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Heartburn (acid reflux, gastroesophageal reflux disorder – GERD) is not caused by stomach acid itself. It is caused by a failure to keep stomach acid in the stomach. Medical treatments for heartburn used to be antacids that would neutralize stomach acid, thus giving symptomatic relief until the next episode (usually the next meal). This was obviously a temporary solution, but at least it was relatively harmless. The latest treatment for heartburn is the use of recently developed drugs that actually block acid production in the stomach. This is not only temporary, but potentially dangerous.

The stomach doesn’t make acid just to be irritating. There are a variety of nutrients (proteins, calcium, iron, etc.) that can’t be processed and absorbed without stomach acid, so your body will struggle against the drug to find ways to supply that essential acid. This means that the effective dose to control heartburn increases while your bones and organs are starving because they can’t get vital nutrition. I think it makes more sense to find out why the heartburn is happening and deal with that.

In order for food to get from the mouth to the stomach, it travels down the esophagus, which goes through the diaphragm via a hole called the esophageal hiatus. The diaphragm then serves as a valve to allow food down and keep acid from coming up. If the diaphragm is not properly toned, a portion of the stomach gets pulled up through this hiatus, creating a condition called a hiatal hernia. This situation allows acid up into the esophagus and you have acid reflux heartburn.

My job is to push the stomach back down where it belongs and do what spinal adjusting is necessary to restore normal tone to the diaphragm. This process usually has to be repeated two or three times, and it almost always solves the heartburn problem.