ZocdocAnswersDoes a diet lacking in sodium and chlorine foods have any impact on heartburn?

Question

Does a diet lacking in sodium and chlorine foods have any impact on heartburn?

I'm critiquing a medical article written in the 1800's. It claims the above question is the cause of heartburn I'm disagreeing with the statement but just wanted a professional opinion

Answer

This is an interesting question. The medical knowledge surround gastroesophageal reflux disease has changed quite a bit since the 1800s. I strongly encourage you to consult an academic gastroenterologist specializing in this disorder for further input. Gastroesophageal reflux disease is thought to occur when gastric stomach contents are able to bypass the stomach's cardiac sphincter and irritate the esophageal lining. This can be caused by a lack of patency of this sphincter. Other conditions, such as a hiatal hernia, can predispose people to gastroesophageal reflux disease. Lifestyle factors, such as eating large meals, eating shortly before lying flat, and eating particular foods such as spicy meals, chocolate, and caffeine, can also trigger gastroesophageal reflux disease. While the current medical opinion suggests there are many factors that contribute to gastroesophageal reflux disease, I am not aware of any large trial suggests that sodium and chloride content of one's diet affects either development of gastroesophageal reflux disease or palliation of its symptoms. It is nearly impossible to completely remove these elements from one's diet, especially in Western societies where salt plays such a large role in cooking and is present in large quantities in commercially-available meals. I encourage you to arrange an appointment with a gastroenterologist to discuss this further.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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