This article on heartburn was written for the monthly magazine of a health centre in Cambridge and is re-published on this website. Thierry Clerc practices in Cambridge as a clinical homeopath and a nutritionist. He is a regular contributor of several national and international health magazines.
You can also find a more recent post on the side-effects of common heartburn drugs here.
The common term, heartburn (medical term: pyrosis or acid indigestion) describes very well the condition. This is a a feeling of burning in the chest area, usually after or while eating.
Heartburn is afflicting more and more people in the Western world. This can be due to a physical issue, when the lower oesophageal sphincter is not closing properly, leaving acid go upwards.
However, this is more commonly due to an inability to balance properly the level of acidity in the stomach.
Stomach acidity is mainly controlled by 3 hormones. Their levels tend to be severely disrupted by long-term stress, pregnancy and overall body toxicity.
Anti-acid medications help alleviate the pain, but they may also further upset the acidity imbalance. They are not a cure either as they do not address the main underlying cause.
Change of diet, eating more slowly and in a relaxed atmosphere is a very good start. This will put the body in an optimal situation to produce the right amount of acidity.
Starting with bitter-tasting food or a bitter herb, can also help.
Finally, a proper case-taking, done by a clinically-trained homeopathy can help to find the cause, and set a plan to address it, and pretty quickly re-balance everything.