It is a commonly held belief that if you suffer from heartburn or acid reflux that you must reduce your stomach acid; therefore, people tend to rely on antacids because they believe this is helping their problem. However, this could be a mistake that leads to further health issues. I can tell you with certainty, YOU DO NOT HAVE TOO MUCH STOMACH ACID! Physiology and chemistry back me up in this argument. Diseases that cause you to truly have too much stomach acid are things like Zollenger-Ellison syndrome, which is a very rare disease. The reason this disease causes too much stomach acid is that it causes tumors to grow on your stomach, pancreas, and small intestines.
I encourage you to do your own research on this. Then really think about how too much stomach acid could be a truly rare condition, but also extremely common at the same time. The purpose of the blog is to tell you that both statements cannot be true! Many times reflux and heartburn exist because of too little stomach acid.
The stomach is one of the most important organs in the entire GI tract. It is responsible for the maintenance of the mucosal lining inside the stomach, activating a protein digesting enzyme that kills the bugs that accompany your food and drink before it can enter your body. When you take acid-reducing medications you decrease the body’s ability to digest protein and lower the body’s ability to protect itself from foreign particles. The reduction of protein digestion, alone, will lead to several other issues down the road. That is because protein is used for, but not limited to, pH, blood, and fluid balance, repair, growth, and immune function.
Antacids can also cause issues with bowel movements and the gallbladder. The gallbladder is completely dependent on what comes out of the stomach to know how much bile to release. The gallbladder is loaded with alkaline salts (bile salts) and the stomach is loaded with acid (hydrochloric acid). It is easier to explain if you think of acid like hot water and alkaline like cold water and you are needing to mix the two to make room temperature water. If the stomach is releasing a small amount of hot water, how much cold water would you need? Not very much. When the stomach is underperforming it can cause issues with the gallbladder, which I will explain in another blog on another day.
Bowel issues due to the stomach not working correctly can also be easily explained. Think of the GI tract like an assembly line. You have raw material (food) that comes in at the beginning and it needs to be worked and reduced into an end product (poop). If anyone in the assembly line is not doing their job properly then it will be a struggle to accomplish the goal of making the end product. The stomach is at the beginning of that assembly line and needs to be the first organ system looked at to make sure that it is doing its job correctly.
The good news is there is a natural solution to these problems. This comes in the form of digestive enzymes along with other nutritional supplements. Loomis enzymes provide a perfect combination of both and have been proven to be effective for the digestive issues that were just discussed. If you are an individual that runs to the drug store for Tums or Rolaids, know that there are other options that can help fix the root cause, not just mask symptoms temporarily. I use these enzymes in my practice everyday and see great results.
-digestive enzymes (as mentioned above)
-rest and stress-reducing activities
–contact our office to come in for a consultation!