What to do for Heartburn

So you have heartburn? Tired of taking all those pills and potions that help but still don’t fix the problem? There is help!

Heartburn can be from many different causes and it can be hard to know which it is. All those commercials for antacids and acid blockers make you think it really is a problem of too much acid in your stomach. Well, if it burns it must be right? Actually in most cases this is not true. More often the cause is not enough stomach acid.

You are probably thinking I am crazy about now right? Let me explain. When you eat, your stomach produces acid to digest the food you just ate. This also signals the muscular sphincter at the junction of the esophagus and stomach to close. This keeps the acidic mixture in your stomach from going back up into your esophagus and throat. When there is not enough acid in your stomach this does not happen and the fluid in your stomach can go back up. This mixture has enough acid to cause the familiar sensation of burning, cutting pain because the stomach has a nice protective coating and the esophagus does not.

This acid is also really important once the food moves on to the small intestine, it signals the pancreas and other organs to release their digestive enzymes so that your meal gets completely digested and then absorbed. When there is not enough acid, either from under production in the stomach or being blocked by acid blocking drugs, it prevents digestion from happening properly or so you can become deficient in certain vitamins and nutrients.  Ineffective digestion can lead to other problems as well such as gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, and others.

You can do something! There are some very simple things you can try at home that don’t involve expensive medications.

1. The first thing I have my patients try is to add 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar (raw, organic, & unfiltered) or lemon juice to a glass of water and sip slowly 15 minutes before a meal. This signals the digestive system to be ready for food.

2. Another thing is not to drink anything with your meal – including water. Wait until half an hour after eating to drink, it can dilute your stomach acid otherwise.  If this helps but not enough, you may need some supplemental HCl and/or enzymes to help.

3.If you are having an attack of heartburn acutely, take a straight dose of either the lemon juice or apple cider vinegar and this should help.

4. Another option would be to try some marshmallow root powder, 1 tsp in a glass of water, stirred and swallowed. You can also keep this in the refrigerator in a larger quantity, soaking it cold overnight makes it even more effective. You can go as high as 1 tbls or more in water, whatever works. This is safe and effective even during pregnancy.

There can be other causes of stomach pain that are underlying the heartburn and you may need to see a doctor to rule out other potential causes of the pain. A naturopath can help make up a customized treatment plan for you, stop in for your personalized consult.


  1. Dr. Stomach Pain says:

    That’s a fitting image.

  2. Forever 27 says:

    I see they’re saying now, officially and in the mainstream media, that diabetes can be cured by dieting. They’ve been saying that for years, though, in the underground press, that and more too; some have said that cancer can be cured, or at the very least retarded, by a sugar-free diet. A short time ago that would have been unthinkable, but so would the diabetes cure. We are indeed what we eat, apparently. How much more has been kept from us, I wonder?

  3. I’ve already bookmark this article and will definitely refer this article to all my close friends and colleagues. Thanks for posting!

  4. Thanks for posting this article! It is definitely something I have been looking for on MSN. I would rather hear opinions from an individual instead of a unfamiliar businesses online web page. Most likely for that reason I prefer reading weblogs. Thank you very much!

  5. I am so glad I found your website! I have looked for a Naturopathic Physician close to me for quite some time.
    The raw, organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar will usually do the trick for a bout of indigestion.
    However, I use a little trick I learned while working in a gastroenterology lab: chew sugar-free gum containing xylitol (like Trident). It is usually just as effective, taste great, and is a lot easier to find when you are out and about. The additional saliva neutralizes the acid.

  6. Unity says:

    I really wish there were more articles like this on the web.

  7. Sahlal says:

    Thanks for sharing the truth about stomach acid to your readers! You might also check out Dr. Wright’s 9 minute YouTube on his blog page about Low Stomach Acid. My husband has been dealing with all the symptoms for years and just found relief after Dr. Wright’s stomach acid test last month! http://tahomaclinicblog.com/

    • Dr. Keller says:

      I have actually learned quite a bit from Dr. Wright and do find that stomach acid is something many people are low in. He covered that extensively in the conference he did with Dr. Alan Gaby.

  8. I truly like your blog site style it really is extremely wonderful and clean, simple to examine.

  9. genf20 says:

    Greetings! Very helpful advice within this post! It’s the little changes which will make the biggest changes.
    Thanks a lot for sharing!

  10. kimak kau says:

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts about gerd. Regards