thankfully, the medication has reduced his nighttime symptoms dramatically.

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 4 years ago from Lincolnshire, U.K

      Audrey, it would seem that my response to your earlier comment has vanished into thin air. You may be right about classical singing and GERD. I know that singers, especially opera singers do use their abdominal muscles to control their breathing, this can increase the intra abdominal pressure which in time, may affect the LES causing acid stomach content to regurgitate into the esophagus. Interesting! but I haven't come across this before. Ranitidine is slightly different from PPIs, both types of drugs suppresses gastric acid secretion, PPIs works by shutting down the pump that maintain the acid in the stomach. H2 antagonist like ranitidine, works by blocking signals generated by histamine receptors on the cells responsible for acid secretion. PPIs have a delayed action, but are more potent and last longer than the H2 Blockers.

      If you are having concerns about the long term effects of the drug, I'd suggest that you consult you doctor, they will know what other medications you are taking and whether there are any possibility of drug interaction. I hope this helps. I appreciate the insightful comment. Take care and my very best to you.

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 4 years ago from Lincolnshire, U.K

      Hi Audrey I've just written a detailed reply to you comment, but it seem to have disappeared, if it doesn't bounce back I will write another. I appreciate you taking the time.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      I, like many classical singers suffer from GERD. I wonder sometimes if the upward pressure of breath cases this valve to weaken somehow. I take Rantidine for it, but worry about the long term effects--do you know if Rantidine is considered to be a PPI?

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 4 years ago from Lincolnshire, U.K

      Hi Ron, I appreciate you taking a look at this hub, it will be a pleasure checking out your website. Reflux is no fun is it?

      My best to you.

    • profile image

      Ron 4 years ago

      Thanks for a very thorough article. I have regular acid reflux and have got so fed up with it I've started my own blog about it and continue to research it - I'd appreciate you taking a look some time and commenting: Keep up the great work. Ron.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 4 years ago from SW England

      Thank you! I appreciate your advice. Ann

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 4 years ago from Lincolnshire, U.K

      Hi Ann, as you can see from the images, we use a lot of honey, especially this time of the year. You've done the sensible thing by consulting your doctor to rule out any serious complications, it sounds like you are doing all the right things. Good luck with the diet and natural remedies, take care and my best to you.

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 4 years ago from Lincolnshire, U.K

      Hi Diana, I hope you found the information helpful, thank you for taking the time, much appreciated.

      Take care and my best to you.

    • Diana Lee profile image

      Diana L Pierce 4 years ago from Potter County, Pa.

      There is good information in this hub. I'm voting up.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 4 years ago from SW England

      Have had some of this for a while. Honey seems to help tremendously. I've been to the doc and to a consultant but no treatment worked so would rather rely on more natural remedies. The consultant did, however, assure me that there was no throat cancer. I do drink more coffee than perhaps I should and tomatoes are a favourite, though I've been told that if they're cooked the chemical composition is different.

      It's something I'm monitoring, regarding what I eat and when I have a reaction, so hopefully I'll find a balance that works.

      Great hub and useful information. Ann

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 4 years ago from Lincolnshire, U.K

      Theresa, you're one of the lucky ones, you must have managed the condition very well in you thirties, looks like it paid off. I hope there's something here to help your sister.

      Thank you for stopping by, always appreciated and my best to you.

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Jo - What an incredibly thorough and helpful Hub. You have covered everything. I occasionally has heartburn in my thirties, but haven't had any in a very long time. My poor sister, on the other hand suffered with severe heartburn for many decades. Interesting stuff. Good Hub. Theresa

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 4 years ago from Lincolnshire, U.K

      Hi April, sorry about the acid problem, I hope some of these natural remedies will work for you. My husband use to suffer from acid reflux whenever he ate beef, being a Yorkshire lad, his favourite dish of course is roast beef and Yorkshire pudding. He still enjoys the roast meal, but goes easy on the beef. He hasn't had an episode in quite a while. We do eat a lot of fruits and vegetables which helps. Thank you for the interesting comment and for the visit. Take care and my best to you.

    • April Garner profile image

      April Garner 4 years ago from Austin, Texas

      Very informative. I just recently have developed an acid reflux problem and intend to try some of the natural remedies you mentioned.

      jhamann - I read recently about acidic foods that can cause GERD, amongst other things. Meats, according to the article, are very acidic, as is alcohol. Most veggies (especially green ones) and fruits are more alkaline and reduce acid in the body. I'm not sure how much merit this has, but it's food for thought (no pun intended.)

