From Dr. Daryl Gioffre.
Every day, 25 million Americans suffer from acid reflux. Over the course of each month, that number climbs to 60 million, and in an average year, half of all Americans will feel the burn of reflux.
This is a real problem in our society today, especially when you consider that the pills used to treat heartburn and acid reflux actually make the problem worse, not better.
Let’s take a look at the root causes of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) that we know as heartburn or acid reflux. Then, I’ll explain why the current solution does not work and what to do instead.
The True Cause of Acid Reflux
As we get older, our bodies tend to get weaker instead of stronger, slower instead of faster, and when it comes to our stomachs, we tend to produce less stomach acid instead of more. This lack of adequate stomach acid is commonly misunderstood and can have devastating consequences on our health.
It’s compounded by the acidic lifestyle most of us are living today. When your pH balance is off because of poor food choices like fast foods, processed foods, and sugar, stomach cells produce less gastrin, which stimulates the production of stomach acid.
This sets off a chain reaction. When less stomach acid is produced, we don’t break down and digest our foods as well. With foods not being digested properly, our blood doesn’t receive as many vitamins and minerals.
Next, food moves on to the small intestine for continued digestion, but because food wasn’t properly broken down in the stomach, this doesn’t work either, so there is an even greater deficiency of vitamins and minerals.
At this point, you’re more prone to bacterial and viral infections because stomach acid is responsible for killing bacteria that enter the digestive system.
As a result, the vital microbiome, the trillions of cells in your intestines, shift from healthier bacteria to an unhealthy balance of bad bacteria.
This unhealthy bacteria overgrowth produces gas that can literally raise the pressure on the small intestine and stomach, driving the contents of the stomach, including hydrochloric acid, enzymes, and bacteria, up into the esophagus. This is what you feel when you experience heartburn.
Wondering if this is the case with your acid reflux? Try this simple test. Take one tablespoon of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar with a little water at the beginning of a meal. If it alleviates your symptoms during and after eating, you should investigate further and have your stomach acid levels tested. You likely have a deficient amount of stomach acid.
Why the Current “Solution” Doesn’t Work
There are a couple of common types of heartburn medications out there, and neither of them solves the problem. In fact, they make things worse and cause an increasing dependence on them.
H2 Blockers like Tagamet, Zantac, and Pepcid AC have bad digestive side effects like nausea, diarrhea, constipation, and even heartburn. They also interfere with the metabolism of your important hormones, including estradiol and testosterone.
PPI’s like Prilosec, Nexium, and Prevacid shut down stomach acid production for the most part, which is the opposite of what you need.
So what can you do instead?
Real Remedies That Work
1. Probiotics – Because reflux stems in part from an imbalance of bacteria in your gut, add in a good probiotic supplement. Always buy the refrigerated brands – they are higher quality and refrigeration keeps the optimal number of bacteria alive so they can get into your stomach and fight the bad bacteria.
2. Sodium bicarbonate – Helps in three important ways. It solves the underlying cause of reflux by increasing the pH of the stomach, which will stimulate the production of more stomach acid. It also replaces the minerals that were not absorbed when your digestion was out of alignment. Finally, it is a powerful treatment to calm the burning pain associated with reflux. That’s why adding Alkamind Daily Minerals has helped so many people who suffer from heartburn.
3. Apple cider vinegar – The acetic acid found in this vinegar (balsamic and other vinegars do not work this way) fights against bacteria and other foreign bodies in the intestinal tract, while making the stomach more alkaline. Drink one teaspoon to start and if necessary, increase to one tablespoon in eight ounces of water. If you’re concerned about your teeth enamel, you can consume through a straw.
5. Digestive enzymes – Will help break down the food if there is a deficient amount of stomach acid.
6. Remove high-acid food triggers – Caffeine and alcohol are two of the biggest sources of reflux symptoms, and not so coincidentally, they are also highly acidic. Processed foods and sugars also exacerbate reflux symptoms because they throw off the bacterial balance in your stomach and intestine. Phase out these acid-forming foods from your diet in favor of lots of greens and vegetables.
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