Is Heartburn Always Due To Excess Acid?

This popular question - that people with GERD always have an overabundance of acid - has been reinforced because physicians frequently treat chronic heartburn with antacids and acid blocking medications. But heartburn is rarely due to excess acid. In fact, the actual amount of acid in the stomach of the GERD sufferer is usually normal, although it can be above average. So don't assume that your stomach acid is unusually acidic.

The problem actually lies with the location of the acid, not the quality or the quantity. When you suffer from heartburn, the acid is in the wrong place; that is, it is going the wrong way, moving up from the stomach into the esophagus. Because of a lack of effective drugs aimed at the underlying factors causing the actual acid reflux, the treatment is targeted at the acid instead.