Plain water should not give you heartburn, but carbonated water does give you heartburn if you have already developed the condition. Heartburn is another name given to the disease acid reflux or GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease). This disease has many known causes and there are treatments that you can do at home to help alleviate or eliminate the symptoms of this disease.
Drinking some types of beverages have been associated with causing the flare up and water does give you heartburn if it is carbonated. Carbonated soda, caffeinated beverages, and citric based juices are also associated with these symptoms. The citrus juice and tomato juice will add acid to your stomach and possibly cause an excess that will weaken the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). Carbonated beverages can cause the stomach to expand with gas and put pressure on the muscle. Caffeine is thought to stimulate the production of more stomach acid.
For most people water does not give heartburn because drinking plain water can help dilute the acid in the stomach. However, water that is carbonated will cause burping and when you burp acid is forced back into the esophageal canal. Science Daily reported in 2006 that the Mayo Clinic studies found that a pre-cancerous condition could develop in 5% of the participants that had acid reflux. When the acid is continually forced into the esophagus the burning can scar the tissue and sores, or ulcers, can develop. This can cause cell abnormalities that can lead to the formation of cancer cells.
If you have acid reflux that occurs more frequently than twice a week, you need to see your physician who will diagnose you with GERD. You need to treat the condition as your physician directs. You may be told to change your diet to eliminate the foods that are known triggers of the disease. You may receive suggestions to eliminate carbonated, caffeinated beverages. You may be told to drink plenty of water to help dilute the stomach acid.
The physician may do tests in the office that will help identify the cause of your symptoms. If you have structural abnormalities he may need to correct them surgically. You will monitor the foods you eat and the pH levels of your stomach can be tested to determine whether you have high or low levels of acid. If you suffer from low acid in the stomach water does give you heartburn because it will stimulate the production of stomach acid that is necessary for proper digestion of the foods you eat.