It starts with that bleeeehh! taste in your mouth. You think it is not a big deal. Take an antacid and it’s over. Have you ever thought that food is meant to stay in the stomach, why is it reflexing back? Your body is telling you something, but you tell your body to shut up by taking antacids. This is how we treat all small problems related to the body. We cure symptoms and not the cause. Even the mainstream medical professionals treat the symptoms and not the cure. We will talk about how to get rid of acid reflux in this post.
We start taking things seriously when the damage inside the body is done and the symptoms are more severe. This simple acid reflux, when treated again and again with antacids, can end in Stomach or Esophagus cancer. If you are reading this article, you are lucky that you are now ready to take the steps to overcome this problem.
Don’t worry, we will come over this together.
First some counterintutive facts:
: Acid reflux is NOT caused by excess acid in your stomach.
: Antacids, suppresses the acid in the stomach. Acid in the stomach is important for Digestion, Mineral absorption, fighting bugs in the stomach. One should never try to supress this acid.
If you are taking antacids, every time you have a heartburn get ready for Ulcers, B12 Deficiency, Nerve Damage, Depression, Alzheimer´s and another N number of problems coming your way.
What is Acid Reflux
The diagram shows the problem of acid reflux. Do you see too much stomach acid on the right? No! But the problem is that Sphincter is not closed properly, resulting in stomach acid to reflux back.
So why is it happening? The possible reasons for it could be:
1. Acid Reflux Due to Hiatal Hernia
On the diagram right you can see, how a hiatus hernia looks like. Sometimes people suffer acid reflux due to a hernia at the hiatus. If this is the case it could be easily seen in Xrays.
This can happen when the pressure in the stomach increases because of Pregnancy or Obesity.
The treatment for a hiatal hernia is the treatment for GERD and minimizing acid reflux. This includes decreasing acid secretion in the stomach, avoiding substances that are irritating to the stomach lining.
2. Acid Reflux due to Medication Side Effect
You are taking medications for anxiety, antidepressants, too many antibiotics, blood pressure medications, nitroglycerin, osteoporosis drugs, and pain relievers.
Don’t worry about that, anyway if you follow my blog, we will get rid of your medicines with diet. That’s why I am there for you.
3. Acid Reflux to the Bateria Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori)
These bacteria cause ulcers in the stomach. Proper tests and natural treatments are mentioned below to fight off this bacteria.
4. Defaulty LES ( lower esophageal sphincter )
LES is that separates the lower end of the esophagus and the stomach. Remember stomach has two valves one at the top and one at the bottom. The top one called LES is a two-way valve and the lower one Pyloric Sphincter (PS) is one way.
The Stomach passes the food to the intestine for further digestion, only when required ph level is obtained. If the required ph level is not obtained food sits in the stomach too long and what happens when food sits at a place for too long? Bacteria starts growing. The bacterias will ferment the food present in the stomach and builds up the pressure in the stomach that stomach along with acid refluxes back into the esophagus
So there is only one way for the fermented food to go. It goes from stomach through LES to Esophagus to throat to your mouth.
This makes your LES Defaulty.
Another reason for pressure in the abdomen called IAP (Inter abdominal pressure) occurs if there is undigested food in the stomach. Now you understand why proper digestion is so important. One should know that carbohydrate malabsorption leads to bacterial overgrowth, resulting in IAP which drives reflux. Even in the case of good digestion, 10 to 15% carbohydrates and Fibres are not digested. Therefore people suffering from Reflux should go for low carbohydrate diet.
Once the reflux problem is fixed, move back to moderate carbohydrates. I do not recommend very low carbohydrates for extended periods of times like Keto diets.
If the pH of the stomach is too high (due to insufficient stomach acid), the pancreatic enzymes will not be secreted and the carbohydrates will not be broken down properly
If stomach acid is insufficient and/or carbohydrates are consumed in excess, some of the carbs will escape absorption and become available for intestinal microbes to ferment, causing gas.
Acid is meant to stay in stomach, it moves up in the esophagus and hence in the throat due to low stomach acid or due to consuming the wrong type of carbohydrates.
Why too low stomach acid?
Low stomach acid due to Stress
Yes! Stress. It takes so much from us that we do not realize.
Eating too quickly: When we are stressed, we eat too quickly and do not give time for our body to properly digest the food. You can prepare the best nutritious meal for yourself, but if you are stressed, it will hardly bring any good to you. Dr. Mercola writes:
The stress response causes a number of detrimental events in your gut, including:
: Decreased nutrient absorption
: Decreased oxygenation to your gut
: As much as four times less blood flow to your digestive system, which leads to decreased metabolism
: Decreased enzymatic output in your gut as much as 20,000-fold!
Eating when stressed out (i.e. when in fight-or-flight mode) means that the body diverts its energy away from certain tasks like digestion. It shuts down the production of both crucial enzymes and stomach acid.
As a result, food stays in the stomach longer which leads to bloating and digestive distress.
