Serious Medical Mistake About Acid Reflux And Stomach Acid That Affects Millions Of People
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Acid reflux is an extremely common health problem. Other terms used for this condition are gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)—a closely-related condition—or peptic ulcer disease. Typically, the link between acid reflux and stomach acid has been grossly misunderstood.
This is a serious medical mistake that affects hundreds of millions of people.
The Link Between Acid Reflux And Stomach Acid
Contrary to what many people believe, and what doctors have misdiagnosed, that acid reflux occurs due to over-production of stomach acid, it is more likely that the condition is due to under-production of stomach acid.
When there is under-production of stomach acid, foods don’t get properly digested thus sit in the stomach and ferment, producing gas that causes pressure to build up. This pressure pushes open the sphincter valve and some stomach acid spill back out into the esophagus, causing burns as the esophagus tissues are not meant to handle this acid.
This burning in the esophagus is what GERD or acid reflux sufferers experience, like burning sensations, pain, pressure and much discomfort on the chest (heartburn).
Related reading: The Surprising Truth About Acid Reflux
Heartburn is the primary symptom of acid reflux—a burning sensation that radiates up from your stomach to your chest and throat. It’s typically most bothersome at night, and tends to occur in connection with certain activities, such as:
After eating a heavy meal
Lying down, especially when laying on your back
Other symptoms include:
- A feeling that food is stuck in your throat
- Tightness in your throat
- Dental problems
- Bad breath
An organism called Helicobacter pylori (initially called campylobacter) causes a chronic low-level inflammation of your stomach lining, and is responsible, or at least a major factor, for producing many of the symptoms of acid reflux.
There are over 16,000 articles supporting the fact that suppressing stomach acid does not treat the problem. It only treats the symptoms. And one of the explanations for this is that when you suppress the amount of acid in your stomach, you decrease your body’s ability to kill the helicobacter bacteria. So it actually makes your condition worse and perpetuates the problem.
Of course, now we have treatments such as antibiotics that are designed to eradicate that organism. However, it’s virtually never necessary to use antibiotics, and here are several simple, effective strategies to eliminate the helicobacter without the use of drugs.
How to Wean Yourself Off Dangerous Acid Reflux Drugs
If you suffer with this condition, and made the unwise choice of seeing a conventional physician for it, you’ve likely been put on a proton pump inhibitor like Prilosec or Prevacid.
Please understand that these are very dangerous drugs. It’s the last thing you’ll want to take for this condition.
Unfortunately, proton pump inhibitors are very popular because they work quite well. However, you’ll develop both tolerance and dependence on them, so you can’t stop taking them without suffering serious repercussions.
You should NEVER stop taking proton pump inhibitors cold turkey. You have to wean yourself off them gradually or else you’ll experience a severe rebound of your symptoms, and the problem may end up being worse than before you started taking the medication.
Ideally, you’ll want to get a lower dose than you’re on now, and then gradually decrease your dose. Once you get down to the lowest dose of the proton pump inhibitor, you can start substituting with an over-the-counter H2 blocker like Tagamet, Cimetidine, Zantac, or Ranitidine. Then gradually wean off the H2 blocker over the next several weeks.
Safe And Effective Strategies To Eliminate Acid Reflux
I usually have my clients who suffer from acid reflux, do a gastrointestinal cleanse. After a few days just on this cleanse, all of them experienced relief. They are guided through a 28-day cleanse with the recommended supplements, drinking cabbage juice, and and implementing the following lifestyle modification and strategies. All of them were healed of acid reflux in less than three months.
For complete healing, start doing the gastrointestinal cleanse first, and implement the following strategies:
1. Eliminating Food Triggers
Food allergies can be a problem, so you’ll want to completely eliminate items such as caffeine, alcohol, and all nicotine products.
2. Increasing Your Body’s Natural Production Of Stomach Acid
Acid reflux is not caused by too much acid in your stomach—it’s usually a problem with too little acid. One of the simplest strategies to encourage your body to make sufficient amounts of hydrochloric acid (stomach acid) is to consume enough of the raw material.
One of the simplest, most basic food items that many people neglect is a high quality sea salt (unprocessed salt). Unprocessed salt like Himalayan salt—one of the best salts on the planet—will not only provide you with the chloride your body needs to make hydrochloric acid, it also contains over 80 trace minerals your body needs to perform optimally, biochemically.
Add 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to about 8 ounces of water and drink 10 minutes before every meal. This will help your body to regulate stomach acid to help with digestion and reduce acid reflux afterwards. Doing this at every meal and every day will eventually heal your acid reflux.
3. Taking A Hydrochloric Acid Supplement
Another option is to take a betaine hydrochloric supplement, which is available in health food stores without prescription. You’ll want to take as many as you need to get the slightest burning sensation and then decrease by one capsule. This will help your body to better digest your food, and will also help kill the helicobacter and normalize your symptoms.
4. Modifying Your Diet
Eating large amounts of processed foods and sugars is a surefire way to exacerbate acid reflux as it will upset the bacterial balance in your stomach and intestine.Instead, you’ll want to eat a lot of vegetables, and high quality, organic, biodynamic, and locally grown foods. You can also supplement with a high quality probiotic or make sure you include fermented foods in your diet. This will help balance your bowel flora, which can help eliminate helicobacter naturally.
5. Optimizing Your Vitamin D Levels
Vitamin D is essential, and it’s essential for this condition as well because there’s likely an infectious component causing the problem. Once your vitamin D levels are optimized, you’re also going to optimize your production of 200 antimicrobial peptides that will help your body eradicate any infections that shouldn’t be there.
You can increase your vitamin D levels through appropriate amounts of sun exposure, or through the use of a safe tanning bed.
If neither of those are available, you can take an oral vitamin D3 supplement. However, whenever you use oral vitamin D, it’s imperative you get tested regularly to make sure you’re not reaching toxic levels.
Original article published on DrMercola.com. Republished here with permission.
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