Is Heartburn An Issue of the Heart?

My family history has an issue with health. Most of my uncles (Father’s side) have heart troubles of one sort or another. Every time I go to a new doctor, I fill out the requisite questionnaire which always asks if I have a family history of heart attacks, diabetes, hangnail, athlete’s foot, etc. Consequently, this little fact keeps hovering in the back of my mind.

More often than I care to admit, I deal with heartburn and I wonder (and hope) that heartburn is all it really is. For a period of time last year, I took an OTC heartburn medication daily… well, in two week periods. Then I would go off meds for a couple of weeks and it would return. As did the medication.

Where does heartburn come from?

Obviously, it has nothing to do with the physical heart. It just happens to produce pain in that same general area, which in turn causes anxiety and stress which may actually feed the heartburn. That’s not a fun cycle.

I read an article by Dennis Thompson of HealthDay entitled “” He says that, generally, heartburn and acid reflux strike many people as an annoying and painful but ultimately harmless problem — a result of overindulgence and gluttony that must be endured. Frequent bouts of heartburn and reflux constitute a real medical condition known as gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, which is on the rise worldwide.

According to the U.S. National Institutes of Health, GERD, if left untreated, can lead to bleeding or ulcers in the esophagus, a buildup of scar tissue that makes swallowing difficult and, in extreme cases, esophageal cancer.

To quote from the article:

Most of the time, GERD stems from one of two causes — what you eat and how much you weigh — but excessive weight is the most prominent, said Dr. Kenneth R. DeVault, chairman of the gastroenterology department at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla., and co-author of the American College of Gastroenterology’s guidelines for treating GERD.

“The most consistent factor is probably weight gain and obesity,” DeVault said. “It’s become pretty clear that a small amount of weight gain produces an increase in reflux symptoms. I’m not talking a large amount; I’m talking about 5 or 10 pounds, probably. Even if you’re already overweight, increasing your weight will increase your risk of reflux over the next several months.”

Which brings me back to my question, which is expressed in the title of this post. Is heartburn an issue of the heart?

How do prevent heartburn from occurring?

It seems amazing to me that the answer to heartburn has been available to us for thousands of years. It apparently takes a physician restating the obvious to get our (my) attention. As stated above:

Heartburn is mostly the result of overindulgence and gluttony. 

I eat, therefore I hurt. Or rather, I eat too stinkin’ much, therefore I hurt. Gluttony is number 2 on the list of “”. The Bible speaks to gluttony many times (for more about that, ) and wisdom literature from the time wisdom literature was around speaks to the problem.

So, to answer my own question… yes. I believe that heartburn is an issue of the heart. At its root, heartburn stems from our lack of self-discipline. Physical appetites are an analogy of our ability to control ourselves. If we are unable to control our eating habits, we are probably also unable to control other habits.

For me, pushing away from the table is a constant battle, as is making healthier food choices. I’m doing my best to make a difference in that area. One of my choices is a great liquid supplement called GoYin. You can see more about GoYin on my Genesis PURE page. Another choice is my commitment to read through the Bible in this calendar year. I am using the chronological reading plan from I highly recommend it.

Are you suffering from heartburn? What are you doing to deal with it? Sound off. Let me know.. leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you.

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