Over use of NSAID´s
We pop Tylenol, aspirin, and ibuprofen like candy. We think that there are no major issues if we take a relatively small dosage each day. Because we all want to get rid of any symptoms fast. Unfortunately, these medicines wear down the stomach lining and reduce the ability of the stomach cells to produce HCL.
Bacteria H.Pylori lowers the stomach acid
Low stomach acid is not able to fight off bacterias like H.Pylori. In the presence of H.Pylori, the stomach acid reduces further.
H. pylori suppress stomach acid secretion and are responsible for stomach ulcers. It is believed that half of the world´s population is suffering from H.Pylori infection. This is especially true in developing countries.
Low stomach acid >>> heartburn >>> acid suppressing drugs >>> H. pylori infection >>> further reduction of stomach acid >>> Acid Reflux
The Truth Behind Antacids
Now we know that stomach acid protects us from the bacterias that we get from food, air or water. People taking antacids are temporarily free from symptoms of stomach acidity but are then more vulnerable to serious bacterial infections.
So acid-reducing and blocking drugs do nothing to address the underlying cause of acid production. That bacteria H.Pylori stays in the stomach forever and they lay the groundwork for slow-growing, long-term health complications.
Antacid drugs come in 3 forms:
Proton-Pump Inhibitors (PPIs)
Studies have confirmed that proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs) can profoundly alter the gastrointestinal bacterial population by suppressing stomach acid. Long-term use of Prilosec, one of the most potent acid suppressing drugs, reduces the secretion of hydrochloric acid (HCL) in the stomach to near zero.
2. H2 Blockers
PPI´s and H2 both signal the stomach cells to stop producing acid. This acid which is so helpful for so many body functions.
Since you do not address the right cause of acid reflux, your body will start becoming dependent on these antacid drugs. If you are addicted to antacids, never leave them immediately. Just wean yourself off slowly.
Don’t worry there are steps to wean off them slowly:
Step 1: Lower the dose of PPI, while adding some natural remedies.
Step 2: Once you get down to the lowest dose of the proton pump inhibitor, Introduce, H2 blocker instead, like Tagamet, Cimetidine, Zantac, or Raniditine. You don’t even need a prescription for this. Buy at any local pharmacy.
Step 3: Then gradually wean off the H2 blocker over the next several weeks.
While weaning them off, you can always try the natural remedies side by side, I have listed below.
It is therefore important to try to increase stomach acid naturally and with the first signs of heartburn never take antacids.
When to take Antacids
When antacids were introduced, they were never meant to be taken for long because of the severe side effects. But, the side effects were ignored and it was available and prescribed over and over again.
Take antacids only when you have:
- Zollinger-Ellison syndrome (a rare condition that causes your stomach to produce excess acid)
- Severe acid reflux, where an endoscopy has confirmed that your esophagus is damaged
- Bleeding ulcers: You will see blood in the vomit or in the stool.
Natural Treatment for Acid Reflux
Next time, when you suffer from acidity due to any reasons, before taking any antacid try the following. Integrating these health drinks in your diet will solve your acidity problem forever.
The simple formula is Drink, Drink and Drink. Add different things to your water whole, day and see how you feel.
Bone Broth for Acidity
Whether you have acidity or not, this drink is must for everyone. I prepare my own bone broth and mostly I have it in the fridge, But I always keep ready to drink bone broth from reputed companies like this as well. Just for the days when I am very busy or I am on Juice, meaning I rotate between bone broth and juicing vegetables.
Bone broth is full of amino acid (building block of proteins) Glutamine and Glycine
Glutamine: Helps in rebuilding the intestine wall, which is a major reason for food sensitivities and Autoimmune conditions.
Glycine: Stimulated stomach acid production
Acidity is typically due to too less acid in the stomach, to increase the acid, drink anything acidic before the meals like Apple cider vinegar, sauerkraut juice or Aloe Vera juice before the meals. This single habit will show profounds effects on your health.
If you have an ulcer, definitely skip using something acidic like apple cider vinegar for acid reflux, which may cause your belly even more aggravation. Later in this article, we will discuss more stomach ulcers.
I recommend only purchasing apple cider vinegar in glass containers, or the vinegar will contain chemical contaminants that have leached out of the plastic.
Ginger for Acidity
I drink 3 liters of water every day. I have a 1-liter jar. Every morning I add crushed ginger to the jar, with other options like mint leaves, cucumber, Turmeric and sometimes Aloe vera. But ginger is a must. I keep refilling the jar whole day. There is also a small weight loss tip here. If you are craving a lot of sugar on a particular day, add apple cider vinegar to your water jar and it will diminish your cravings.
Ginger can reduce the likelihood of acid flowing from your stomach back into your esophagus
Baking Soda ( Sodium Bicarbonate )
When proper ph is achieved, chyme (mushed food in the stomach ) triggers the release of sodium bicarbonate to achieve the ph that intestines need. That’s why we say take Sodium Bicarbonate ( Baking soda ), so that food can pass from the stomach to the intestines.
