Millions of people have heartburn or acid reflux, which is why antacid medications have been among the top sellers for more than a decade, raising tens of billions of dollars each year for pharmaceutical companies.

But what if heartburn had nothing to do with having too much acid in your stomach?

Instead, what if it had to do with a simple equation?

Too many “bad things” in your body, combined with not enough “good things”?

Well, it turns out that this is exactly the case and once you know how and why heartburn and acid reflux develop, you can start to do something about it.

Here are ten reasons why you may have these symptoms, along with some tips on how to alleviate them:

1. H. pylori infection: This bad bug curls up on the lining of your stomach, causing redness, swelling, and pain that feels like your chest is on fire. I had H. pylori between 2004 and 2007, but only found out when I did a stool test in the summer of 2007. My heartburn quickly disappeared when I treated H. pylori with herbs. Tip: Ask your doctor for a breath or stool test for H. pylori and get rid of it if necessary.

2. Cow’s milk has been shown to cause inflammation of the stomach and intestines in some people. Tip: switch to goat milk.

3. Gluten is a protein from wheat, rye, and barley. According to some experts, 80% of the population may be genetically prone to gluten intolerance, which causes inflammation in the intestine that can feel like heartburn. Tip: follow a gluten-free diet.

4. Low stomach acid: Oddly enough, tests performed on about 2,000 patients by Dr. Jonathan Wright, MD. showed that heartburn occurred more often in people who had LOW levels of stomach acid, not high levels. Tip: Try hydrochloric acid supplements with meals under the supervision of a trained professional.

5. Candida overgrowth: Candida is a type of yeast that grows too large when good bacteria and stomach acid levels drop too low. It can grow too large in your mouth, throat, stomach, and intestine and can cause heartburn. Tip: Take a complete stool test to check for Candida overgrowth.

6. Hiatal Hernia: A hiatal hernia can cause heartburn and heartburn symptoms. Your doctor can check it. Tip: A good chiropractor or physical therapist can perform manipulation to resolve the hernia (I have seen this in patients who report complete resolution of their heartburn afterward).

7. Alcohol consumption: Alcohol can burn the stomach lining, causing pain and a burning sensation. Tip: Minimize alcohol consumption and only drink alcohol with food.

8. Parasite Infestations – There are dozens of parasites and bacteria that can overgrow in the gut and cause heartburn. A parasite, a tiny worm called Strongyloides, can burrow into the intestinal lining like H. pylori bacteria, causing significant burning and discomfort. Tip: Take a comprehensive stool test for parasites.

9. Dehydration: If you don’t drink enough water, your stomach lining ends up looking like a dry desert. The protective mucus that is produced in goblet cells to protect the stomach lining breaks down, opening the stomach tissue to acid erosion. Tip: Drink 8-10 glasses of water a day and drink gradually.

10. Eat spicy foods: As simple as it may sound, cutting back on spicy foods can really help reduce heartburn, and that’s my last tip for you.

Go ahead and try these tips, implementing the simple ones first: drink more water and avoid gluten and cow’s milk.

If this doesn’t work, move on to the other tips: Get tested for H. pylori, parasites, and Candida and find out what’s in your gut that shouldn’t be!

I hope this article has helped you.