Lemon juice reduced joint pain but caused heartburn

I began drinking a slice of lemon in a glass of cold water each morning one week ago. My joint pain almost disappeared. Now I have severe heartburn.


I think this kind of points out that everyone's body is different.

Many people have related that drinking lemon water before or during meals reduces their heartburn. I think this is because one of the potential causes of acid reflux for some people is due to an insufficient amount of stomach acid production while eating. Thus, for these people, drinking lemon water provides the additional acidity that they need which then helps reduce acid reflux.

However, in your situation, the lemon water might be too much acid for your stomach pH.

If at any point you decide to try drinking lemon water again (since you experienced less joint pain), you might try diluting the lemon water (less lemon juice with more water) and drink it apart from meals.

If you drink a weak dilution of lemon water at least one hour before eating anything and you still get heartburn after drinking the lemon water, then I would stop drinking it for now.

Nancy Hearn, CNC

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Lemon Water and Acid Reflux

Hi, I have acid reflux and take nexium once a day. Would you recommend I try lemon water twice a day and how much lemon juice do I dilute with water?


Since I am not a medical doctor, I cannot recommend anything, per FDA regulations.

However, what I have learned is that drinking lemon water has gone both ways for some people with acid reflux.

Some have said they noticed decreased acid reflux after drinking lemon water. But any type of citrus can worsen the symptoms of acid reflux and this could potentially be the case with drinking lemon water.

I think it depends to a certain extent on whether the person's acid reflux has done any damage to his or her esophagus or if there is any type of ulcer. If this is the case, then drinking lemon in water would NOT be a good idea.

One of the primary causes of acid reflux is insufficient stomach acid production for optimal digestion, especially with animal-based proteins.

Thus it makes sense that drinking lemon water before a meal might assist in providing additional acid and enzymes in the stomach to aid in digestion. But again, it would only be beneficial if there is no damage to the stomach or esophagus.

Another great option that has helped many people I know who had acid reflux is drinking ionized alkaline water. Even though lemon water is alkalizing in the body after it is metabolized, it is acidic going down. Alkaline water is not acidic and therefore will not be detrimental if someone has ulcers or a damaged esophagus.

Drinking unfiltered apple cider vinegar (such as Bragg's brand) or a high-quality aloe vera juice (such as Aloe Life brand or Lily of the Desert) before a meal can also help promote healing for this condition.

Also, taking a Betaine HCL supplement with high protein meals or any type of meal that would normally cause the reflux has helped some people. The Doctor's Best product shown below is a good one.

If I had acid reflux and wanted to see if the lemon in water might help, I would drink a high dilution of lemon water (such as 1/4 fresh lemon in 8 to 12 ounces of water) once a day and see how it goes. If it seems to help (or at least does not make the reflux worse), then I might gradually increase the frequency and/or the amount of lemon juice in the water.

Nancy Hearn, CNC

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