The Problem with Acid Reflux

One of the questions I’m asked most is, “What do I do about acid reflux and indigestion?” Around 20% (1 in 5) people experience acid reflux at least once a week.

First of all, it is not acid foods which cause acid reflux, but these foods can be a significant contributing factor. Therefore, if you are constantly eating a diet high in acid foods, it might be a good idea to cut back on them if you have acid reflux . But there are other things which address the cause of acid reflux and which will extinguish the flames of acid reflux for good.

(Foods considered to be “acid” are:
Tomatoes and tomato products
Spicy or “hot” flavors
Excess caffeine (remember that chocolate, peppermint, and sodas have caffeine.)

The human body may lack certain natural chemicals it needs to digest foods. The person may be eating too many processed foods and consuming too many toxins than the body is meant to process. In any case, we are not lacking in antacids, and these are not the answer. In fact, in the long run, using these can make the situation many times worse!

One of the things that happens naturally after age 30 is that the body has less need for all the calories we burned up as we were younger, and so the body naturally reduces the amount of stomach acid that it produces. Also, the enzymes that help to break down our food (fats: lipase; protein: protease; and carbohydrates: amylase) are naturally reduced. So, a good digestive enzyme will help everyone, especially as we age.

Please understand that acid reflux in over 90% of cases is not caused by too much acid in the stomach. In fact, it is cause by too little. The reasons are complicated, but in a nutshell, if we have just slightly less acid in our stomachs, our food is not broken down in a timely manner, and when the food tries to move down the digestive chain into the intestines the body resists this move, and the food in forced back into the esophagus. Keep in mind that the stomach fluids are extremely acid, and even if not acid enough to dissolve the food, they are acid enough to burn the esophagus.

So, what is the answer? Well, there are several:
Cut out the processed foods, and especially those foods that seem to cause the burning. Unlike what they like you to believe on TV, some foods are not fit for human consumption, and taking a prescription antacid may cause a life-threatening problem.
Cut way back on the “acid-causing foods” listed above.
Be aware of what foods seem to cause your problem and eliminate them.
Lose weight since fat causes inflammation throughout the body and makes digestion even more difficult.

Several supplements can help the body digest food as God meant it to do. These include:
Digestive enzymes which help replace not only the enzymes of digestion, but some of the missing acid in the stomach.
Betaine hydrochloride which replaces the missing acid.
Glutamine which sooths the digestive tract.
Lecithin which aids the gall bladder in processing fats.
Fiber which moves the food along through the G tract.
And one of the best of all digestive aids: a product called “GI Revive” which does all of the above.

These should all be monitored by a qualified and experienced doctor or nutritionist. Someone like this can help you to know what to use, how to use it, and when to use it. Don’t treat yourself without professional guidance.
And the earlier you begin to seek help the better you will be because after a long time the damage can be irreversible. Take charge now!

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One response to “The Problem with Acid Reflux

  1. RE: Acid Reflux

    I had it bad enough that it (along with cummadin) put me in the hospital (via amublance) for internal bleeding.

    I heard / read all the standard stuff about how to address the issue, but for me none
    of that worked. The core problem was stress……together with caffeine. I’m a triple A personality & was constantly stressed about something……….or nothing.

    I also used 2-4 cups of caffeine a day……….for many years. I found that caffeine was a contributing factor.

    Anyway, for me, the real fix is to settle myself down………and eliminate caffeine.
    The short term fix, which I still use when I’m unable to get control of my emotions, is apple cider vinegar (organic if possible……but that should go without saying) which works almost immediately (1 – 2 swallows right out of the bottle). But if you have a good case of reflux, you may end up using the vinegar every hour or so. My wholistic knowledgable wife found me a pill that works longer term, but is slower getting started than the vinegar.

    She deals with a variety of supplement companies, and based on what she read from their literature (primarily Life Extension located in Fla.) she got an over the counter product from Sam’s Club called “Famotidine” (that is the active / primary ingredient in the product). 1, sometimes 2, 10mg pills would give me long term relief. (Enough relief that I could get through the rest of the night without being bothered with the reflux)

    There is another product which she got a lead on from the same literature which is Cimetidine / “Heartburn Relief” by Berkley & Jensen which she gets at BJ’s. She says I have used it and was satisfied with it, but I don’t remember.

    I did not start using any of the pills until I was at the point that I had to drink vinegar multiple times a night because it was only giving me short term relief, and my sleep was constantly being interrupted.

    When I’m able to calm myself down, I don’t need any of it. Yet the acid (stomach) (which is the precursor to acid reflux) acts as an alert to me that I am stressing. I’m quite amazed based on the stomach acid, how often I’m stressed, when I think I’m actually pretty calm.

    Hopefully someone can find some value in this info. Unfortunately, I think for most, we (humans) don’t pay enough attention to something ’til it reaches a point of crisis. That trip to the hospital got MY attention.

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