Sea Salt :
Tell your body to make more HCL in your stomach: High-quality sea salt (Himalayan Salt). It provides chloride so that your body can make HCL.
There are some supplements as well, that helps with acid reflux
- B Vitamins or Let’s say B-Complex: A Higher folic acid that is (B9 ), as shown 40% reduction in Acidity.
- Glutamine: It is found in Bone Broth, Chicken, Fish, Eggs and Dairy. It is also helpful is repairing the damage done by the bacteria H.Pylori, as Glutamine is responsible for new cell growth. If you are planning to supplement look for L-Glutamine.
- Betaine HCL: This is what I give it to my clients. Betaine HCL together with pepsin is a great solution, for raising stomach acid, for the people suffering from low stomach acid issues.
Stomach acidity and Peptic Ulcers
Peptic ulcers are caused by bacteria H.Pylori in the stomach. Meaning your ulcer is due to this bacteria.
H. pylori infection probably only takes place when the acidity of the stomach is decreased.
It is true that if you have ulcers in the stomach, the acid in the stomach hurt your ulcers. But stomach acid is very very important. Don’t reduce the acid, reduce the ulcers.
My suggestion is to keep acidity in check, ( try to use home remedies, listed below ) so that acid doesn’t hurt the ulcers, like baking soda and look for treatment of Ulcers.
Where does peptic ulcers come from?
1. Food allergies that you are unaware of.
Normally doctors do not have so much time to go into depth analysis of your symptoms and test you for food allergies. When some doctors world wide actually did their work, they found out that mostly the food related problems were arising from “Gluten”, thats why people are moving away from wheat and other gluten containing grains.
I always argue with my clients that even if they do not have “Gluten Allergy”, wheat and other grains anyways provide so less nutrients, why do you anyways want to consume grains in large quantity.
2. This bacteria is spread through mouth-to-mouth contact and contaminated food and water. Food and lifestyle choices enable the bacteria to proliferate in your gut. So, you cant help here.
3. Malabsorbed carbohydrates produce hydrogen gas in the intestines. Hydrogen gas is the preferred energy source for H. pylori. Excessive fructose, certain types of fiber and starch, and particularly wheat increase hydrogen production and thus increase the risk of infection by H. pylori and other pathogenic bacteria.
4. Low Stomach Acid. Generally, bacterias like H.Pylori are killed by stomach acid, but if your stomach acid is too low, bacterias like H.Pylori are born. It is difficult to say that you got low stomach acid and then H.Pylori infection or you got first H.Pylori infection and then low stomach acid.
Tests if you have H.Pylori Bacteria
There are 4 different ways you can test the presence of this bacteria.
1. Stool test: H. pylori can be detected in your stool
2. Breath Test: H. pylori convert urea into carbon dioxide. You will consume something with urea and then carbon dioxide is measured in your breath
3. Blood Test: This test can remain positive for years after an infection. So this is a little tricky one. Talk to your doctor about the same.
4. Tissue Biopsy: This involves endoscopy. So, this is a little uncomfortable procedure.
If you test positive don’t worry 66 percent of the world’s human population is infected with Helicobacter pylori.
Treatment for H.Pylori
Conventional Treatment for H.Pylori
You have to take more than 10 medicines for 15 days. These medicines are a mixture of Antibiotics, Acid reducers, and Histamine Blockers. But we are not friends of antibiotics because they kill good bacterias as well. There are natural treatments as well.
Natural Treatment for H.Pylori
1. It was found that giving patients with H. pylori bacteria, 2 grams of ground black seeds daily along with omeprazole (an acid blocker) was more effective than the conventional treatment.
Here you can read the full article about
2. Broccoli Sprouts: Take 50 grams of sprouts 2 times a day for 7 days and there are 90% chances that you will be free from this bacteria in 7 days.
3. Garlic: Take 2 cloves of garlic with lunch and in dinner.
4. Green Tea: Green Tea, in general, has very powerful antibacterial properties.
5. Add Probiotic foods in your diet:
Probiotics meaning good bacterias will help you fight off bad bacterias of any kind.
If you are planning to add Prebiotics and Probiotics in the supplement form, This is a great solution as they combined digestive enzymes with Probiotics and Prebiotics. Digestive Enzymes With Probiotics & Prebiotics
If acid is hurting your ulcers, a great solution is drinking Baking Soda: Sodium Bicarbonate, will neutralize the acidity and it won’t hurt your ulcers. It si better than the antacid, because it wont suppress the stomach acid, but shift the Ph level .
One full teaspoon of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) in an eight-ounce glass of water may ease the burn of acid reflux as it helps neutralize stomach acid.
Lifestyle Change to deal with Acid Reflux
- No water with food because water dilutes the concentration of stomach acid.
- Eat low Carbohydrate and low Fiber diet.
- Avoid esophageal irritants like coffee, spicy foods, acidic foods (tomatoes, citrus), and carbonated drinks.
- Take time to eat. Digestion begins in mind. The smell of the food, the taste in the mouth, then chewing all this helps in digestion.
- Most important, deal with your stress.