7 Common Acid Reflux Myths

by Tracy Davenport, Ph.D. Health Writer

Acid reflux is a reaction to spicy food.

Different foods can cause reflux in different people. While some are extremely sensitive to spicy foods, others can tolerate these foods but are extremely sensitive to greasy or fatty foods or chocolate and caffeine.

If you’re an adult without acid reflux, you won't get it.

Not true. Sometimes a change of lifestyle well into adulthood can be the underlying cause of acid reflux, such as putting on a few extra pounds or eating at fast food restaurants more than before.

There is always regurgitation with reflux.

Some with reflux never see “spit up.” Instead, their condition is known as “silent” reflux. They may not feel like eating sometimes or wake up frequently during the night.

You should see improvement within one week of treatment.

Successful treatment for acid reflux can require a lot of patience. Sometimes what is needed is a combination of behavior changes as well as medications. Both can take a few weeks or more.

Acid reflux disease can only be treated with medication.

Acid reflux medication may be necessary, but sometimes even just losing a few extra pounds, figuring out your trigger foods, or putting your bed on a slant can help with symptoms. Not eating before bedtime might also be an easy fix.

If you don’t have heartburn, you don’t have reflux.

The burning feeling in the chest is often a symptom you think about with acid reflux. But some do not have the typical “burning.” Instead, they may just have a constant stomachache or unexplained bad breath, just to name a few other symptoms.

Reflux isn’t dangerous.

Gastroesophageal reflux disease has been strongly implicated as the primary cause of Barrett’s esophagus. This condition can be a rapidly fatal disease and is on the rise in the U.S.

Tracy Davenport, Ph.D.
Meet Our Writer
Tracy Davenport, Ph.D.

Davenport is the founder of Tracyshealthyliving.com. Using the latest scientific research, she helps people live their healthiest lives via one-on-one coaching, corporate talks, and sharing the more than 1,000 health-related articles she's authored.