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 4 years ago from Lincolnshire, U.K

      Hi MichelleD, thank you for the link, it looks interesting, I think I may have seen this site while doing the research for my article. Appreciate the visit and comment. My best to you.

    • profile image

      MichelleD 4 years ago

      Thanks, great information! In addition, I also came across another great article on how to cure heartburn. Thought it was worth a share:

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 4 years ago from Lincolnshire, U.K

      Hi Evan, very nice to see to you, sorry about the ulcer, I hope you were able to find some of this information helpful. Take care and my best to you.

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 4 years ago from Lincolnshire, U.K

      Hi Eddy, thank you for stopping by, glad you found the information useful. take care and have a lovely day.

    • Evan Smiley profile image

      Evan Smiley 4 years ago from Oklahoma City

      Wow very helpful! I have a stomach ulcer so I'm always looking for more information about acid reflux and such! Thanks for the hub!

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

      Well informed, interesting and useful .

      Voted up,


    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 4 years ago from Lincolnshire, U.K

      Hi Ruby, yes it's very disappointing news about the chocolates, but they do say a little of what you fancy...:)

      Thank you for taking a look at this, much appreciated and I hope the information is useful. Have a wonderful day and my best to you.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I was unaware about honey aiding acid reflux, it's good to know. I already knew about chocolate. ( darn ) I can only eat a bite or two. I have learned to leave it alone, but i simply love it. You have given us so much good info concerning AR, a lot of research went into this article. Thank you....

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 4 years ago from Lincolnshire, U.K

      Hi Devika, always nice to see you. What we eat and drink really does impact on our health so we need to be careful about what we take into our bodies, but within reason of course, or it's no fun. :) My best to you as always.

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 4 years ago from Lincolnshire, U.K

      Frank, you must be doing the right things. Keep it up. ;) Have a great day, my best to you.

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 4 years ago from Lincolnshire, U.K

      Hi Marcy, many people with GERD find that sleeping in the upright or propped-up position help to reduce the acid reflux, but some people just can't manage it for long. Thank you for the tip, a pleasure to see you, take care and my best to you.

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 4 years ago from Lincolnshire, U.K

      Hi jpcmc, It's such a pity when the things we enjoy the most, do not agree with us. :) However, for the sake of our health we must simply do what is best. Thank you for stopping by, I hope you'll manage to beat the GERD soon. Take care and my best to you.

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 4 years ago from Lincolnshire, U.K

      Flourish, always a pleasure to see you. Stress, that harbinger of so many conditions also plays its part here and is responsible for a good percent of the large numbers of people suffering from acid reflux. Glad to know you're hitting it on the head. My best to you, have a lovely day.

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 4 years ago from Lincolnshire, U.K

      Hi Leslie, thank you for the real life experience behind this condition. I hope you're still managing to keep it in check, thanks again for the insightful comment and a wonderful day to you.

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 4 years ago from Lincolnshire, U.K

      Hi Bill, good health is worth so much more than riches, personally, I would like to experience both. :) my point being, you are a very lucky man, given your history, the body seem to be serving you very well, keep up the good work. A pleasure as always, hope you're having a fabulous day.

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      Jo Alexis-Hagues 4 years ago from Lincolnshire, U.K

      Jackie the HP gremlins are active this morning, and will not allow me to place the full link in the comment box so I'll place it at the end of this hub.

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 4 years ago from Lincolnshire, U.K

      Hi Jackie, I was hoping to add some more information on antacids here, but this hub was already pretty long, however I did mention this in a previous hub, you'll find the hub with this link.

      Thank you for taking the time, much appreciated as always.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Heartburn, Acid Reflux and Gastro-esophageal reflux Disease (GERD) is an informative and useful hub. I know of people who have such problems and what one eats and drinks does have an effect on their health well mentioned.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 4 years ago from Shelton

      tobusiness im knocking on wood because Ive never suffered from acid reflux... but I am a little more educated on the matter thanks to your detailed clear and concise hub

    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 4 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      I'm a huge tomato fan and GERD just makes it difficult for me to enjoy.

    • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

      Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

      I've had this at times - it's no fun. One tip - I discovered it was more pronounced if I spent too many hours half-propped up in bed to read. No more of that, now!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 4 years ago from USA

      What a wonderfully researched article you have written here. I luckily don't suffer from this too much now, but in the past I had it bad because of high stress levels. Well done! Voted up and more.

    • profile image

      lesliebyars 4 years ago


      Working in the medical field, I always enjoy reading about the "medical stuff". I do have GERD and take a pill every day. I also have asthma. I can really tell with certain things that I eat or drink. Sometimes it really flares up. It can be really painful and make some people think that they are having a heart attack which is very scary.

