ACID REFLUX / HEARTBURN
Since US consumers spend $14 billion dollars a year on heartburn medications, acid reflux must be a really big problem. Unfortunately, these drugs are misrepresented as harmless when they can actually have lethal side effects with long-term use. Acid-blockers have only been proven safe and approved for use for 2-4 weeks!
Another surprise is that, by blocking acid, only most cases are they NOT fixing the fundamental cause of the discomfort because the cause is seldom excess stomach acid as we’ve been led to believe. There are different names for the result of acid reflux such as heartburn, GERD or Barrett’s Esophagus, but the cause is the same—stomach acid getting where it doesn’t belong.
So, to solve the problem permanently and avoid the serious health complications you might develop from suppressing needed stomach acid, it is important to figure out what went wrong and fix that problem. Helping people do just that is why I wrote Natural Alternatives to Nexium, Maalox, Tagamet, Prilosec & Other Acid Blockers. Subtitle: What to Use to Relieve Acid Reflux, Heartburn, and Gastric Ailments. It is neither expensive nor a difficult read, but if you can solve your problem after reading a few free pages on this website, good for you! (Of course you will miss out on a lot of general health information I put in the book.)
Some of the causes:
- Sugar and starch consumption. Although the mechanisms are just now being revealed in research, what does a person have to lose by reducing these non-nutritive fattener-uppers? It often works. Read Avoid Diabetes with Low Glycemic Meals.
- Hiatal hernia. This is a structural problem where the stomach protrudes up through the diaphragm. It can often be remedied by a chiropractor or even a massage therapist. Check out Dr. Bob’s article about how to resolve the problem naturally.
- Spinal mis-aglignment. Something may be interfering with the supply of nerve energy to the stomach or the esophageal sphincter. Again, see a chiropractor.
- Inflammation. Inflammation is the culprit in most chronic disease. An inflamed esophageal sphincter doesn’t work close correctly after the food passes by. Trans fats, sugar, chemicals, nutrient deficiencies and Candida Yeasts are causes of inflammation.
- Medications. A large number of drugs cause heartburn-among them the ubiquitous statin cholesterol-lowering drugs. For most conditions there is a natural solution.
- Imbalance of intestinal bacteria. Read more about that on these pages: Amazing Functions of 12 strains, Probiotics (You can’t live without them), Probiotics (How to select), Probiotics in the News, Probiotics Q & A
- Insufficient stomach acid. Counter intuitive as this cause is, it is common, especially at middle age and beyond. Without enough acid, food isn’t digested efficiently and tends to remain in the stomach too long. That increases the chance that the contents might splash into the esophagus which is not protected against even weak acid. Also, the sphincter that is supposed to keep stomach contents from backing up may not be triggered if stomach acid is too low. Food (especially carbs) and juices too long in the stomach can ferment, bubble up and create alcohol which is also irritating.
Stomach Acid Benefits
Far from being optional , stomach acid is crucially important . What it does:
- Serves as our first line of defense against invading bacteria and other organisms
- Performs an important step in the breakdown of protein in food
- Is needed for the absorption of life-protecting minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium and zinc
- Aids the production of vitamin B 12 and contributes to folic acid absorption
- Establishes the correct pH to trigger the stages of digestion that follow and the closing of the Lower Esophageal Sphinter.
- Helps create conditions suitable to the proper balance of beneficial intestinal bacteria
Long Term Use of Acid Blocking Drugs increases disease risk
This is just a sample of a huge list:
- Hip fracture
- Irregular heartbeat and sudden death
- C-difficile infection (life-threatening diarrhea)
- Erectile dysfunction
- Vitamin B12 deficiency (which can create permanent nerve damage)
Natural Alternatives to Nexium, Maalox, Tagamet, Prilosec & Other Acid Blockers. Subtitle: What to Use to Relieve Acid Reflux, Heartburn, and Gastric Ailments. Besides explaining the dangers of these medications and helping fix the real cause (which is seldom too much acid) this book is also helpful for solving other digestive problems.
Aloe Vera Modern Science Sheds Light on an Ancient Herbal Remedy by Martie Whittekin, CCN
No More Heartburn, by Sherry Rogers, MD
Why Stomach Acid Is Good for You: Natural Relief from Heartburn, Indigestion, Reflux and GERD, by Jonathan Wright, MD
Supplements (I do not sell any supplements—I just recommend what I believe in.):
Probiotics: Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics See some of the links listed at the top or bottom of this page to better understand why this one is so superior. Usually these are swallowed, but for fast relief, chew one or two.
Aloe: Lily of the Desert Stomach Formula and Juice Start with the Stomach Formula and switch when you are doing better.
Zinc carnosine: Doctor’s Best PepZinGi. Not just any form of zinc will do. Zinc-carnosine tends to stay more in the gut and has been shown to promote healing of even ulcers.
Also see the enzymes on the page DIGESTION. You can use a spoon or two of Apple Cider Vinegar diluted in a little water before a meal as a rough test. If the vinegar helps, it is a sign that you may need more acid. However, even if you do need it, the vinegar may burn if the tissues are terribly inflamed.
Related pages: Getting Off Acid Blockers, Reflux Q & A, Reflux Teleseminar Slides, DIGESTION, Aloe Benefits, Amazing Functions of 12 strains, Probiotics (You can’t live without them), Probiotics (How to select), Probiotics in the News, Probiotics Q & A, Avoid Diabetes with Low Glycemic Meals (because acid reflux seems to improve too)
Copyright 2014 by Martie Whittekin, CCN