Common Myths And Misconceptions About Heartburn

22 February 2022
 Categories: Health & Medical , Blog


If you suffer from heartburn regularly, you are not alone. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), approximately 60 million Americans report having heartburn at least once a month. Although heartburn is a common condition, many people are still confused about the causes and cures for this irritating gastrointestinal issue. Here are a few of the most common myths and misconceptions surrounding heartburn.

Heartburn is a Sign of a Heart Condition

Although the name is misleading, heartburn has nothing to do with your heart. In reality, heartburn occurs when the muscles at the top of your stomach allow acid to enter your esophagus. The presence of this acid is what causes the symptoms associated with heartburn, including discomfort, gas, bloating, and a sour taste in the mouth.

Milk and Yogurt Will Cure Your Heartburn

You may have heard the old wives' tale concerning treating heartburn with milk, yogurt, or other dairy products. The idea is that the dairy product will coat the stomach, leading to some relief from the burning sensation associated with heartburn. Unfortunately, while you may experience some minor relief for a few moments, consuming too much dairy to combat your heartburn can do more harm than good.

Consuming too much dairy can increase the acid production in your stomach, which will make your heartburn even worse.

Chronic Heartburn is Caused by an Improper Diet

One of the most common myths about heartburn is that if you suffer from chronic heartburn, you must have a poor diet and consume too many acidic, fatty, and sweet foods and beverages. However, while eating these foods might make your heartburn worse, the underlying cause of your heartburn has little to do with your diet.

Some people produce more stomach acid than others and the overproduction of stomach acid can lead to frequent heartburn.

Chronic Heartburn is No Cause for Concern

Finally, if you suffer from heartburn several times a week or month, you might have a more serious condition called gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD. Chronic GERD can begin to damage your esophagus because of the increased exposure to stomach acid. If you have chronic heartburn or suspect you might have GERD, it is critical to contact your doctor right away.

A combination of over-the-counter treatments and nonsurgical interventions can help control your heartburn symptoms, which can greatly improve your quality of life.

From the idea that heartburn can be cured with a big glass of milk to the notion that chronic heartburn is no big deal, there are several common myths associated with heartburn.

To learn more information, reach out to a gastroenterologist near you.