Gastro-oesphageal reflux is common among the population, with increasing incidence as we age but it is an abnormal condition that can be treated effectively in most cases without the use of drugs.
What causes reflux? After food passes through the oesophagus into the stomach, a valve in the lower part of the oesophagus shuts preventing the food or acid from moving back up.
Acid reflux occurs when the valve relaxes too much which then allows the stomach acid to reflux backward into the oesophagus. This can cause great discomfort and heart burn pain to the sufferer.
Medically this is treated with proton pump inhibitors like Nexium which actually block the acid production in your stomach . Whilst this sounds good and is very effective at blocking acid production, this is still not treating the cause and can lead to a host of other problems.
One must rule out causative factors such as hiatal hernia and helicobacter pylori as well as rebalancing the stomach acid naturally. You see, reflux often occurs as a result of too low a acid as food will sit in the stomach too long when we don’t produce enough acid, giving rise to an increased chance of reflux.
By treating reflux by lowering stomach acid further with proton pump inhibiting drugs, you very likely to become inefficient at absorbing certain vitamins and minerals as a certain acidic pH is needed for B12, iron , magnesium, calcium and other very important nutrients to be absorbed efficiently.
There is also an increased risk for hip and spine fractures, a higher susceptibility towards gut infection from certain bacteria (our stomach acid is the first line of defence against unwanted pathogens) and a small increase in the overall risk of pneumonia!!
My advice is to treat acid reflux early and as naturally as possible unless you have got to the stage where you have bleeding ulcers, oesophageal damage or just produce way too much acid (last condition is not common!)
Yours in health,
Natasha Martin, ND
stress and adrenal fatigue will cause an acid imbalance to occur in the stomach area (suprisingly a decrease in acid