TIRED OF INDIGESTION (GERD)?

hqdefaultIndigestion also known as GERD is a condition suffered by millions of people on a daily basis. These painful symptoms have cost the consumer over 9.5 BILLION dollars in prescriptive and over the counter medications. If I asked you, “what is the most common cause of indigestion,” what would your reply be? The most common answer is:

TOO MUCH STOMACH ACID

In over 90% of the cases, this is the WRONG ANSWER. The correct answer is:

TOO LITTLE STOMACH ACID

If I am correct, how come the traditional approach to treat this problem (medications that result in reduced acid) is so effective? The answer is simple. The stomach has a protective lining designed to withstand a highly acidic environment. Acid is CRUCIAL to help digest food and kill off unwanted bacteria. The esophagus leading into the stomach does not have this protective lining. If the lower esophageal sphincter (the ring of muscle between the esophagus and the stomach) weakens as a result of:
  1. MEDICATIONS
  2. smoking
  3. alcohol
  4. pregnancy
  5. obesity
  6. hiatal hernia
acid will back up into the esophagus. THIS IS WHAT PRODUCES THE PAIN!!! This is also why ACID REDUCING MEDICATIONS help relieve the symptoms. The important question to ask is, “at what cost?”
Prilosec, Prevacid, Nexium and the generic alternatives including Omeprazole and Pantoprazole are proton pump inhibitors (PPI’s) that have been linked to increased rates of heart attacks and (believe it or not) esophageal cancer.
Other drug classifications (H2 blockers) including Tagamet, Pepcid, Zantac and simple antacids including Rolaids, Maalox, Mylanta and Tums also produce side effects on gut bacteria and digestion.
When was the last time your doctor recommended gastric acidity testing (stomach acid levels) to determine if the burning painful symptoms were actually caused by high acid levels in the stomach? 99% of the people I’ve asked this question to responded:

NEVER!

Do you see a recurring theme in our health care approach. Why is the ROOT CAUSE rarely sought in favor of symptomatic care? For indigestion I can give 9.5 BILLION (dollar) reasons why!
Good health is not based on symptom care. What is worse, symptom care leads to other health care problems also requiring additional medications. This is why the average adult – geriatric patient takes an average of 8 prescriptive medications in addition to over the counter medications. This merry-go-round is a dangerous ride to subject oneself to. Reducing stomach acid reduces an individual’s ability to breakdown food for absorption by the small intestines. It also creates a “Caribbean environment” for unwanted and dangerous bacteria. Frequent use of acid reducers have now been linked to a condition called “Leaky Gut” as well which results in a multitude of symptoms including:
  • chronic diarrhea, constipation, gas or bloating
  • nutritional deficiencies
  • poor immune system
  • headaches
  • brain fog
  • memory loss
  • excessive fatigue

REAL SOLUTIONS:

Getting healthy requires effort. If you are not willing to modify unhealthy lifestyles and take positive action steps, these solutions won’t be beneficial.

No one believes the serious dangers we face until the dreaded diagnoses including:

  • ulcerative colitis
  • irritable bowel
  • crohn’s disease
  • gastritis
  • leaky gut
  • CANCER

hits us in the face.

If you are ready to become pro-active, here are some tools to use to help reverse your current condition treating the ROOT CAUSE of the problem.
  1. Eat healthy at least 80-90% of the time. Eat organic (if possible) to reduce the toxic chemicals and GMO’s found in non organic products. Both Paleo and Mediterranean style diets have been shown to reduce the incidence of indigestion. It appears that wheat and grain are allergens associated with aggravating indigestion.
  2. Light exercise will help stimulate immune function and reduce unwanted body weight. Be careful, jumping exercises and those placing the body horizontal can increase symptoms.
  3. Consider taking a digestive enzyme with each meal to improve food digestion and absorption.
  4. Consider taking Betaine HCL (WITH PEPSIN) at the beginning of meals (when the meals contain at least 15 grams of protein). Protein causes the stomach to release increased levels of acid necessary for digestion. Recommended dosages vary from person to person  as well as from meal to meal. 2-7 capsules containing 650mg each is the typical range. (Do not use this product if you are taking any type of steroid, NSAID (ex. ibuprofen, aleve, motrin, aspirin or any other anti-inflammatory medication.) Gastric bleeding could result with life threatening consequences.
  5. AVOID drinking fluids WITH meals (as much as possible.). This will encourage greater chewing of food important in the digestive process. It will also prevent the dilution of the stomach acid.
***Always use a trained, licensed professional to help create a proper healthful approach to balancing out these various tools to effectively correct this GI issue.*** Do NOT attempt to fix this problem without professional guidance!
It is important to remember this approach addresses the ROOT CAUSE and provides a SOLUTION that IMPROVES the HEALTH OF THE BODY while reducing the symptoms. Prescriptive and over the counter medications ONLY address the symptom while harming gastrointestinal function. We all want fast solutions to problems, but the reality is without fixing the PROCESS the system will remain broken and will progressively cause further problems down the road.
.

