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What You Might Not Know About Acid Reflux and Ulcers

04.13.2013 · Posted in Others

Few people would disagree with the notion that regular “acid indigestion” and reflux are among the most uncomfortable bodily sensations.  Because acid reflux produces pressure in the check, people often mistake it for a heart attack or heart disease. It is best to have any check discomfort examined by a physician to rule out heart disease.


Excessive Acid and Insufficient Acid Have the Same Symptoms!


The average person does not know that the symptoms of excessive stomach acid are identical to the symptoms of insufficient acid.  Actually, most physicians are not aware of that fact either.  Therefore, when a patient complains of acid reflux, the average medical doctor reaches for his / her prescription pad and writes out a prescription for an acid reducer.  If the problem actually is insufficient acid, the acid reducer can decrease the stomach acid to the point that digestion becomes virtually impossible.


So how could a person have acid reflux if they do not produce enough stomach acid?  Remember that it’s the stomach’s job to continue the digestion process, and that it’s task is to produce chyme, a broken down, liquefied form of the food you ate.  Stomach acid helps to break down the food into chyme.  If there is insufficient acid, the stomach has to churn much harder to try to break down the food.  Add to this scenario the fact that many people drink a considerable amount of fluids while eating.  As a result, a great deal of pressure is built up in the stomach to the point where the contents push through the cardiac valve (at the top of the stomach that is designed to keep stomach contents from entering the esophagus) and into the esophagus.  The result is acid reflux.


So how can a person determine if they have too much or insufficient stomach acid?  First, it’s unlikely anyone over 40 years old has too much stomach acid.  It can happen, though, as the result of a bad diet, chronic anxiety, or gallbladder problems.  But the older we get, the less stomach acid our bodies produce.  A popular test in the natural health field is to drink a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar when experiencing symptoms.  If the symptoms subside, that’s possibly a sign of not having enough stomach acid.  If the symptoms get worse, then excessive acid or a hiatal hernia likely are to blame.


A technique to help correct a hiatal hernia is to drink 12-16 ounces of water then jump off of the first or second step of a staircase or off of a chair.  This helps to pull the stomach down to its normal position.  Obviously, I recommend against that if you have a condition that would be harmed by jumping.  Use caution!


Why Taking Antacids is a Bad Idea


We need stomach acid for digestion, particularly to break down minerals.  If you do not absorb enough minerals from your diet, a variety of conditions can occur, such as arthritis, osteoporosis (bone loss), and a variety of neurological problems.  In my experience, I have noticed a correlation between taking antacid medication and symptoms of magnesium deficiency.


Stomach acid also helps to kill bacteria and other harmful organisms sometimes present in food.  Without sufficient stomach acid, people are much more likely to become ill from contaminated food.  Please note that I am not suggesting that you stop taking medication prescribed to you by a physician.  That is a decision for you and your doctor to make.


About Ulcers


The stomach is protected by a mucous.  If that were not the case, stomach acid and digestive enzymes would work at digesting it!  And that essentially is what happens when an ulcer occurs.  Either the body is not producing enough mucous, or something has removed some of that lining, leaving the stomach tissue exposed to the acid and digestive enzymes.  NSAIDS medications, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen can eat away at the mucous lining.  Also, alcohol, coffee, tea, sugar, and excessive protein consumption can reduce the important protective lining.


Helicobacter pylori bacteria  can inhabit various areas of the stomach, particularly the antrum. It causes a chronic low-level inflammation of the stomach lining and is strongly linked to the development of duodenal and gastric ulcersand stomach cancer. Over 80% of individuals infected with the bacterium have no symptoms.


Potential Help for Reflux / Ulcer Problems


L-Glutamine and DGL Licorice have both been proven through research to build the mucous membrane in the stomach.  Slippery Elm Bark produces a coating in the stomach to help ulcers heal.  Aloe Vera Juice helps to soothe irritated tissue.  Olive Leaf Extract helps to kill bacteria.  If improper digestion / insufficient acid is causing reflux, our Superzymes can help restore the proper balance.


If excessive acid is a problem, it’s a good idea to avoid milk, coffee, tea, soda pop, sugar, and excessive protein (particularly animal protein).  Avoid eating immediately before going to bed.  Drinking water can help neutralize the acid, as well as water with a ½ teaspoon of baking soda.  Also, do your best to reduce anxiety.


Obligatory Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.   The statements in this article, and products recommended, are not meant to diagnose or treat any illness.  Consult your doctor and / or pharmacist before making changes to your diet or before taking supplements.