What is acid reflux? Once you know the cause you can improve it and get acid reflux relief. The burning sensation that one gets in the middle of the chest an hour or two after you have had a meal is wat they call acid reflux. This sensation is caused because there is a backwash of stomach contents that come up into the esophagus. The esophagus is the long tube that connects the mouth to the stomach and it carries our food into the stomach in one direction. The stomach lining is designed to withstand the strong HCL hydrochloric acid that is produced by the stomach parietal cells to break down the protein in our food.
Stomach contents when mixed with the hydrochloric acid churns into a creamy paste that they call chime. When this chime is forced into the oesophagus from the stomach, this is going in the wrong direction and the acid in the chime will cause burning and can do some serious damage over the long term. This is the cause of acid reflux.
Conditions That Promote Acid Reflux
Certain conditions have to be met in the stomach before the pyloric sphincter (the opening between the stomach and the duodenum) will open and empty some of its contents into the duodenum and if the conditions are not right (acid levels have to be at certain level) it will not open and the stomach will get full and the contents start to putrefy and off-gas and that can force the cardiac sphincter (the opening between the esophagus and the stomach) to open, stomach contents spill into the oesophagus causing a burning sensation, which we call acid reflux.
What Causes Acid Reflux
Bad food combining.An example of poor food combining would be protein and carbohydrates eaten together like cheese on toast, meat sandwiches, meat with starchy food like rice. When you eat too much sugar it takes nutrition out of your body. Sugar is an anti-nutrient meaning it has no beneficial nutrition to give but takes nutrients out of the body in order to be broken down.
Drinking ice water with meals, using ant acids, candida overgrowth, certain drugs, chronic illness and long term stress and emotional upset can all upset the production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach.
Ice water shocks your liver so that will slow digestion, as will watering down your digestive juices when you eat and drink at the same time.Eating too much all in one sitting can also cause acid reflux. Eating too much processed foods and eating too many carbohydrates, especially grains, which cause inflammation in the intestines, will alter the micro biome in the stomach causing wind and gas which can force the sphincter to open up and cause acid reflux as well. Eat less processed food for acid reflux relief.
The Purpose of Hydrochloric Acid in the Stomach
The purpose of the acid in the stomach is to break down the proteins into amino acids, kill off invading bacteria to protect us against diseases and it is necessary to be able to absorb many of our nutrients. Acid reflux can therefore be responsible for disease vulnerability, nutrient deficiencies, leading to osteoperosis and other problems.
Stomach Acid Too Low
Acid reflux means that your stomach acid is too low, not too high, which is what most people think. How do we know when we have got low stomach acid. The number one give away is that you will find it difficult to digest your proteins especially animal protein and it will sit heavy on your stomach and you will feel full very quickly. In fact you will find it difficult to digest food full stop.
Belching, bloating and breaking wind shortly after meals is another give away.
Heartburn, a pain near the heart that normally occurs after eating food. This is the symptom that gives acid reflux its name.
Undigested food in your stools
Tired all the time and all the symptoms caused by lack of absorbing nutrients such as poor quality hair, nails and skin. A lot of people believe that the problem is because we have got too much acid in our stomach and that is why they take ant acids to get acid reflux relief by lowering the acid when in truth there is not enough acid to do its job properly. The pain is caused because the acid is in the wrong place, in the oesophagus where it is not meant to be.
What You Eat Can Cause Acid Reflux
Everything we consume can effect this delicate balance between the opening and closing of these 2 sphincters because it effects the good and bad bacteria. Every time you eat you are either feeding the good or the bad bacteria in your gut and if you are feeding the bad bacteria on a long term basis you will get an overgrowth of fungus or candidae and that will cause low HCL hydrochloric acid. The bacteria called H pylori can also assists in having low stomach acid because it is often found at the scene of the crime although it could be just taking advantage of the situation..
Drugs Can Cause Acid Reflux
When we take drugs such as Ace inhibitors which is mainly used as a heart medication it causes zinc deficiency. Zinc is essential for muscle function and sphincter and valve control. Calcium is also essential for muscle contraction so imagine if you are taking a drug that reduces your calcium such as Dioxin or Calcium channel blockers, how that can impact on your sphincters.
Proton Pump Inhibitors
Proton pump inhibitors that are taken for acid reflux relief only make a bad situation worse, because they reduce the amount of HCL hydrochloric acid produced by the stomach, which gives a temporary fix but long term they only make things worse. They do not address the underlying cause in fact they do the opposite and make the underlying cause increase.
Drugs that deplete your calcium such as Dioxin and calcium channel blockers will reduce the force with which the smooth muscles work because calcium is a muscle contractor. Calcium is needed to contract smooth muscle and striated muscle. Magnesium is a natural channel blocker because calcium and magnesium work in tandum with each other.
How to avoid Acid Reflux
Eat nutritious food like greens leafy vegetables, lemons, apple cider vinegar, aloe vera to help sooth the digestive tract. Avoid eating too much food in one sitting and too many processed foods. Practice good food combining practices such as never eating protein and carbohydrates together. Avoid drugs especially proton pump inhibitors and also avoid sugar.