Fact Check: Are there only four causes of acid reflux? 

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Is it accurate to say that there are only four causes of heartburn?
No, it is not accurate to claim that there are only four causes of heartburn. Heartburn can result from various factors, including dietary choices, lifestyle habits, medical conditions, and certain medications. While common triggers include acidic foods, obesity, pregnancy, and hiatal hernia, the range of potential causes is broader and varies among individuals.





Last Updated on November 21, 2023 by Neelam Singh

Quick take 

A video on Facebook spreads misinformation about acid reflux causes. We fact checked and found this claim to be False.

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The Claim

In his facebook video the main causes of acid reflux are lifestyle factors like obesity and smoking, as well as pregnancy and hiatus hernia. Nutritionist Reece Mander, asserts that acid reflux has only four main causes: H. pylori infection, yeast infections, gallbladder issues, and mineral deficiencies. However, these claims are unfounded and may contribute to misinformation regarding the complex factors influencing acid reflux, potentially impacting viewers’ understanding and health decisions.

Acid reflux claim

Fact Check

What is acid reflux?

Acid reflux, also known as gastroesophageal reflux (GER) or acidity is a common digestive condition characterised by the regurgitation of stomach acid into the oesophagus. Normally, a ring of muscle called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) acts as a valve, allowing food to enter the stomach and preventing stomach contents from flowing back into the oesophagus. When the LES weakens or relaxes inappropriately, stomach acid can rise into the oesophagus, causing a burning sensation in the chest known as heartburn. Chronic acid reflux can lead to more severe conditions, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

What causes acid reflux?

Acid reflux is typically caused by the weakening or malfunctioning of the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), a ring of muscle that acts as a valve between the oesophagus and the stomach. When the LES fails to close properly or weakens, stomach acid can flow back into the oesophagus, causing irritation and the symptoms associated with acid reflux.

Many factors can contribute to the development of acid reflux:

  1. Hiatal Hernia: A condition where part of the stomach protrudes into the chest cavity, which can weaken the LES.
  2. Certain Foods and Beverages: Spicy, acidic, or fatty foods, as well as caffeine, alcohol, and citrus fruits, can trigger acid reflux.
  3. Obesity: Excess weight, especially around the abdomen, can put pressure on the stomach, leading to reflux.
  4. Pregnancy: Hormonal changes and pressure on the abdomen during pregnancy can contribute to acid reflux.
  5. Smoking: Smoking weakens the LES and can worsen symptoms of acid reflux.
  6. Certain Medications: Some medications, such as antihypertensives, painkillers, and sedatives, can relax the LES or irritate the esophagus.
  7. Lying Down After Eating: Reclining or lying down too soon after a meal can allow stomach acid to flow back into the esophagus.
  8. Certain Medical Conditions: Conditions like hiatal hernia, scleroderma, and gastroparesis can increase the risk of acid reflux.

Are acid reflux dangerous?

While occasional acid reflux is common and typically harmless, chronic or severe cases can lead to complications and may be considered more serious. Persistent acid reflux, known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), can cause inflammation, irritation, and damage to the esophagus over time. This can lead to conditions such as esophagitis, Barrett’s esophagus, and in rare cases, it may contribute to the development of esophageal cancer. Therefore, while acid reflux itself is not inherently dangerous, prolonged or untreated cases should be evaluated by a healthcare professional to prevent potential complications.

Do acid reflux go away itself?

In many cases, mild or occasional acid reflux can resolve on its own or be managed effectively with lifestyle changes and over-the-counter medications. Simple measures like avoiding trigger foods, maintaining a healthy weight, and not lying down immediately after eating can contribute to symptom relief.

However, chronic or severe acid reflux, known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), may require more comprehensive and long-term management. Treatment options may include prescription medications to reduce stomach acid production, lifestyle changes, and, in some cases, surgery.

It’s essential for individuals experiencing persistent or worsening acid reflux symptoms to consult with a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate management plan tailored to their specific situation.

How acid reflux feels like?

The feeling or the  symptoms of acidity can vary among individuals and may share similarities with gas-related symptoms. However, the primary manifestations of acid reflux commonly include chest pain and a burning sensation beneath the breastbone. Other less frequent symptoms encompass recurrent burping or hiccups without an evident cause, prolonged sour or bitter taste in the mouth (regurgitation), chest pain, a sensation of stomach heaviness after meals, nausea, constipation, indigestion, and bad breath. Additionally, individuals experiencing acidity may also feel restlessness. It’s important to note that these symptoms can differ from person to person, highlighting the variability in how acidity presents itself.

Is there any home remedy for acid reflux?

While home remedies for acid reflux offer temporary relief, it’s crucial to emphasise that persistent or severe acid reflux requires professional evaluation and treatment. Several home remedies may alleviate mild acidity issues. Fresh ginger or ginger tea can help soothe stomach inflammation, reducing acidity. Chewing fennel seeds or consuming fennel tea after meals aids in acidity and bloating reduction. Cold milk serves as a quick remedy, neutralising stomach acid. Roasted cumin seeds, when chewed, contribute to acidity reduction and improved digestion. Coconut water is another natural solution, neutralising stomach acid and alleviating acidity symptoms. However, caution is advised with baking soda, as it should only be used occasionally due to potential side effects with prolonged use. 

How can misinformation from a nutritionist impact society?

