You’d think this would be a pretty easy answer. If you’ve searched the web, like I did, you’ve probably seen a lot of articles with many telling you the same, with a variation here and there. So, after years of dealing with reflux, my quest has taken me down a path of learning more about our bodies and how they work. Some of what I’ve learned is counterintuitive. So, here’s what I’ve learned from my own experience:
- Our American diet is horrible. Ok, I said it. You may say, oh, but I eat organic, or I eat my fruits and veggies, blah blah. Take a look at this chart and then reassess your diet.
- Eating late. If you go to bed within three hours after you’ve eaten you can expect a problem.
- This goes back to number 1. Being overweight causes increased pressure on the abdomen. Back to number 1. Change your diet and you’ll lose weight.
Hypochlorhydria (not enough acid in the stomach) can occur naturally as we age, or because of unknown genetic reasons peculiar to the individual – so digestive enzymes can help.Hypochlorhydria can also be induced by substances such as H2 Blockers, Prescription Protein Pump Inhibitors such as Omeprazole, or an over-use of OTC Antacids and Acid Reducers- just the thing that doctors prescribe when people complain of acid reflux! So what’s going on?
Here’s how hypochlorhydria hurts you:
- Proper levels of stomach acid are needed to adequately absorb many nutrients including minerals (iron, copper, zinc and calcium), vitamin B12, folic acid and proteins.If you don’t have enough acid, digestive enzymes can help.
- Stomach acid is also a crucial part of the immune system. The acid barrier of the stomach during normal states of health easily and quickly kills bacteria and other bugs that enter the body. It also prevents bacteria in the intestines from migrating up and colonizing the stomach.
As I mentioned in my last post, I decided to undergo the Heidelberg Gastrogram to determine if my stomach was not producing enough acid. Indeed, it wasn’t! I wasn’t digesting my food and my stomach was emptying too quickly, which means I wasn’t absorbing minerals and nutrients AND my food wasn’t being digested, leading to the reflux symptoms. After 5 months of taking Betaine/Pepsin w/ meals which helps with digestion, I think I’m on the right track.
Here’s a recap of my first steps of my journey, before determining to do this test.
After a nasty cold last summer, I continued to suffer from cold-like symptons. After dosing it with costly anti-biotics, the symptoms continued. After a clean CAT scan, the ENT doc said allergies. The allergist said…acid reflux!
I’ve head non-ending headaches for months, that are worse upon awakening. The headaches are actually more like pressure in my ears and behind my eyes. It makes me want to sleep…but even sleep hasn’t brought relief. Now I know why! The reflux is affecting my digestion, and my Vaga nerve which is apparently causing the headaches. I’ll know more after the Heidelberg Gastrgram this week which will measure the Ph of my tummy. I’m betting low acid–which surprisingly causes the same symptoms as too MUCH acid.
In the meantime, I’m alkalizing my system by sticking to a healthy diet 80/20 alkaline foods to acidic foods.
More to come.
Barrett’s epithelium is recognized as a complication of erosive esophagitis and is the pre-malignant condition for adenocarcinoma of the esophagus. A research team from Yokohama City University School of Medicine hypothesized that some macroscopic features of Barrett’s epithelium might be useful for identifying a subgroup with a high risk for the development of esophageal adenocarcinoma…