Acid Reflux Is The Cause Of Heartburn

John Gray

Sometimes after you eat, you might experience a painful, burning sensation in your chest. You are actually feeling the recently swallowed foods and liquids, bile and stomach acid climbing up your esophagus.

When food enters your mouth, digestion begins. Saliva begins to break down the starch contained in your food into smaller molecules. Food is then carried down the esophagus into the stomach, where glands in the lining of the stomach create more digestive products, one of which is stomach acid.

The esophagus is a long tube that connects your throat to your stomach. When you swallow food, you start a wavelike motion in the muscles that line the esophagus, and this motion carries food down toward your stomach.

When food reaches the end of your esophagus, it should pass through a ring of muscle called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) and reach the stomach. When objects approach the LES from above, a valve opens inward to allow the food to enter the stomach.

Once the objects have passed through the valve, the valve closes, and pressure exerted on the valve from the stomach only further seals the one-way valve. However, not all valves function perfectly all the time (or, in some cases, at all).

There is a difference between heartburn and acid reflux. Acid reflux occurs when stomach acid bubbles up into the esophagus. Acid reflux is the cause of heartburn. However, you may feel no pain at all when acid reflux occurs.

You can and do likely have occasional bouts of acid reflux without heartburn, you can't have heartburn without acid reflux. Acid reflux is the cause, and heartburn is a potential sensation. Acid reflux disease and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) are the same thing.

That is a question that quite a few people out there need to be asking themselves. Why? It's because all those great heartburn pills that Big Pharma peddles on TV every day cause heart attacks.

Researchers looked at 56,406 men and women who were leaving the hospital after suffering a heart attack. They followed them for one year. And during that time they noted how many of them were also taking drugs (proton pump inhibitors) to reduce stomach acid. In that year, 9,137 or 16.2% of them were re-hospitalized for another heart attack or a stroke or died from either a heart attack or stroke.

Dr. Mitchell Katz is the director of the San Francisco Department of Public Health. He is also the author of an editorial accompanying the study. He estimates that 60-70% of the patients who take these drugs could get rid of their heartburn by changing their eating and drinking habits. If you're in that group, then you are placing yourself at risk for no good reason.

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  • Marjorie Roen
     4/23/2014 9:54:27 AM
    Thank you JOHN, great to see you looking so well.

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