Three Major Questions Regarding Heartburn Acid Reflux

Acid Reflux II Instagram There are three major questions that I am commonly asked regarding heart burn and acid reflux.

  1. What are the common causes of heartburn acid reflux and bloating?
  2. What are the potential consequences of using antibiotics or proton pump inhibitors?
  3. What are the appropriate functional medicine testing used for determining the cause of heartburn acid reflux?

As you know from my previous blogs, that gut health is vital for our overall health. It’s connected to every immune system function! In fact, about 80 percent of your immune system cells are found within your gut. If you have damage and symptoms going on in your gut then it’s going to be correlated and connected to your immune system as well. Many people have negative digestive symptoms from indigestion in the form of heartburn, acid reflux, diarrhea, and constipation. These symptoms are inconvenient and can be painful and disruptive to our life. On the other hand, they are also very informative in letting us know that something is not right within our immune system.

Common Causes of Heartburn Acid Reflux

What we want to start off with number one, is that when looking at causes of heartburn acid reflux, we have to look at stress response in the body. What that means is that your body has to adapt to stressors. The three primary stressors for you body are physical, mental, and emotional stress. These stressors cause our body to adapt and with enough adaptation our body will degenerate the cells, tissues, and organs until there are enough symptoms to create a diagnosis.

Examples of physical stressors are definitely our standard American diet with its ultra processed foods exposing our immune system to chemical toxins and ingredients that damage and break down our gut health. By degenerating the gut lining and creating a poor environment for digesting and assimilating nutrients, diets high in sugar content plays a big role in breaking down our gut health and microbiome. This does not just refer to sugar from sweets like candies and cakes but also from flour in breads, grains like oatmeals, high fructose corn syrup, and artificial sweeteners like aspartame. Many times hydrogenated oils and food coloring come hand in hand with these forms of sugar which are like adding gasoline to the fire.

These mentioned ingredients destroy the “good” bacteria that are supposed to be present in your gut and throughout your body systems. Which leads to the next question regarding antibiotic use.

Consequences of Using Antibiotics or Proton Pump Inhibitors


Different medications like antibiotics and proton pump inhibitors (acid blockers) are prescribed under the explanation that you have “too much” acid. These drugs are actually designed to decrease, or suppress the production of stomach acid. Lets quickly review the purpose of stomach acid. It is imperative to have proper stomach acid to have adequate digestive enzymes released by the liver, gallbladder, and pancreas to break down those macronutrients called fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. If this is not happening due to suppressed acid production and altered pH levels with the use of medications than you are actually creating malnutrition i.e . your not getting enough nutrition even though you could be eating all the right things.

Acid reflux or GERD (gastric esophageal disease) do not occur because there is too much acid but it is in fact due to a degenerative process that has occurred. Once there are wounds within the tissues made by what created the acid imbalance in the first place, you will then begin to experience the symptoms. When the digestive tissues are damaged and unable to efficiently absorb nutrients it has a significant impact on sleep patterns and the emotional state or increased rate of depression. A healthy acid balance in your digestive tract requires a microbiome with a healthy balance of bacteria and free from infections that are widely stimulated by over use of antibiotics and medications.

Appropriate Functional Medicine Testing


The appropriate functional medicine testing to find the root causes of acid reflux would first be a food antigen test. This is a comprehensive look at the food allergies and sensitivities done through the blood to actually test the immune system response to what foods your body is reacting to. Understanding these foods specific to each individual will remove the stress response off the body quickly to aid in decreased inflammation so the gut can begin to heal. The second test would be a comprehensive stool analysis and DNA testing of the microbiome itself. This gives us a chance to see if there are infections and the status of the good bacteria that is needed for proper enzyme activity and function of the mucous membranes. Ultimately, the testing is about finding the actual cause of the acid reflux symptom and supporting the body to heal naturally without suppressing the individuals innate response to a poor environment.


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