A Hot Topic: Acid Reflux

People with acid reflux find comfort sleeping in a favorite chair, sometimes never returning to their bed.

Acid reflux is often just one of many digestive symptoms that can result from poor digestion, food intolerances, chronic stress, gut infections, and other factors.  Up to 15 million people have a condition called acid reflux or GERD.  GERD occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter, a kind of trap door into the stomach, doesn't close properly. Stomach contents leak back into the esophagus, causing the burning sensation called heartburn. Heartburn that occurs more than twice a week may be considered GERD and can eventually lead to more serious health problems.

Despite what the commercials say, GERD is not caused by too much stomach acid.  It's caused by acid in the wrong place -- our esophagus.

Digestion is a metabolic issue and so is acid reflux:

One study of 155 healthy people who had used antacids for long periods of time found that 47% suffered some erosion of the esophagus. Regular antacid use also impairs the stomach’s ability to digest protein. Finally, without the right amount of stomach acidity, “friendly” bacteria that contribute to digestion die, leaving you at risk for low-level microbial infections that can lead to chronic indigestion.

{"Upset Stomach? The Right PH," Family Health, Taste for Life magazine, Nov. 2000}

Should we take a pill?

Heartburn remedies are among the biggest selling drugs of all time. But you should think long and hard before you pop that Pepcid.

Stomach acid is required for good digestion. Poor digestion produces heartburn. Your health is riding on your body's ability to absorb nutrients.  People with heart-burn take antacids.  Antacids reduce stomach acid. Oh no-more heartburn!  

“Paradoxically, 90 percent of people who experience heartburn, don't have enough acid.” ( Dr. Jonny Bowden)

What About Side Effects?

“If you are taking Proton-pump-inhibitor drugs like Prilosec, Nexium, Tagamet, etc. these can reduce the acidity of the stomach, but in so doing create a more favorable environment for bad bacteria such as H. Pylori.”  Our gut needs good bacteria for good health. They go hand and hand.

Nearly every disease originating in the human body is due to or accompanied by the excessive formation of different kinds of acids in the system, the most important of which are uric, carbonic, sulphuric, phosphoric and oxalic acids. (Nature Cure by Henry Lindlahr, MD)

Unfortunately, medications for GERD may increase the risk of certain cancers and change our delicate pH balance. These are serious health concerns, and it's pretty clear that in this case, the "cure" of acid-blocking drugs are worse than the "disease" of GERD.  "Blocking stomach acid, also increases our risk of developing small intestinal bacterial overgrowth.” (taken from Digestive Wellness by Elizabeth Lipski.)

Antacids can result in issues in other areas:

1- Vitamin B-12 deficiency may be caused by the acid-suppressing drugs that people are taking (Previcet and Prilosec)

2 - A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that chronic use of acid-blocking drugs leads to an increase in the development of osteoporosis and increase in hip fracture because blocking acid prevents the absorption of calcium and other minerals necessary for bone health. (Yang, Y., Lewis, J.D., Epstein, S., and David Metz. 2006. Long-term proton pump inhibitor therapy and risk of hip fracture. JAMA. 296(24): 2947-2953.)

Antacids interfere with the absorption of copper:

http://www.healthaliciousness.com/articles/high-copper-foods.php#13XVQRfPMfm8W1vl.99

Copper is an essential mineral required by the body for bone and connective tissue production, and for coding specific enzymes that range in function from eliminating free radicals to producing melanin.  A deficiency in copper can lead to osteoporosis, joint pain, and lowered immunity.

You can't assimilate nutrients until they have been adequately broken down by digestion:

Antacids neutralize the acids in our stomach, making it difficult to break down foods into small enough particles to be absorbed. Once partially digested foods leave our stomach, our body treats this partially digested food, as foreign. The resulting immune response can result in food insensitivities and fatigue.  Added to this is the upset of the balance of friendly bacteria needed for a healthy immune system.  {taken from "Digestion Problems," Women's Health Letter, Nan Fuchs, PhD, Feb. 2002}

Neurological side effects:

1 - Taking certain types of medication to deal with heartburn and excess stomach acid may increase the risk of cognitive impairment in the elderly, according to a report in the August issue of the Journal of the American Geriatric Society. The drugs in question, called histamine-2 receptor antagonists or H2As, include popular medicines such as Zantac and Pepcid.

2 - Antacids taken to fight indigestion actually diminish the enzymes needed to digest foods and nutrients critical to proper brain function.

{taken from: Journal of Natural Healing Breakthroughs, “Health Alert,” Dr. Bruce West}

 Antacids merely mask symptoms instead of handling the real problem:

Gurkipal Singh of Stanford University reported that people taking antacids and H2-blockers suffered more than twice as many serious gastrointestinal complications than those given placebos.

What could make normal stomach digestive fluids flow up where they don't belong?  One is overeating.  One can be from eating an abundance of pesticides and chemicals in our food. One can be food combining.  Another can be eating a big meal before bed. “Late night eating can trigger GERD”. (taken from Digestive Wellness by Elizabeth Lipski.)


Connie Rogers is an Expert in toxins that can disrupt our skin, metabolic and endocrine health. Lifestyle Educator, Reiki Master, 37 years Certified Cosmetologist/Esthetician, Certified Integrated Holistic Health Coach, Accredited through American Association of Drugless Practitioners, Published Author, Wellness Writer, Owner Reverseage Wellness Essential Oils

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