Heartburn, Part Two

About 2 months ago, I wrote about my recent heartburn problems. I took prescription antacid for 6 weeks to let my stomach heal, and that did help for a while. However, once the medicine was used up, the pain came right back. I remember two days later having terrible pain and nausea before I vomited. When the heartburn gets bad, it feels like getting stabbed in the stomach. I was afraid that this would be my condition for the rest of my life.

But then I went on a recent camping trip for Memorial Day Weekend here in the US, and suddenly my heartburn was gone. Just gone. Our friend, who’s Korean, made all kinds of spicy Korean food for us for 3 days: kimchi, galbi, pot-stickers, etc. I also had muffins and coffee, but nothing happened.

That’s when I realized that a big reason why my heartburn has started is stress. As soon as I went camping, my stress level went down, and my stomach calmed down too. When I came back from the camping trip, it started up again a couple days later, just like before. Later, when I went on the trip to see the King Tut exhibit, I had a fun, relaxing day with my wife and daughter, and even though I cooked kara-age (Japanese fried chicken), I had no heartburn at all.

Stress is definitely the main component, I think, but food is definitely contributing. One friend I talked to recently told me that she had the same issue for many years. For her, it was also stress-related, but certain foods made it worse. Foods with MSG, alcohol, and soda are all bad. My experience seems to match this. I drank a soda during the camping trip, and the heartburn came back a little, so I decided to stop drinking soda as much as possible.

It’s difficult to resist sometimes, but I’ve read on various websites that soda and caffeine are two sources for heartburn because they allow stomach acid to leak back out. Coffee I can’t quit, but I don’t drink espresso drinks much anymore, or if I do, I always drink decaffeinated. I still enjoy my little λ§₯심 Korean instant coffee at home and the office, but this is much weaker than espresso drinks, and much cheaper anyway.

Stress management, though, is still something I am still exploring. It might just be a simple solution: I need to get out more. My wife works very hard every day taking care of the house, driving our daughter everywhere and volunteering, but she does get very tired. So, she goes out with her friends about once a month, and I am glad she does. She certainly deserves it, but also it’s good stress relief too.

I don’t get out much lately, and all my good friends (besides my wife) moved out of state, so I probably need to find new activities outside the home regularly. I just don’t know where to begin. :p

P.S. I have a post coming up about my adventures taste-testing some Korean ramen (ramyeon), and that sometimes affects my heartburn as well. But it’s all for research, so I don’t mind. πŸ˜‰


Author: Doug

A fellow who dwells upon the Pale Blue Dot who spends his days obsessing over things like Buddhism, KPop music, foreign languages, BSD UNIX and science fiction.

8 thoughts on “Heartburn, Part Two”

  1. Spicy foods are actually really good for the stomach (cayenne, for example, kills bacteria and heals ulcers) so the spicy Korean food probably helped. It seems kind of backwards, but it’s true! Also.. the darker the coffee, the higher it is in antioxidants, so if you’re not going to give it up, you should actually stick with the darker roasts/espresso. Just drink in moderation, I guess. Anyway I just thought I’d share what I’ve learned from Dr. Oz…


    1. Hi Ashley,

      That’s really interesting advice. I assumed spicy food was bad, because medical research implies that it produces more stomach acid. So far though, it doesn’t seem to bother me.

      As for coffee, that’s intriguing. If I drink heavier espresso drinks with lots of cream/sugar they seem to make my stomach unhappy.

      However, the biggest problem by far are colas and greasy or deep-fried foods. Those are guaranteed to bother my stomach.

      Thanks for chiming in!


  2. Hi,

    my uncle once had an ulcer that would not go away with standard medicine.
    A day a friend told him an old method: drink the juice of two cabbages every day.
    My uncle decided to give it a try and “rented” a small cabbage garden from a farmer nearby and everyday he would pick two cabbages (one in the morning and one in the evening), put them in the juicer and drink what came out.
    At first the flavour was awful, almost spicy and a little sweet. But then he got used to it and in a matter of a month and a half the ulcer completely disappeared, so much that the doctor, to his own surprise, could not even find the scar.
    I guess regular supermarket cabbages would do as well.
    Thought it would be good to share this story.
    All the best,



    1. Cabbage juice, huh? That’s a very interesting trick.

      For me, my heartburn has been a lot better lately, mostly because I stay away from sodas and deep-fried foods. Eating kimchi and spicy foods doesn’t seem to bother my stomach and I am happy about that. πŸ™‚


  3. When acids in the stomach rise the food pipe, it leads to heartburn. Heartburn is a digestion problem, as opposed to popular opinion of being a heart problem. Heartburn can also be termed esophageal disorder. Heartburn is burning sensation in the esophagus. Heartburn pain may also be felt in the upper abdomen and chest area. There are three causes of Heartburn – poor food habits, sleeping postures and tight clothes. One can prevent heartburn or lessen its intensity by following some simple rules related to food, sleeping and clothes. One should be careful if suffering from heartburn. Many times, heartburn is supposed to be the cause of pain totally ignoring impending heart attack.”

    My very own web page


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