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Water Fasting & Heartburn - Is it Normal?

by Susan

I have been on a water fast for 6 days and I have experienced terrible heartburn... the worst I have ever had. Is this normal? I have not been able to find anything about this anywhere. Your help would be appreciated.

Dear Susan:

This is Robert Dave Johnston, webmaster of Fitness Through Fasting. The heartburn you are feeling is normal for many people. The acidity in your stomach increases substantially when one is not ingesting solid food.

In some cases this acidity materializes in heartburn. The best way to counteract this that I have found is simply to take an anti acid. Seltzer water with a small squeeze or lime also helps to soothe the acidity.

In addition, the toxins hidden in your fatty cells are released into the bloodstream when on a water fast. These toxins are processed by the digestive system and one of the side-effects is heartburn.

It is actually a symptom of detoxification. So you can be thankful that it appears your body is doing its job and cleansing itself. I am not sure how long you intend to fast, but these symptoms are normally gone between days 9 to 11.

I hope this helps. Keep us posted!

Take Care


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Oct 02, 2014
Heartburn during fast NEW
by: Nick

4 says into a 21(or more depending on how i feel)day fast. I have experience both heartburn and gas. Seems unusual considering i am eating absolutely nothing. I will not take any antacid, as I think this is counter to the idea of water only fast. however, i am going to try a sparkling mineral water with citrus essence, no calories or artificial anything. Thanks for the suggestion.

Jan 09, 2014
HeartBurn NEW
by: EN

After each 7 day water fast I always experience heartburn. Which settles down over the next 2-3 weeks.
I would never touch antacids as I dont want to suppress the true detox benefits and drive it deeper into the tissues. My suggestion is to let nature take its course and never rely on medication.

Dec 27, 2012
HeartBurn NEW
by: Anonymous

I am glad to hear that this is normal as well. I started my water fast 1 day ago, this is day 2 and my first day was the worst. The heart burn started mid day of my fast and my caffeine withdrawls started early morning. It is a hard detox to do but so worth it. I've done 2 week before but never had heart burn. I'm also burping alot, which i can assume is a part of the heartburn as well. I take 2 packs of emergenc everyday and 1 alka seltzer. It really helps. Good luck everyone!

Dec 02, 2012
Water + Peptobismol = Heartburn Releif NEW
by: Anonymous

First thing, drink plenty of water: water will dilute the acid thereby reducing the severity.

Second, soothe and protect your throat, I find that a spoonfull of PeptoBismol works better than an antacid.

Third, it may help to avoid the smell of food (this is what usualy gives me heartburn when I fast).

Apr 26, 2012
Heartburn NEW
by: Linda

I've found that flavored water as well as sugar free gum actually do more harm with my fasts... My best guess is because of the aspartame, which has been proven to increase cravings and give a major sweet tooth. I've also read that it's not so good to have anything with flavor because you confuse your body. Your mouth tastes food, and the brain sends signals to your stomach and it gets upset when there is none. All in your preference, though. :)

Feb 14, 2012
sick NEW
by: Anonymous

Im on day 23 of water fast and have really bad heartburn. Why after so long am I still having it?

Feb 14, 2012
sick NEW
by: Anonymous

Im on day 23 of water fast and have really bad heartburn. Why after so long am I still having it?

Jan 23, 2012
Heartburn and Propel NEW
by: Sonja

Thank you so much I started getting heartburn last night and didn't drink any water all day today because I didn't understand why I would have it when I am not eating anything.

So if I am ending my four day I can expect to have it 5 more days at the most. I hope I can endure it!

I looked for Seltzer water at Walmart and didnt find it so I got Propel water with grape scent and the heartburn started coming back half way through the small bottle of it.

Is it ok to have the flavor water? Is Propel good water to drink also?

Thank you again so much!

Jan 29, 2011
by: Michael

I'm going through this as we speak on the 6th day. I'm happy to hear that this is normal.

Mar 23, 2010
by: Anonymous

Very relieved to find it's normal. This is the worst heartburn I've ever experienced since pregnancy and then I called the midwife scared. Tums don't seem to help though, and neither did omeprazole and I hate taking meds during fasting since it seems counterproductive.

Feb 23, 2010
Heartburn ...great info
by: pabarrera@yahoo

I embarked on a 7 day water fast and started experiencing heartburn on days 5-7. I also couldnt find anything on it, but am glad to hear that if i decide to do a longer fast I can expect it to go away within a few days.

Thanks again

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