Misinformation from a dietitian/ nutritionist  can have profound effects on society. Firstly, it may lead individuals to make dietary choices that are not evidence-based, potentially resulting in nutritional imbalances, health issues, and compromised well-being. Inaccurate dietary advice can contribute to the spread of fad diets or misconceptions about food, influencing societal eating patterns negatively. Furthermore, trust in nutrition professionals and dietary recommendations may erode, hindering efforts to promote healthy lifestyles. Ultimately, the societal impact involves potential health risks, increased healthcare costs, and a population less equipped to make informed decisions about their nutritional choices. Accurate and reliable dietary information is crucial for the overall health of society.

Nutritionist

Chaitali Bharatia, M.Sc (Specialised Dietetics in Diabetes and Cardiac Nutrition) says, “Nutritional misinformation from nutritionists/dietitians can ripple through society, impacting health, trust, and culture. Incorrect nutritional advice can lead to poor dietary choices, which may contribute to various health issues such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and nutritional deficiencies. People may adopt diets that lack essential nutrients or consume excessive amounts of certain foods that can harm their health.”

Let’s advocate for evidence-based advice and promote a healthy, informed approach to nutrition. She also further added when asked about the causes of  acid reflux, Heartburn, or acid reflux, results from stomach acid flowing into the oesophagus, causing chest discomfort. Key triggers include GERD (a chronic condition affecting the lower esophageal sphincter), certain foods (spicy, citrus, chocolate, tomatoes), overeating, lying down after meals, and tight clothing. Identifying these triggers is crucial for effective relief.

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

Disclaimer
Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can further read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

Garima Dev Verman
Garima Dev Verman
A qualified and experienced dietitian, Garima is analyses and fact checks content around diet and nutrition.

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Is it accurate to say that there are only four causes of heartburn?
No, it is not accurate to claim that there are only four causes of heartburn. Heartburn can result from various factors, including dietary choices, lifestyle habits, medical conditions, and certain medications. While common triggers include acidic foods, obesity, pregnancy, and hiatal hernia, the range of potential causes is broader and varies among individuals.

Last Updated on November 21, 2023 by Neelam Singh

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

Is it accurate to say that there are only four causes of heartburn?
No, it is not accurate to claim that there are only four causes of heartburn. Heartburn can result from various factors, including dietary choices, lifestyle habits, medical conditions, and certain medications. While common triggers include acidic foods, obesity, pregnancy, and hiatal hernia, the range of potential causes is broader and varies among individuals.

Last Updated on November 21, 2023 by Neelam Singh

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

Is it accurate to say that there are only four causes of heartburn?
No, it is not accurate to claim that there are only four causes of heartburn. Heartburn can result from various factors, including dietary choices, lifestyle habits, medical conditions, and certain medications. While common triggers include acidic foods, obesity, pregnancy, and hiatal hernia, the range of potential causes is broader and varies among individuals.

Last Updated on November 21, 2023 by Neelam Singh

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

Is it accurate to say that there are only four causes of heartburn?
No, it is not accurate to claim that there are only four causes of heartburn. Heartburn can result from various factors, including dietary choices, lifestyle habits, medical conditions, and certain medications. While common triggers include acidic foods, obesity, pregnancy, and hiatal hernia, the range of potential causes is broader and varies among individuals.

Last Updated on November 21, 2023 by Neelam Singh

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

Is it accurate to say that there are only four causes of heartburn?
No, it is not accurate to claim that there are only four causes of heartburn. Heartburn can result from various factors, including dietary choices, lifestyle habits, medical conditions, and certain medications. While common triggers include acidic foods, obesity, pregnancy, and hiatal hernia, the range of potential causes is broader and varies among individuals.

Last Updated on November 21, 2023 by Neelam Singh

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

More in

Questions
Fact Check
Interviews
Stories
Videos
Is it accurate to say that there are only four causes of heartburn?
No, it is not accurate to claim that there are only four causes of heartburn. Heartburn can result from various factors, including dietary choices, lifestyle habits, medical conditions, and certain medications. While common triggers include acidic foods, obesity, pregnancy, and hiatal hernia, the range of potential causes is broader and varies among individuals.

Last Updated on November 21, 2023 by Neelam Singh

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

Is it accurate to say that there are only four causes of heartburn?
No, it is not accurate to claim that there are only four causes of heartburn. Heartburn can result from various factors, including dietary choices, lifestyle habits, medical conditions, and certain medications. While common triggers include acidic foods, obesity, pregnancy, and hiatal hernia, the range of potential causes is broader and varies among individuals.

Last Updated on November 21, 2023 by Neelam Singh

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

Is it accurate to say that there are only four causes of heartburn?
No, it is not accurate to claim that there are only four causes of heartburn. Heartburn can result from various factors, including dietary choices, lifestyle habits, medical conditions, and certain medications. While common triggers include acidic foods, obesity, pregnancy, and hiatal hernia, the range of potential causes is broader and varies among individuals.

Last Updated on November 21, 2023 by Neelam Singh

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

Is it accurate to say that there are only four causes of heartburn?
No, it is not accurate to claim that there are only four causes of heartburn. Heartburn can result from various factors, including dietary choices, lifestyle habits, medical conditions, and certain medications. While common triggers include acidic foods, obesity, pregnancy, and hiatal hernia, the range of potential causes is broader and varies among individuals.

Last Updated on November 21, 2023 by Neelam Singh

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

Is it accurate to say that there are only four causes of heartburn?
No, it is not accurate to claim that there are only four causes of heartburn. Heartburn can result from various factors, including dietary choices, lifestyle habits, medical conditions, and certain medications. While common triggers include acidic foods, obesity, pregnancy, and hiatal hernia, the range of potential causes is broader and varies among individuals.

Last Updated on November 21, 2023 by Neelam Singh

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

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