I have so many clients tell me they suffer from acid reflux. The worrying thing is that their Doctor told them it was caused by too MUCH stomach acid and that just isn’t true! The reason this worries me so much is because often they’re then prescribed drugs to reduce their stomach acid which only worsens their problem. That’s because acid reflux is actually caused by too LITTLE stomach acid.
I know, too much makes sense, logically. You have so much acid that it’s over flowing and bubbling up into your throat, that must be it, that makes sense.. but that’s not what’s happening at all. This is another misconception which is costing people their health. The longer you take those drugs, the more severe your digestive issues will become, as you reduce your stomach acid further and further. That’s why I’m here to explain to you what is really going on.
There is a sphincter between your esophagus and your stomach, which opens and closes. This keeps the contents of the stomach from moving back up into the esophagus. This sphincter works when there is sufficient acid production. If the stomach acid is low when food enters the stomach, the tone of this sphincter is weakened and unable to keep the stomach contents in the stomach, leading to the symptom of acid reflux.
The medication Doctors prescribe does often work at reducing or eliminating the symptoms and thus offers short term relief. The reason is because these medications eliminate the acid altogether, hence no acid will move up into the esophagus. However this is an example of treating the symptom and not the root cause. Eradicating stomach acid is dangerous because this is absolutely crucial to sufficient digestion. Over time this is going to be highly damaging to the health of your gut.
Now there are many reasons why stomach acid may be low, one which is highly common, is that our body is in a stress state or sympathetic dominant state when we are eating our food. This may be due to inflammation in the body, poor digestive health, imbalanced hormones, over worked adrenals and many more. Addressing stress in the body is a highly effective method at helping acid reflux, such as reducing bodily inflammation, healing the gut and adopting healthy eating practises.
Always take time to relax when you’re eating food and practise mindfulness. Give your meal full concentration and try to connect with your eating. Chew slowly and thoroughly, seated and in a calm environment. Don’t rush or eat in a hurry, especially not when you’re on the move.
Another top tip I give my clients is using digestive bitters or drinking ginger tea 20 minutes before a meal. The bitter flavour is recognised by the taste buds to start preparing for digestion and thus helps promote the secretion of HCL acid prior to food reaching your stomach. Eating foods high in enzymes like raw salads will also help improve this over time.
Another method people use is to take HCL acid and digestive enzyme tablets. This is a better option than the acid blocking medications, yet it’s still managing symptoms. These can be an effective temporary measure, but it’s important that you meanwhile look to restore your gut health.
To address the underlying condition it’s important to embark on a gut healing protocol. Heal from within and help your health for the long term. Don’t mask the symptoms because when our issues manifest, they can soon lead to bigger problems.
For any further help or advice feel free to contact me.