Stomach Acid – Is it time to rethink this common myth?

In a previous blog, I share with you that GERD, bloating, and general gastro-intestinal discomfort is frequently treated by suppressing stomach acid production using either prescribed or over-the-counter medication for example  protein-pump inhibitors such as Nexium® or Prilosec®, H2 receptor blockers such as Zantac® or Pepcid®, or even pain-killers such as aspirin or ibuprofen. The theory being that there is too much stomach acid which results in the acid backing up and forcing itself into the upper stomach and into the esophagus.

The fact is that as we age, our bodies produce less stomach acid, not more and, in reality, the stomach acid is entering the esophagus because it is taking the body longer to empty the stomach due to the decreased stomach acid.  Because of this, the mix of food and digestive juices, known as chyme, starts to ferment which causes gases to build up and there is pressure put on the lower esophageal sphincter which is then forced open, allowing what little stomach acid there is to enter the esophagus and cause that uncomfortable burning sensation.

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Are you making this common mistake regarding GERD?

Many people suffer from GERD also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease. This is often accurately described as stomach acid in the wrong place. The piece that many people get wrong is that they believe this is caused by too much stomach acid. In fact, it is almost always caused by too little stomach acid.

GERD is most commonly the result of a dysfunction in the lower esophageal sphincter. When this sphincter weakens, what little stomach acid is present backs up into the esophagus. The mucosal lining of the esophagus is not coated in the same way that the stomach is, so the stomach acid causes irritation to the esophagus that results in a burning sensation. If this occurs over a prolonged period of time, the pepsin in the stomach acid, which is a protein digesting enzyme, actually starts to digest the tissue in the esophagus. This causes inflammation that eventually, if left untreated, can lead to cancer.

So, what weakens the lower esophageal sphincter?

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Relief from Gas, Bloating, Acid Reflux and More…

Back to Basics – Eating 101

As a Functional Medicine Health Coach, many people come to me because they suffer from gas, bloating, belching, acid reflux, and/or feeling overly full after a meal. Some people have a major GI disruption that may cause a closer look with your Functional Medicine Health Coach but, for many, the solution is in being aware of eating hygiene.

What is eating hygiene? It is a few simple tricks that will help you properly digest your food so that you do not have these uncomfortable issues. Here are 3 simple tricks that may help you reduce or even eliminate these annoying symptoms.

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