      I voted your hub up and interesting. Great job with lots of information.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm one of the lucky ones, Jo. I've never had this, but I have seen how painful and upsetting it can be for others. Great information here my friend, but I expect nothing less from you.

      Have a wonderful week ahead!

      blessings always


    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Sounds like some bad stuff and you certainly gave a thorough low down of it! Don't think I have ever had anything a couple tums wouldn't take care of but now tums are named as possibly having an ingredient that may give us Alzheimer's? You wrote that too didn't you? I think you did. You are just full of so much information! Really great info, lot of hard work. Voting up and sharing.

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 4 years ago from Lincolnshire, U.K

      Hi Joelle, believe it or not, I start these hubs aiming for around 1200 words, but I often find that there are so much relevant information I just have to include, so the monster just keep growing. :) Hey, do you think that wearing the wedding ring around the esophagus might catch on ? :) You've made an interesting point, travelling could be pretty tricky, but I'm sure they've got ways around the security aspect. As always, thank you for the thought-provoking and interesting comment. Take care and my very best to you.

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 4 years ago from Lincolnshire, U.K

      Hi Cam, I will check out your facebook page. Thank you for stopping by and for the wonderful comment. I'm always aware of the fact that not everyone reading the hub have medical background, so I tend to aim for the meddle ground. Glad you found it useful, appreciate the share. Take care and my best to you.

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 4 years ago from Lincolnshire, U.K

      Hi Faith, good to hear that you were able to see off the dreadful acid reflux, you now need to help your other half to do the same, it's good that he is taking medication. You are right of course, the condition can be very frightening, many people arrive in the emergency room thinking they are having a cardiac attack, sometimes even the doctors are fooled, then again there are the times when it really may be cardiac and needs immediate attention, either way we can't afford to ignore chest pain. It's imperative to get help sooner rather than later to avoid further complications.

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 4 years ago from Lincolnshire, U.K

      Jamie, you are one of the most incredible people I know! Giving up the hard stuff is no easy feat. But to also overcome some of the worst complications of alcohol abuse is commendable, it shows that you are made of pretty stern stuff indeed. You are also hope for those who are still struggling, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Thank you for reading this and for sharing you experience. My best to you and yours always.

    • kidscrafts profile image

      kidscrafts 4 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

      You are like an encyclopedia, Jo :-) What a great hub full of excellent informations for all those sufferers! I am glad to not be part of that group ... and that means that I still eat chocolate :-)))

      I couldn't imagine of wearing jewelry inside but I suppose that for some extreme cases the bracelet of magnetic titanium beads can be quite helpful! I suppose anyone having those they need a special paper from the doctor when they go through the security airport?

      I find that fantastic that the medicine finds new way to help different conditions! I can imagine that any of those conditions are quite uncomfortable!

      Thank you for sharing all this information, Jo! Very well done!

      Have a great week!

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 4 years ago from Missoula, Montana through August 2018

      Bravo! This is an excellent hub and and should do well out there on Google and other search engines. You have been very thorough, yet it should be very understandable by anyone who doesn't have a medical background. Congratulations on a superb hub. Up, interesting, shared here and on my facebook page dedicated to freelance writers.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      Hi Jo, Awseome hub full of helpful information for sure! I just read another hub about GERD and never knew that is what is was called. I used to get it at night whenever I ate spicy foods late and then went to bed, which is so bad to do for sure. I do not have it really at all any longer, but I still sleep with two pillows to keep myself elevated a bit. Once one has an attack, especially in the middle of the night with acid reflux it is a scary thing to go through for sure! My husband has it too, but takes medication for it. I know diet plays a great role in our overall health no doubt!

      Up and more and sharing.

      Enjoy your Sunday,

      Faith Reaper

    • jhamann profile image

      Jamie Lee Hamann 4 years ago from Reno NV

      Jo-I have an interesting story about GERD. For many years, mostly during years of alcohol consumption, I had horrible boughts of GERD and was diagnosed with GERD and IBD. Here is where the story gets interesting, I married my wife, a vegetarian, and cut back my meat consumption considerably and ate more vegetables and fruits. I also quit drinking and this relieved a great burden of stress on my life. Before this all occurred I had given into the fact that I would have to deal with GERD and IBD the rest of my life. But oddly enough the changes in my life and dietary habits caused a complete loss of symptoms and this has continued for six years now. I do not know if I am cured, but I do know I am symptom free. Thank you for this great hub and I hope all is well. Jamie


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