It happens to everyone. The painful, burning sensation in the middle of the chest and ache in the throat. Heartburn. Also a symptom of acid reflux, this condition may seem like no big deal, based on the numerous over-the-counter products that ensure quick relief. However, heartburn occurs for a reason and must not be ignored.
The Acidic Diet
The leading cause of heartburn is diet. White foods such as bread, pasta, baked goods, french fries, and many other starchy carbohydrates can cause immediate heartburn. Other foods that contribute are acidic, spicy, or fried foods, as well as tomatoes, citrus, coffee, and alcohol. It may take up to a week for heartburn to heal once you’ve stopped consuming the problematic foods. Also, keep in mind that every time you “cheat” and eat these foods again, the heartburn will return as well. It may take a while to figure out the connection. For some, entire food groups should be avoided. Others may be able to cut back on specific foods and banish heartburn entirely.
Over-The-Counter Relief for Heartburn
It can be tempting to ignore the body’s messages and instead grab a chewable tablet or other form of heartburn relief. These products are advertised constantly as safe, quick alternatives to cutting out delicious foods that we all love. What these commercials and other ads aren’t showing us is the rising number of addiction to these products. Many consumers must take a pill or tablet every day, or before each meal! Over 85% of the people I’ve treated for heartburn have gotten better by just improving their diet. Doesn’t that seem like a simpler way?
The Body’s Healing Mechanism
Our bodies are equipped with incredible healing capabilities. In situations like heartburn where a consistent cry for help is coming through, simply ignoring the message by taking a medication is not the answer. Heartburn and acid reflux happen when acid from the stomach makes its way up into the esophagus. In a functional digestive tract, the esophagus closes at the entrance to the stomach once food is released.
Honoring Our Bodies
The greatest healing begins with self-love and honoring our bodies. This includes learning which foods and beverages are problematic and taking efforts to remove them from our diets. Consider keeping a food journal, for quick reference when heartburn flares up. Instead of relying on over-the-counter relief, we can remedy the problem at the source by avoiding substances that cause us discomfort, and heal our bodies at the same time.