Heartburn and GERD: I Can’t Believe I Ate The Whole Thing!

A lot of people out there have sour stomach, heartburn, acid reflux or GERD (Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease). In the United States alone, 135,000,000 people suffer from these conditions – that’s 45% of our population. This is NOT a small problem. What’s going on?

The brain initiates digestion by sending nerve signals to the stomach via the Vagus nerve, which controls acid production. In an attempt to cure stomach ulcers, doctors used to cut the Vagus nerve (Vagotomy). It seems that health care professionals and most consumers have almost forgotten that the brain and nervous system control everything in the body.

To function properly, the stomach must have a VERY acidic environment, a pH of 0.8. That’s like battery acid. It has to be that acidic to break down the proteins and other components in food. If not, digestion is poor and that’s where problems begin. When the stomach doesn’t produce enough acid, the proteins putrefy, the carbohydrates ferment and the fats go rancid. Basically, the food starts to rot, creating its own organic acid that has NO BUSINESS being in your stomach. Additionally, without the proper VERY strong stomach acid, you don’t absorb CALCIUM and ZINC. You need Calcium and Zinc to make hydrochloric acid. Without sufficient quantities of these nutrients, you’ve lost the “prime on your pump.”

What do you feel? The burning. The gas. The acid taste. What gives? Take a sliced apple, put it in a zip lock bag with a little water, close it and put it on the sidewalk in the sun. What do you get in a short period of time? Fermentation and gas. That’s what you get in your stomach. Organic acids, mixed with gas, bubble up. If the top valve or sphincter is not closed, it travels up the esophagus and burns it.

This typically happens when a hiatal hernia is also present. The diaphragm muscle can lose its tone due to interference of the nerve supply from the middle neck. As a result, the muscle becomes “sloppy or flabby” and the opening for the esophagus widens. This widening allows the stomach protrude or herniate upward, preventing an effective seal at the top.

The standard medical approach to GERD has been to stop ALL acids at all costs in order to ease the burning. It starts with antacids like Tums and progresses to acid blockers like Pepcid, Tagamet, Zantac and Axid. Finally, it ends with the Proton Pump Inhibitors. These last drugs, like Prilosec, Nexium and Protonix, prevent the stomach from producing its own acid! Once you shut off the acid production, the pH in the stomach rises and calcium and zinc are not absorbed as they should be.

It is the stomach’s naturally strong acid that prevents viruses, bacteria and parasites from setting up shop in your intestines. With inadequate stomach acid, these can now survive in the stomach and intestines and cause further problems like infections and malabsorption syndromes. People that take proton pump inhibitors and H2 blockers have greater risk of infection from a potentially dangerous diarrhea bug known as Clostridium difficile, or C-diff, reports researcher Sandra Dial, MD, MSc, a researcher at McGill University in Montreal. Her study appears in this week’s issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association. Those patients taking proton pump inhibitors were nearly three times more likely to acquire a C-diff infection, Dial reports. Patients taking acid blockers like Pepcid and Zantac were twice as likely to get a C-diff infection.

And then there’s the osteoporosis – hip fracture connection. Patients who used proton pump inhibitors for more than a year had a 44 percent higher risk of hip fracture than non-users. The longer the patients took the drugs, the higher their risk. This means: the weaker the stomach acid, the less calcium in the body. It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature!

Taking the above medications is like putting a piece of duct tape over a flashing oil light on your dashboard and thinking everything is fine. It’s crazy! Why is it acceptable to cover up the symptoms of a malfunctioning nervous and digestive system so you can eat anything they plop down in front of you? Why does it make sense to ignore the serious signs of this condition that can lead to esophageal cancer by taking a pill that leads to increased hip fractures? NONSENSE!

So what do you do? If this article is talking to you, get an examination from someone who can look at you as a whole person, not just a burning stomach. Manually reducing a hiatal hernia can bring instant relief. Testing for it is simple, as is the correction. The correct whole food supplements to help restore the correct acidity are vital to you being able to properly digest your food. Restore the nerve control to the stomach so it can function properly and make the right chemistry at the right time. Do that and the heartburn and acid reflux problems can be a thing of the past. And the only side effect is BETTER HEALTH!

If you have any questions, please ask below!