(NaturalHealth365) Would you like to beat acid reflux without taking toxic drugs or ‘magic’ potions? Acid reflux or gastric esophageal reflux disease (GERD) is one of the most common conditions affecting millions of people – worldwide. This condition is characterized by a burning sensation in the chest – that has coined the term ‘heartburn’.
Upon eating – food naturally passes from the throat to the stomach through the esophagus. The esophagus contains a group of muscle fibers in the shape of a ring that prevent food from moving backward from the stomach to the esophagus. These muscle fibers make the lower esophageal sphincter (LES).
What are the physical mechanics of acid reflux?
If the LES is not closing well it allows for food, liquid and hydrochloric acid to leak back into the esophagus. The inner esophageal tissue is not designed to handle the strong acidity which inflames the region. This causes the characteristic heartburn sensation.
By the way, chronically damaging the esophageal tissue often results in esophageal cancer and other more serious conditions.
The most common risk factors for GERD include anything that obstructs the esophagus or stomach region such as hiatal hernia, pregnancy, and scleroderma. Other proven risk factors include obesity, smoking, and alcohol usage. Many prescription medications list GERD as a common side effect.
Warning – if you are taking prescription drugs
The drugs listed below can actually cause GERD – check this out with your family physician:
•Anticholinergics (sea sickness)
•Beta-blockers for high blood pressure or heart disease
•Bronchodilators for asthma
•Calcium channel blockers for high blood pressure
•Dopamine-active drugs for Parkinson’s disease
•Progestin for abnormal menstrual bleeding or birth control
•Sedatives for insomnia or anxiety
If you suspect that one of your medications may be causing heartburn, talk to your doctor. Acid reflux is associated with too little stomach acid production.
It’s time to eliminate an inaccurate health myth
The popular belief is that acid reflux is due to an excessive amount of hydrochloric acid in the stomach. New science has revealed that this is not the case. GERD is most often caused by too little hydrochloric acid being secreted by the stomach.
During digestion the stomach secretes acid to lower its pH to around 1.5-2.5 range. More protein, in the meal, results in a greater need for stomach acid. Individuals with non-obstructive acid reflux are often not able to get their pH low enough.
The LES is known to be a pH sensitive valve that initiates closure when pH drops under 3.0. When the stomach does not have enough acid – the LES remains open and acid can spill into the esophageal region and damage the tissue there.
The serious problem with antacids
Many people use antacids to relieve the pain of heartburn. This covers up the symptom (reducing acidity) but only makes the problem worse by further increasing the pH. This process limits the body from effectively digesting the food.
In addition, this causes further stress on the enzymatic system of the pancreas as well as the other digestive organs. Additionally, antacids, processed foods and many medications deplete the body of critical B vitamins and trace minerals that are necessary to create a sufficient supply of stomach acid.
The natural way to overcome acid reflux
An anti-inflammatory lifestyle incorporates a diet rich in phytonutrient dense vegetables, healthy fat and clean protein sources. Healthy fat sources include coconut products, avocados, olive oil, and purified omega-3 fish oil supplements.
Healthy protein includes wild-caught fish, grass-fed red meat and free range chicken, turkey, and eggs. Anti-inflammatory herbs such as turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, oregano and garlic are also powerful aids. Non-processed Himalayan sea salt, sea vegetables, sea algae and cereal grasses should be used regularly to provide an abundance of critical trace minerals.
Individuals should avoid eating excessively large meals as much as possible. Food should be eaten at least 2 hours before bed or lying horizontally to allow gravity to push through the system. Digestive enzymes and probiotics are particularly helpful at enhancing the digestive process. Raw apple cider vinegar with the fermented mother intact is rich in acetic acid, digestive enzymes and good bacteria.
Health tip of the day: 2 tsp. of raw apple cider vinegar in water – before a high protein meal – is particularly helpful.
Looking for natural health solutions? Sign up now – for our free, weekly show featuring the greatest minds in natural health and science plus free gifts!
About the author: Dr. David Jockers owns and operates Exodus Health Center in Kennesaw, Ga. He is a Maximized Living doctor. His expertise is in weight loss, customized nutrition & exercise, & structural corrective chiropractic care. For more information – visit: DrJockers.com. Dr. Jockers is also available for long distance phone consultations to help you beat disease and reach your health goals.
SUBSCRIBE TODAY! Click here to join the NaturalNews Inner Circle – a monthly (online) subscription offering exclusive audio interviews, video events, natural health product discounts, free gifts plus much more!