By Dr. Orie Quinn D.C.

Heartburn: a painful burning feeling in your heart and chest. If you ever have had heartburn, then you know how unpleasant a feeling it is. I’ve even had clients come in thinking they may be experiencing a heart attack and it is simply heartburn. Often it is felt after eating, but for others it is experienced between meals.

Food, along with salivary enzymes, make their way down the esophagus into the stomach where they are mixed with Hydrochloric acid. The acid breaks down the food into smaller particles to be absorbed in the small intestines. After the food passes into the stomach, a muscular sphincter or valve between the esophagus and the stomach should close. This prevents any acids from going back up into the esophagus, a tissue not designed to handle strong acids. It is when this valve isn’t closing properly that the acid moves back up the esophagus and burns the esophageal tissue.

The typical explanation for heartburn is that it is overproduction of stomach acid, but this typically only occurs with those that have zollinger-ellison syndrome. Most cases of heartburn we have found relate to the following issues:

Insufficient amounts of stomach acid: The valve between the esophagus and the stomach is PH dependent. If the acid levels are not high enough in the stomach the valve will not close properly.

Helicobacter Pylori (H. Pylori) imbalance: When stomach acids are suppressed, you reduce your body’s ability to kill H. Pylori. This then leads to further digestive issues and ulcers. This is one of the biggest arguments for not administering antacids.

Hiatal Hernia: This is where the stomach pushes up through the diaphragm and causes irritation. This can be corrected through Applied Kinesiology and Chiropractic Work.

Food Sensitivities: If sensitive to a food, it can cause irritation to the stomach and lower esophageal valve.

Potassium Deficiency: This has proven to be a staple in my treating of heartburn. Often simply taking potassium will improve the symptoms. There are many great herbs with good amounts of potassium that I have used to eradicate heartburn. This too is often linked to a food sensitivity. I have found gluten to be the most common culprit in affecting potassium levels.

Here in the office, through Applied Kinesiology techniques, we asses each of the given options. By the time we are done, we have a plan in place of what foods need to be removed, what herb are given and any supplements if needed.