According to experts, nearly 100% of patients with heartburn and gastrointestinal complaints do NOT create enough stomach acid. This however goes against conventional medicine wisdom because we’ve been told for years that too much acid is the culprit for most GI issues like GERD. acid reflux and heartburn. As a result of this theory, doctors have been prescribing antacids and proton pump inhibitors to Americans by the droves.
Unfortunately, these drugs do not help cure the organic cause of acid reflux or other GI issues and – although drugs like Nexium, Pepcid, Prevacid, Prilosec, Zantac and others help keep symptoms to a minimum temporarily – they actually do more harm than good in the long-run!
Recently we read that the FDA warned users of these drugs about the serious side effects associated to long term use. In addition to those side effects, long term use of these medicines can also contribute to increased bacterial overgrowth (Clostridium difficile, Salmonella, etc), impaired nutrient absorption (B12, Iron, Calcium, etc.), decreased resistance to infection (Pneumonia, Tuberculosis, etc.), and an increased risk of cancer (stomach cancer) and other diseases.
According to many highly qualified doctors and researchers in the field of Gastrointestinal medicine, studies have shown that stomach acid secretion declines with age. In addition, it is also widely established in the scientific literature that the risk of GERD increases with age. So if too much stomach acid were the culprit for GERD, then why are more of the elderly using acid reflux medications instead of a bunch of teenagers?
In this article, you will learn some of the causes of acid reflux and the diet and remedies to treat it!
The primary cause of heart burn and GERD is that acid enters the esophagus because of a weak or "leaky" valve. There are a variety of reasons it happens, listed here are some of the more common reasons.
- Hiatal hernia, Pregnancy , Smoking, Too little acid , Eating before bed , Excessive exercise , Taking medications , and Being overweight or obese
- Alcohol, Carbonated beverages, Chocolate, Citrus fruits, Coffee, Desserts, Fried foods, Spicy foods, and Tomato products
Healing low stomach acid-related conditions isn not really that difficult, but it does take some determination and guidance. I have found that when my patients follow these recommendations, their condition improves greatly.
Your mom was not kidding when she recommend that you chew 20 times with each mouthful. When people scarf down their food and only take a few bites, gastric juices associated with digestion will be greatly diminished.
2. Intermittent Fasting
Most intermittent fasting techniques center on not eating early in the morning or late at night, and consuming the entire day’s worth of calories during a 4-5 hour window in the middle of the day.
In addition to helping restore proper stomach acid levels and acid reflux relief, researchers have been evaluating the effectiveness of intermittent fasting to control body fat, promote weight loss and help with a slew of diseases for nearly 75 years.
3. Quality Diet
The GAPS diet started by Dr. Natasha Campbell is a perfect protocol to follow because it was designed to help heal digestive disease, neurological issues, reduce inflammation and heal autoimmune conditions. This diet incorporates the simplest foods for the body to digest so that the gut can heal and recover completely.
4. Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
Raw apple cider vinegar is naturally acidic and it will naturally lower the pH in your stomach. ACV also helps to control candida overgrowth, a known cause of low stomach acid. I recommend taking 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in one glass of water 3x daily to help cure low stomach acid.
5. HCl w/ Pepsin
I have also found that supplementing with hydrochloric acid (HCl) and pepsin works wonderfully for people with low stomach acid.
Start with the recommended dose on the bottle per meal. If you still experience heartburn, then increase the dosage by 1 with each meal until you feel pressure after your meal, then cut back by 1 dose for your next meal. You should not feel any pressure or heartburn once you get the dosage correct.
As a word of caution: Do NOT use HCL supplements if you take corticosteroids or anti-inflammatory medications such as NSAIDS (Advil or Tylenol). These drugs oftentimes damage the GI lining and put your at risk of developing stomach ulcers, which will be exacerbated if you take HCL.
6. Digestive Enzymes
Finally, taking probiotics and enzymes are also recommended for people with low stomach acid. They are both extremely useful in digesting food, which takes the burden off of your GI system while it heals.
If you or a loved one are trying to heal from acid reflux, give us a call at Stanly Wellness Center to see how we may be able to help.