In order to deal properly with heartburn we need to understand and — if possible — remove the underlying causes and risk factors. We need to ask: "What else is going on inside the body that might allow heartburn symptoms to develop?"
Accurate diagnosis of the factors behind heartburn consists of three steps:
|Short Bowel Syndrome||96%||Confirm|
|Stomach Acid Deficiency||27%||Unlikely|
|A Weight Problem||26%||Unlikely|
|Food Allergies||1%||Ruled out|
|Heart Disease**||1%||Ruled out|
|Crohn's Disease||0%||Ruled out|
|Sleep Apnea||0%||Ruled out|
Have you suffered from Heartburn or Gastric Reflux? The main symptoms include burning at the top of the stomach, chest pain, and regurgitation of food and/or stomach acid.
Possible responses:→ Not sure / don't know
→ No, definitely not
→ Past episode(s) now resolved
→ Current minor problem
→ Current major problem
A mild heart attack may be mistaken for heartburn, and vice versa.
Crohn's disease is a chronic ailment that causes inflammation and injury in the colon and other parts of the gastrointestinal tract, including the esophagus.
Dr. Batmanghelidj, author of Your Bodies Many Cries for Water, believes that in the same way we have a "hunger pain" signal, we also have a "thirst pain" signal in the body, and that it is called dyspepsia (heartburn).
There is a relatively high prevalence of GERD amongst patients with duodenal or gastric ulcers. Persistent dyspepsia/heartburn symptoms after eradication of H. pylori and ulcer resolution might suggest the treatment of GERD as a separate entity. [Am J Gastroenterol 2000;95: pp.101-5]
Some doctors believe that some people suffer from GERD due to a condition called hiatal hernia. Hiatal hernia causes burning and difficulty in swallowing. Hiatal hernia and GERD can both cause heartburn.
Based on the clinical experience of doctors such as Dr. Jonathon Wright, MD, supplementing with hydrochloric acid sometimes relieves the symptoms of heartburn and improves digestion in individuals who have hypochlorhydria. Unexplained bloating, belching and heartburn are frequently diagnosed as symptoms of hyperacidity and sometimes wrongly treated with antacids, when in fact the underlying problem is insufficient acid production.
Gastrointestinal manifestations of hypothyroidism include GERD as a result of delayed emptying of the stomach.
Angina-like symptoms are sometimes due to heartburn, a much less serious condition.