I healed 20 years of heartburn by tackling dysfunctional beliefs

I healed 20 years of heartburn by tackling dysfunctional beliefs

If you’re struggling with heartburn – a burning in the chest or throat and difficulty digesting foods – I feel you! I was there too, for more than 20 years.

I tried all the things to get rid of the heartburn, and I want to save you years of time by giving you the steps to address yours.

When I first tried resolving heartburn, I started with natural lifestyle changes. Things like:

  • Avoiding common foods that trigger heartburn – citrus fruits, nightshades, chocolate, spices, gluten, processed foods, alcohol
  • Eating smaller meals
  • Slowing down and breathing before meals
  • Taking digestive enzyme and betaine HCL supplements to help digest foods
  • Drinking 10ml of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice diluted in water before meals
  • Rubbing lemon essential oil over my chest or chewing ginger to calm down heartburn
  • Eating a low-histamine diet.

All of these things helped, but in the end they were just ‘managing’ the heartburn symptoms, rather than resolving them.

Lab testing and therapeutic support for heartburn

So, I dug deeper. At this point in time I was a practising clinical nutritionist, and I started specialising in functional medicine, which uses lab tests that go beyond what GPs test for, to try to uncover functional imbalances in the body that lead to symptoms. And, boy, did I find some things connected to the heartburn!

Here are two key areas and how I therapeutically supported myself:

  • I tested my gut. I found I had a lot of pathogens – yeast overgrowth, parasites and helicobacter pylori which is a bacterial pathogen that reduces stomach acid and causes inflammation, which then flares up heartburn. I treated these pathogens with targeted nutrients and herbs like mastic gum and undecylenic acid.
  • I tested my adrenal glands which secrete the stress hormone cortisol. The test showed I was in adrenal fatigue and stuck in fight-flight mode. Stress greatly impacted my heartburn, so therapeutically supporting my adrenals with vitamin Bs, magnesium, and reducing my workload really helped.

Doing these two key things got me heartburn-free for several years. Until COVID hit. And my heartburn flared up with a vengeance! I tried all the same protocols that helped previously, and for 18 months I was stuck – nothing budged the heartburn this time.

Ending Body Burnout by Filipa Bellette

Ending Body Burnout by Filipa Bellette.

Reprogramming hidden dysfunctional beliefs for heartburn

And so, I dug deeper again. I discovered that the unconscious mind controls every chemical reaction in the body, and when there are health issues, baggage in the unconscious mind is playing a role.

Baggage looks like:

  • Dysfunctional beliefs you have about yourself
  • Unprocessed trauma or distressing events stuck in your unconscious and body
  • Childhood programming that leads to dysfunctional patterns such as overdoing, perfectionism, people pleasing and self-sabotage.

The huge breakthrough moment for me was when I uncovered a hidden belief that I was ‘weak and incapable’. It made sense that the heartburn flared up during COVID when there was heightened stress and chaos.

My unconscious mind was triggered and it turned on the heartburn physically, by increasing stress hormones, shutting off digestive juices, and releasing histamines. And it wasn’t letting me off the hook this time with relief using supplements or diets. This time, it was going to ensure I got to the deepest root cause and change the beliefs I had about myself.

I started doing deep inner healing, reprogramming new beliefs, rewiring the brain and regulating the nervous system. I started talking to my body differently, saying things like:

“You’ve got this, body. I trust you. I love you. You’re whole. You’re well. You’re fighting for me, not against me. I believe in you. I believe in me. I am strong. I am capable. I am amazing. Body, you are amazing. And I’m so sorry. I’m so truly sorry I had been doubting you, when I didn’t even consciously know I had been!”

It took four and a half months for my mind and body to click. I remember the day the heartburn lifted. I was eating dinner and as I spoke to my body, the most beautiful thing happened. From the top of my throat right to the bottom of my gut, I felt the most intense rippling feelings of energy and light and love cascade from one end of my gut to the other. And from that moment the chronic heartburn disappeared.

The good news is you can heal too. Our bodies are amazing, and they can communicate through symptoms and we can communicate back to rewire and heal our whole selves. You have everything inside of you to heal, to be whole, to be calm, and to be happy.

Filipa Bellette

This article was written by Filipa Bellette, the author of Ending Body Burnout.

She is also an accredited clinical nutritionist, functional medicine practitioner, coach, trauma therapist and PhD scholar. She is co-founder of award-winning health practice Chris & Filly Functional Medicine, best known for ending body burnout (for good!) in ‘busy’ people with energy, mood and gut issues.

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