The Cause of Stomach Pain, Ulcers, and Heartburn

by Amy Coates, RHN, BSc


When the stomach creates too much stomach acid, it can leave you in a lot of pain. When too much hydrochloric acid (HCl) is in the stomach, ulcers and lesions can appear in stomach mucosa.

If heartburn is felt 40-60 minutes after a meal, and is relieved by an antacid, you may have an overactive stomach. But it is important to look at what you’ve just eaten that created what appears to be an overactive stomach. If you’ve just eaten 2 lbs of chicken wings, and chugged down 4 pints of beer, it’s no wonder your stomach is angry! It may be that you are just too full, and the food plus your stomach acid is overflowing your stomach! Take a moment to think: are you abusing your stomach?

Sometimes an underactive stomach can masquerade as an overactive stomach. If you are a frequent user of antacids or aspirin, you may be aggravating your stomach mucosa, and actually may be a sufferer of low stomach acid. Avoid the use of aspirin and other drugs. If you have food sensitivities, an underactive stomach is probably your true problem.

If you think you may have an overactive stomach, you'll want to adopt a healthy whole foods diet, as well as avoiding foods. Avoid spicy foods as they aggravate the stomach lining and create more acid as a result. Refined foods like breads and sweets pass through the stomach much too quickly, leaving you with a stomach full of unnecessary acid, so they should be avoided as well. Alcohol, tobacco, nitrates, and caffeine will also contribute to an overactive stomach. In the hours that follow the consumption of a coffee on an empty stomach, you will feel the stomach acid produced. Nitrates are used as a meat preservative. They combine with natural stomach hormones called amines to form nitrosamines which are potent poisons and cancer agents. Locate a local butcher that specializes in nitrate-free meats. Even better, start following more of a vegetarian diet.

If you think you have lesions in your stomach or a stomach ulcer, you will need to heal the stomach mucosa. In addition to the recommendations above, you may want to supplement with Aloe Vera. Raw cabbage juice is another potent stomach healer.

If you think you have an overactive stomach, but are not sure, you can test yourself by taking an HCl tablet. You will immediately feel a burning sensation if the condition is present. Have some food nearby to quench the burn, if it does appear!




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