By Michelle Balint
PharmD, IHP, RCPC
Heartburn may be commonly misunderstood. Oftentimes what we think is high stomach acid is in fact low stomach acid. If this is the case, then taking medication to lower stomach acid even further may be doing more harm than good.
Stomach acid is important, not only does it help break down foods but it also helps absorb nutrients and keep pathogens at bay.
Our esophagus leads into the stomach at a spot where we have the esophageal sphincter. This sphincter’s job is to open to allow food in and close to keep stomach acid in the stomach and prevent it from coming up, which is where we get that heartburn feeling. When acid is too low, the sphincter doesn’t get the signal to close properly, which allows acid to move up into the esophagus. Oftentimes, we can remedy this by increasing the stomach acid, which will signal the sphincter to close and therefore prevent heartburn. This will allow our bodies to digest food better and allow for better long term results.
Ehardt’s pharmacy carries a supplement that can help increase stomach acid and also includes digestive enzymes and ox bile, which will help break down food and is especially great if someone has had their gallbladder removed.
Always consult with your doctor or friendly neighborhood pharmacist before trying a new supplement or medication. Stop by Ehardt’s today to let us help you relieve your heartburn!