Using our car analogy, should we “remove the fuse” to the check engine indicator to turn the warning light off or repair the damaged engine?

Which causes more “symptoms” and costs more in the long run?

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19 comments

  1. This is ‘must read’ post. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for the kind words. Providing viable options to people with health concerns is a major goal of my blog site. I appreciate you taking your valuable time to read the articles.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. And I appreciate the noble cause that you’ve taken to. Keep up the good work!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I spent years taking Omeprazole but gave it up the day of my operation and because I now watch what I eat, do not smoke and seldom drink I find I NEVER suffer from the dreaded indigestion.
    You are right, it is all about the lifestyle.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It is always so nice to read about a person that has realized that quality life does not center around unhealthy practices. It is about what you pursue in life; not what you avoid. Active participation becomes a blessing by increasing awareness in life and all the opportunities it offers. As I learned to approach life with this philosophy, I was amazed to see my focus move from self satisfaction to providing real needed assistance to others. This was my motivating factor to become a doctor.

      There is certainly a place for pharmaceuticals in life. They are needed in acute emergency care and cases where the body has lost its ability to provide for itself (ex. auto immune diseases) In most other cases, they should be utilized over SHORT periods of time to overcome a hurdle. We have a tendency for extreme over utilization. As the body recovers, nutriceuticals, real food and healthy living provides the necessary tools to maintain good health. You are living proof.

      It sounds like you are on a path that will provide you a great deal of meaning and purpose. You will inspire others as you continue to work on self improvement and growth.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Thank you. Hopefully wise words translate into positive actions with beneficial outcomes.

          Like

  3. I took Omeprazole for years, and before that TUMS. I jokingly told my husband at one point that we ought to buy stock in the company that makes this antacid, we used it so much. Once I started eating right, though, the need for antacids disappeared. Now, occasionally, when I get into something that causes a flair up, I use vinegar with mother in water, just a wee bit, and that takes care of it. 99% of the time, I don’t need anything to create balance. Eating less, preparing foods right, and eating the right foods saved me from an active antacid-taking habit. I’m so glad to be free!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Reflux is a common problem, BUT certainly NOT a normal one. You have personally seen how providing your body with its essential needs keeps it functioning NORMALLY. Compete with it, and it will provide all sorts of symptoms reinforcing the need for changed behavior. Provide for it, and receive the gift of good health and quality living. Seems like such a simple choice.

      Like

  4. You are so right…if you don’t take charge of your health, no amount of medication will fix the initial problem. Always look to what you are doing first in your health routine. What you ingest and exercise has such a huge impact. Also what can help with indigestion is eating less at each meal. Another fantastic article. Such useful and spot on information! Way to go! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. You set an example others would benefit to follow.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Too kind you are.❀

        Liked by 1 person

  5. thanks sharing this with my husband…..he is a sufferer….kat

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If he has any questions, it’s easy to find me.

      Like

      1. thanks…hes so stubborn, I will read your post to him…hopefully if we keep telling him whats best he might hear it…he is at the stage in his life where he wants to be happy even if it means shortening his life…thanks I appreciate all your help….kat

        Like

        1. Sometimes a “thought process” can change how a person feels about an issue. For example, if your husband thought about the perceived “joy” he experiences when he partakes in eating foods that damage his body that ultimately may require invasive medical surgical intervention and medical costs that will reduce his sense of “happiness” he may reconsider the 2 minutes of “perceived joy” this food offers. Finding things in life that enhance quality rather than damage it usually produce better and “happier” outcomes. People usually believe that bad things only happen to other people. This is where the phrase, “if I only knew then, what I know now” comes from. The other question I use to pose to my patients was, “do you feel any obligation and responsibility to your family members to be healthy enough to contribute in a positive way to their lives?” Destructive eating habits will eventually impede your abilities to meet these responsibilities. “Where do you see greater value; in family or food?”
          Sometimes throwing these concepts to a significant other can help them rethink their thought process and make some incredible positive changes that everyone benefits from. Good luck.

          Like

          1. thanks, and we have been there but it never hurts to revisit…..thanks for your thoughts….and encouragement…kat

            Liked by 1 person

  6. My doctor told me that he thought I had IBS…then I changed my eating habits and I suddenly don’t. Go figure!

    Like

    1. Remember, diagnosis is usually accurate 28-45% of the time. Diagnosis means “best educated GUESS.” Many diagnoses are based on symptoms rather than tangible objective testing. In many cases, if people went back to the basics and provided their bodies with the nutrition and hydration it needs, the exercise, the stress reduction and the sleep the diagnosis would be much easier; GOOD HEALTH!

      Liked by 1 person

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