Acid Reflux is also known as heartburn and it is a very prevalent digestive system disorder. The common belief is that it’s caused by increased acidity in the stomach, but actually it is the opposite. This presumption leads to an incorrect approach when trying to resolve it its symptoms.
Signs & Symptoms of Acid Reflux:
- dry cough
- bad breath
- eroding teeth
- pain or difficulty swallowing
- sour or bitter taste in the mouth
- discomfort & pain the the stomach
- unexplained cough when lying down
- burning feeling in the chest, more evident after eating
When a patient presents Acid Reflux symptoms to a GP, often initially they would be advised to get over the counter antacid drugs. If the symptoms persist the doctor will prescribe the stronger stomach acid suppression medication, called PPI (see below).
The PPIs (proton pump inhibitors) such as Omeprazole, Lanzaprosole and Pantaprozole are the most common drugs used to suppress stomach acid production. These drugs are meant to be taken for a duration up to 8 weeks only, due to well know long term side effects.
Meanwhile the messages that the body sends are ignored the side effects of the drugs start to proliferate. It’s important to understand that these drugs don’t address the underlining cause and therefore cannot cure, they only suppress the symptoms.
Side effects one can experience from taking PPIs:
Please note some of the side effects may affect one in ten people some one in one hundred and some are more rare, but still they are there. Why should we take these risks if there are absolutely safe alternatives in the Alternative Medicine approach? The side effects mentioned on the patient information list of Omeprazole are:
- hair loss
- stomach pain
- feeling agitated
- pins and needles
- flatulence (wind)
- frequent headaches
- benign polis in the stomach
- thrush or candida overgrowth
- swelling of the ankles and feet
- may affect liver markers in the blood
- nausea (feeling sick) or/and vomiting
- stomach cancer or predisposition to oncology
- all skin issues including unexplained rash, hives and itchiness
- low minerals including magnesium, sodium, potassium, calcium
- immune cells damage which leads to increased risk of infections and oncology
These and many more symptoms and health conditions can be cause by IPPs. Our body is a perfectly working machine until we abuse it with the wrong fuel and unhealthy habits. I have seen many clients with oncology and note the majority had taken PPIs for a significant length of time, on average 10 years. We can assume that stomach acid suppressant drugs are one of the predisposing factors.
What causes low stomach acid to leach?
The primary cause of Acid Reflux is a lack of proper concentration of acid and muscular tonicity in the stomach. It is as simple as that! Our unhealthy habits over decades result in an overstretched stomach and reduces its ability to produce stomach acid.
Did you know that over a life time we consume around 50+ tones of food. This amount of food approximately requires 300l of stomach acid.
Stomach acid is released every time we drink anything but water and every-time we eat any type of food. If you are constantly chewing and overindulging on coffee or tea your stomach acid will reduce its proper function earlier.
It is important to understand that stomach acid is a resource that we have for lifetime. When we overuse something this simply results in its become less efficient and eventual break down.
How to find out your stomach acid levels?
Half of the population are suffering form hypochlorydia or simply low stomach acid. It affects children as their digestive system is not yet fully developed, that’s why they are often affected by parasites. It also affects the elderly due to low resources in the body and drugs. Another group of people affected on different levels are those over 30 years old.
Knowing your stomach acid level will help to analyse your current health state and plan a more tailored health approach. If the stomach acid is low then other possible deficiencies should be evaluated by doing a Basic Blood Test or Advanced Blood Test. Nutritional deficiencies are always accompanied by digestive disorders.
You can perform the Stomach Acid Test easily at home, only few things are required. Read about how to do the Stomach Acid Test here.
What to do if the stomach acid is low?
Making simple changes to your diet and lifestyle can reduce or completely eradicate your symptoms. There are multiple things that you can do, but a professional option is always recommended. It is better to consult a qualified practitioner to ensure all the triggers and weaknesses are considered. If you need assistance book your Nutritional Consultation in London, Sevenoaks, Tunbridge Wells or online with Nadiya, the Digestive System Specialist.
First of all review your diet. Reduce or completely eliminate the food triggers including all stimulants (coffee, alcohol, smoking, sugar). Read 5R Approach blog to find our more or join us on the next Digestive Wellness Program.
Also look into stress management techniques as it often aggravates the symptoms.
Another step towards a healthier digestive system is to look in to supplements:
Supplements for Acid Reflux I use in the clinic:
Slippery Elm – one of the most ancient remedies that works magic. It’s mucilage compound has healing power that helps to regenerate cells that secrets mucus. It has soothing and anti-inflammatory actions, just what you need when you have Acid Reflux. The Slippery Elm is a bark that is also rich in organic minerals and a number of vitamins.
This bark reduces inflammation in the whole digestive tract and acts as prebiotic. Slippery Elm is a great product to use as a preventative measurement to or during GIT conditions such as IBS, Colitis, Diverticulitis and Crohn’s.
Aloe Vera Organic Juice – mitigating and healing juice. Extremely beneficial for alleviating pain and discomfort caused by Acid Reflux.
Purchase these supplements 10% cheaper on Natural Dispensary with my practitioner discount NDK10.
The above two supplements are a must have in your healing protocol. These supplements should be combined with the Acid Reflux Dietary and Lifestyle protocol. To book your personal consultation to create an action plan contact Nadiya Naturopathic Nutritionist and Functional Medicine Practitioner.