Chris Kresser is a blogger acupuncturist and follower of Eastern Spirituality and medicine. He has written a five part series of article about digestive health (Click here for article). I have suffered from severe heartburn for about 3 years. It took a while but I was finally diagnosed with a hiatus hernia this year. When I read Chris Kresser’s article I became very angry. He says that if it was true that heart burn was caused by too much acid in your stomach then teenagers would have terrible heartburn as they have the most acid. Once people get past middle age their acid production is reduced. He says that the reason people get heartburn is because of this reduced production of acid. Food is not digested as quickly and there is a build up of pressure in the stomach forcing acid up into the esophagus causing heartburn. He says that many heartburn treatments will give relief at first by reducing acid but they suppress future acid production making the problem worse long term and making the patient dependent on medicine on a daily basis. He says that is big pharma’s plan. Keeping customers dependent on their product. This all sounds very familiar to me. I was using increasingly expensive heartburn medicine on a daily basis. Changing my diet was not working. Was my hernia a result of pressure on my stomach caused by low acid production?
Chris Kressser has treated patients with heartburn by prescribing Hydrochloric Acid supplements (HCL). This increases the stomach acid rather than reducing it. He claims to have an almost perfect success rate and he has a fair number of positive reviews. My heartburn is manageable now after going on a two month daily treatment of Nexium. I still get heartburn occasionally and I have to be careful with my diet. So I decided to try HCL specifically Betaine and reintroduced some of my trigger foods to see if I would be cured. I gave myself two weeks for this test and well it didn’t work. So I am back on Nexium for a week so that I can get back to normal.
I have to admit I am not the best test case as my heartburn is managed now with treatment and a diet change. I also have the hernia which could mess with the results. You will find the article also recommends Probiotics. I do take a probiotic supplement from GNC anyways so I did not experiment with this. Anyway if you suffer from heartburn and particularly if you are dependent on medicine on a daily basis this may be something you should talk to your doctor about.