As you age your ability to digest food decreases. Many face depletion of stomach acid in a condition called hypochlorhydria (low stomach acid) and achlorhydria ( the complete absence of stomach acid).  This condition may cause heartburn or Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and also cause other digestion problems. 

What is heartburn?

Heartburn is one of the most common gastrointestinal maladies. It is described as “an uncomfortable burning sensation” that spreads “through the middle of your chest”, according to a study by Harvard University.

The research report also states that at times the pain becomes so intense that “you might think you are having a heart attack”. It is a common symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a digestive disorder that is also known as acid reflux.

Low Stomach Acid May Be The Primary Cause of Your Heartburn

Heartburn can be caused due to several factors, including indigestion and hiatal hernia. For some people, stomach muscles do not contract properly and it delays digestion and causes acid reflux. And for a few others, shortage of saliva can lead to dry mouth and cause heartburn.

According to the alternative view, heartburns are primarily caused by low level of hydrochloric acid and enzyme pepsin required for digestion of nutrients.

The conventional remedy of treating heartburn by acid blocker drugs and antacids only exacerbates the problem as it further suppresses the gastric acidity. It creates a vicious cycle where acid levels are further decreased by acid blockers leading to more heartburn and increased consumption of antacids.

Because of low acid in the stomach, the stomach valve to the esophagus opens up causing acid to rise into the esophagus. The acid rise causes a burning sensation in the chest.

What are the symptoms of heartburn?

Apart from a burning sensation, there are several other symptoms of heartburn. Let’s look at some of them below:

  • A sore throat
  • Nausea
  • Tightness in your upper abdomen or chest
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Vomiting or wet burp due to a forceful backflow of stomach fluids into the mouth
  • Bitter or recurring sour taste in the mouth
  • Wheezing, coughing or irritation on the throat

How to control heartburn?

The best remedy for heartburn is to increase the hydrochloric acid in the stomach through supplements and consumption of natural products such as peppermint, ginger, papaya tea, and marshmallow.

Western Naturopathy has for long been successfully prescribing Betaine hydrochloride (HCl) a nutritional supplement to restore gastric acidity and to support healthy gut function. You can also take pepsin in conjunction with HCL for treating heartburn. 

Consuming apple cider vinegar can also help.  There is a study that proves that apple cider vinegar can help in treating heartburn.

Home remedies to reduce the burning sensation

Here’s what you need to know about the home remedies to reduce the burning sensation:

Licorice: Several studies have proved that licorice can be effective for cooling heartburn. It is proved to help in reducing the irritating effects in the stomach.

Raw potato: Some people believe that sweet potato plays a vital role in controlling heartburn. According to them, you must consume raw potato juice thrice a day for the best effect.

Ginger: Ginger is also known to be a good herb to treat the pain. It is being used by people for centuries as a digestive aid.

Chamomile: Chamomile tea is also used as an herb to control heartburn. It is believed to have a soothing effect on the digestive tract.

To conclude do not get into the vicious cycle of using antacids for treating heartburn. Understand that low stomach acid may be the primary cause of your heartburn. If such is that case then no amount of antacid would help your condition.


How to Maintain Acid-Alkaline Balance? – A Complete Guide

How to Maintain Acid-Alkaline Balance? – A Complete Guide