Heartburn: Heartburn Myths

Myths and Facts

MYTH: Heartburn only affects people with bad lifestyles and poor diets.

THE TRUTH: Heartburn is caused by a physical problem and can affect just about anyone. So while you may be able to avoid certain triggers, you won't necessarily be able to avoid heartburn.

MYTH: Stress can cause heartburn.

THE TRUTH: Stress isn't a proven cause of heartburn. However, it can lead to behaviors that trigger it. If you're under stress it may be more difficult to follow your regular routines. When your routines are out of whack, you can pick up some bad habits. It's these bad habits that can trigger heartburn. Not the stress.

MYTH: If you've never had heartburn before, you likely won't get it when you're pregnant.

THE TRUTH: Many women experience heartburn for the first time while pregnant. In fact, over half of all pregnant women will suffer from heartburn.

MYTH: A glass of milk will cure my heartburn symptoms.

THE TRUTH: The calcium in milk isn't the same as the calcium carbonate you find in products like TUMS®. At first, drinking a glass of milk may feel good, but it may really be making things worse. The calcium, protein, and fat in milk may actually cause your stomach to produce more stomach acid - triggering further heartburn symptoms.

MYTH: If you're taking over-the-counter antacids you don't need to see a doctor.

THE TRUTH: Antacids are great at quickly relieving your heartburn symptoms, but they usually don't treat any underlying conditions that could be causing them. So if you suffer from heartburn frequently (twice a week or more), or you have had heartburn for more than two weeks, it's important to talk to your doctor. Antacids may also interact with other medicines. That's why, if you're on a prescription drug, it's important to talk to your doctor or pharmacist before taking an antacid.

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