How Can My Doctor Know What Is Causing My Heartburn If the Appointment Is So Short?

If you suffer from heartburn or acid reflux, then you are part of the 20% (1) of Americans who suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). GERD is chronic if it lasts more than three months. You don’t have to live with it; even Western medicine might make it appear as if you do.

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GERD is when the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) between the stomach and the esophagus relaxes when it shouldn’t. When the LES relaxes, the stomach acid comes back up. The esophagus isn’t made to deal with stomach acid, so the stomach acid damages the esophagus. It is felt as a burning sensation as far up as the throat.

GERD is one of the top digestive issues. (2) In the US, it appears that it is normal to have it. The commercials we see don’t help with the issue at its root cause. They just say “eat what you want” and then just take an over-the-counter (OTC) medication like Tums.

Acid reflux and heartburn, are distinctive characteristics of GERD. In 2010, there were 1,653 deaths in the US because of GERD. (2) The fact that pharmaceutical companies have people pay for a “quick fix,” but doesn’t actually let the body self-heal, only causes more issues.

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It is common to think that GERD is too much stomach acid, but people of all ages get GERD, and it is even increased with age. (3) Then why do elderly people have GERD even though the average elderly person has a decrease in stomach acid by 30%? (4)

You have seen the warnings of GERD, and what can happen of the common risk factors aren’t taken seriously (overweight, smoking, overeating), but if you don’t work on reducing these risks, then medication is prescribed. Medication is used to get quick relief, and not to find the root cause, which aims to neutralize stomach acid or block the production of it. Granted, people just want relief, and don’t want to think about the root cause because of how painful GERD can be. If you know that there are billions of dollars spent on GERD medication, then you can see people want that “quick fix.” (5)


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Functional medicine, a.k.a, integrative medicine does not look to cover up the symptoms; it is aimed solely at finding the root cause so that each patient can get permanent relief. Any functional medicine doctor knows that there are adverse side effects of medication. They know that GERD medication also has harmful side effects. It is best if patients can get relief with the least amount of medication possible.

  1. Poor diet
    Especially in the Standard American Diet (SAD) , GERD is prevalent because of the highly processed, little to no nutritional value, food. Part of SAD is excess alcohol, caffeine, and fried foods. Since it is so easy to eat them, because they are convenient, it can also lead to weight gain. Excess weight puts pressure on the digestive tract, and therefore causes digestive issues.
  2. Stress
    Have you literally felt like your heartburn was worse, when you were stressed, if you even noticed you were stressed? Stress causes many problems with the body. The biggest issue it causes is digestive issues. Have you heard of “rest and digest?”

    When you are in full “rest and digest” mode, it is not possible to be in “fight or flight”mode. But when you are stressed, you are in that “fight or flight” mode. The key to unlock your heartburn issues may rest solely on which mode you are in.
  3. Issues with stomach acid
    It is common to think that there is too much stomach acid when there is heartburn. Maybe people are thinking of there being so much stomach acid that it puts too much pressure on the stomach, therefore effecting the way the LES works. This is partially true, but low stomach acid has been said to be a bigger factor relating to GERD.
    When there is low stomach acid, food can not break down enough. When food doesn’t break down enough it can sit too long in the gut, causing a plethora of issues. Low stomach acid also isn’t able to kill as much of the bacteria, viruses, yeast, and parasites.
    It is also common for people to supplement low stomach acid with hydrochloric acid (HCL) (6) or apple cider vinegar (ACV) (7)
  4. Imbalance in you gut bacteria
    The bacteria in our gut, are very important to our health and digestion. When our gut is imbalanced, the bad bacteria can thrive. One of the most common bacterial infections people have is H.pylori which can lead to ulcers (sores on the lining of the stomach or small intestine. (8)
  5. Food sensitivities
    It is common to have food sensitivities to dairy and gluten, in which they cause issues with your digestion. It is common to have undigested food cause heartburn because your body is trying to get rid of the “invaders.”

My mission as a Heartburn Health Coach is to assist in finding the root cause of your heartburn so that you don’t have to worry about any food you eat! If you are interested in finding the root cause, then CLICK HERE, to get a FREE 30 Min Discovery Call, so that you can finally get the relief you want!




We do not diagnose, treat, heal, cure or prevent any illness, medical condition or mental or emotional condition and nothing on our website, its content or in our services is intended to diagnose, treat, heal, cure or prevent any illness, medical condition or mental condition.  Thomas F Pearce sole proprietorship provides health coaching information and education.  Our services are not medical or mental health advice.  Thomas F Pearce is a health coach, not a mental health or healthcare professional.  Nothing on our website, in our Content or in our Services should be construed as healthcare or mental health advice or as a substitute for a consultation with a healthcare or mental health professional who can review and advise you on your specific situation.  Anyone choosing to implement any information on our website or in our Services should obtain prior medical clearance from a licensed or registered healthcare or mental health professional to declare them sufficiently healthy, and determine that the information on our website or in our services is appropriate and useful for them. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking professional advice because of information you have read on our website, or received from us.  Coaching is in no way to be construed as psychological counseling, therapy or medical advice.
This blog post is provided for educational and informational purposes only and is not medical, mental health or healthcare advice.  The information presented here is not intended to diagnose, treat, heal, cure or prevent any illness, medical condition or mental or emotional condition.

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