There are many different reasons why people develop heartburn or the condition known as acid reflux syndrome. The most common cause of heartburn is because the muscular valve that closes between the stomach and the esophagus does not close properly, and the acid can then move up in to the throat and mouth, leaving pain and damage along the way.
However, there may be a link to Hypercalcemia, and if you have this, you may find that this is the cause of heartburn, and might be part of the reason why already existing reflux acts up for you so much.
Hypercalcemia is basically an excess of calcium in the body or blood stream. Many think you should get as much calcium as you can, but there are times when the body retains too much, and there are problems that can result from this. It usually points to something else going on in the body.
Some of the symptoms of this condition are varied, but might include tiredness, mental fog or confusion, upset stomach (vomiting and nausea), increased need to urinate, some constipation, depression, and in some cases, muscle weakness, and renal stones. This can also produce an abnormal heart rate or rhythm.
This condition is usually the result of something else. It can happen as a symptom of hyperthyroidism. This is when the thyroid works too well and the body loses mass very rapidly. It might also be a side symptom that happens with cancer or Paget’s disease. This will be diagnosed with a blood test that gives an accurate calcium level, and an EKG might be needed to test for abnormal heart rhythms. Treatment tends to happen when the underlying condition is treated.
The problems with heartburn and Hypercalcemia seem to be two fold.
One problem is that calcium is an ingredient in many of the over-the-counter heartburn medications. This can lead a person with severe acid reflux symptoms to take in too much calcium each day. On the flip side, this condition can actually lead to increased acid production in many who have GERD already, or those who have never had a problem. In turn, a person might take more OTC medications, and the problem would then compound. This is why it is important to watch for symptoms and see a doctor if Hypercalcemia is suspected. It is important to note that the acid reflux medication alone will not cause this condition in most people, but rather, it might aggravate it in those who already have it for any of the known underlying causes.
A doctor will have to do the appropriate tests to find out why the Hypercalcemia is there, and the underlying medical condition must be addressed in order to get it under control.
If a person finds out that this is the cause of heartburn for them, they will need to seek treatment for the condition causing Hypercalcemia, and then must find something to take for GERD that does not have calcium in it. That might not clear up the problem, but that might stop some of the excess acid production associated with this. Once the underlying cause of the excess calcium can be found the acid production can go down, though that does not mean it won’t go away entirely.