Heartburn Myths – Top 10 Myths about Heartburn

Myth No. 1 – “Heartburn is a lifestyle-based condition and is not a serious medical condition.”

Truth –

It is true that unsystematic lifestyle and ingesting certain foods items and beverages can aggravate symptoms of heartburn. But heartburn is a medical condition, whose causes are purely biological.

Myth No. 2 – “Sticking to a bland diet can cure heartburn.”

Truth –

If you are suffering from heartburn then a bland diet is definitely beneficial for you. But sticking to a diet plan alone cannot cure heartburn. Heartburn is generally a sign of Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

Myth No. 3 – Excess acids in the stomach are the only cause of heartburn.”

Truth –

A patient with GERD will have excess secretion of acids in the stomach. When the acids moves back into the esophagus from the stomach, instead of staying within the stomach, it causes heartburn. So physicians prescribe medicines to treat the underlying factors before treating the exact condition.

Myth No. 4 – “Acid reflux is the only problem in GERD.”

Truth –

Besides, heartburn, acid reflux can worsen the conditions in asthma patients. Most researches have shown a very amazing result that even asthma and asthma medications may lead to or aggravate GERD. GERD can also affect the vocal cord and the areas around it. , leading to irritation and soreness in the throat and chronic cough.

Myth No. 5 – “Stress can cause heartburn.”

Truth –

Stress can be a very rare cause of heartburn, but high levels of stress can worsen the condition of heartburn. Sometimes, physical stress or wrong food habits can cause ulcers. And ulcers are accompanied by heartburn in many cases.

Myth  No. 6 – “No treatment is available to help heartburn.”

Truth –

Treatment of heartburn includes prescription medicines, lifestyle changes, changes in diet and over-the-counter medicines.

Myth No. 7 – “Certain foods can make me feel worse because of their acidic properties.”

Truth –

GERD sufferers must stay away from foods like – orange juices which are acidic in nature. Keep a food log for yourself for your comfort.

Myth No. 8 – “If you are a nighttime heartburn sufferer, you need to sleep sitting up.”

Truth –

Sleeping on your left side will help in avoiding nighttime heartburn. But sleeping on your right side will worsen the symptoms of heartburn in you. Because when you lay on your right side, the acid takes longer time to get cleaned from the esophagus. Acids in the stomach will flow back into the esophagus (acid reflux occurs) while sleeping on your back. While sleeping, keep your head elevated (use a pillow) to keep the acids in the stomach due to the effect of gravity.

Myth No.9 – “Taking medications to suppress stomach acids will disturb the process of digestion”.

Truth –

Besides acids, our body produces several enzymes to trigger digestion. So if a small amount of stomach acids are suppressed, it won’t affect digestion much. Proton pump inhibitors are usually used as medications to suppress the production of acids. But irrespective of the inhibition, still enough production occurs to support digestion.

Myth No.10 – “Heartburn isn’t a serious condition. It can be ignored.”

Truth –

More than 60 million Americans suffer from heartburn at least once in a month. But this does not mean it can be taken lightly. Chronic cases of heartburn can cause severe health hazards. Heartburn can be a common sign of several serious medical conditions like – GERD. So it must not be taken lightly. It can be also be a symptom of more serious condition like – Barrett’s esophagus , gastroesophageal reflux disease, erosive esophagitis, esophageal cancer or strictures.

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