How many people do you know who take acid-reducing medications? You may take them yourself or have a family member who does.
It usually starts with discomfort after eating. Maybe it feels like heartburn, a burning feeling in your stomach that eventually becomes moderately or severely painful in your chest or back or even in your neck and head. The symptoms can be frightening and make some people wonder if they are having a heart attack. Maybe you’ve had this, and you figured it wasn’t a heart attack so you took Tums or some other over the counter antacid. The logic is fairly linear–because the pain is burning and acidic, decreasing the acid seems to be the thing that will help the pain go away. And when it happens again, you take the antacid again, and again. You make a list of foods that cause it and do your best to avoid them. But because of its frequency, you may find yourself wondering “what food could it possibly be this time?” The pain continues and eventually, it starts affecting your ability to participate in aspects of your life. It makes it hard to go out to eat with your friends, and it might even be difficult to plan meals at home.
Acid reflux is when stomach acid travels from your stomach back up into your esophagus, causing burning pain. The medical approach of symptom reduction is the prescription for even stronger acid reducers. But these prescriptions are only meant for temporary use. In some cases, when the prescriptions stop reducing the reflux, it is likely that a doctor will recommend surgery. Many people stay on the medications year after year, which is dangerous.
So let’s take an alternate look at this whole problem. Let’s look at how the stomach works and what goes wrong to cause acid reflux.
When digestion goes well after you chew your food, it travels down your esophagus, a valve opens and your food goes into your stomach where it breaks down into smaller pieces with the help of strong stomach acid. It then goes through another valve into your small intestine where it gets absorbed so your body can use the nutrition you have just fed yourself. The valve that opens to allow the broken down food out of your stomach and into your small intestine only opens when the stomach contents are at a certain level of acidity.
There are a couple of ways that this system can go wrong.
The first is that there can be a hiatal hernia, a weakness of the area around the valve at the top of the stomach. In most cases, that problem can be handled by particular chiropractic techniques.
And the second is that there is too little acid in the stomach. We tend to lose the acid in our stomachs as we get older and so the food that we eat doesn’t get digested properly (the scientific name for the condition is hypochlorhydria). This causes the food to sit in the stomach longer than it is meant to, and go back up into the esophagus when it should be going downward into the small intestine, especially when a hiatal hernia is also present It is like your sink backing up when the pipes aren’t clear. Remember, the stomach needs to be at a certain level of acidity in order for the valve at the bottom of the stomach to open and allow the food to leave the stomach and continue down the digestive tract into the small intestine.
If there isn’t enough acid in the stomach, then reflux occurs.
If food doesn’t break down in the stomach due to low stomach acid, it doesn’t make it onto the small intestine in a form that is absorbable, the nutrition in the food doesn’t get into the organs and cells, and the end result is malnourishment of the body. And since our organs need nutrients to function well, we end up with organ dysfunction and illness.
So what is the solution? Correcting the acidity of the stomach with specific supplements, or even in some cases, something as simple as using apple cider vinegar (the kind that say “with the mother” on the label), improving the diet and correcting the hiatal hernia using noninvasive techniques works in almost all the cases I have treated in my practice.
Since the side effects of the medications are serious and dangerous, and since no two bodies are exactly the same, it makes sense to find out exactly why YOU have acid reflux and do what YOUR body needs in order to get better without drugs or surgery.
Call 410-717-6610 to make your appointment to start handling your digestive troubles naturally.