Most common digestive problem?
Monday July 25, 2011
With few exceptions, my first look at a client’s chart, food diary and medical history reveals a big problem with digestion. This is the first thing I look for with a new client, as not digesting well means not being able to get the nutrition out of food. Once that is resolved, other health problems start improving immediately. And by far the most common problem is hypochorhydria or low stomach acid. I know, I know, Prilosec is a huge seller, and here is how that works:
Because of our increased consumption of rapidly assimilable refined carbohydrates, which do not need stomach acid to break down, (they begin digestion with amylase, found in saliva) has suppressed the acidity of our stomachs. 50,000 years of an Ice Age and subsequent low carbohydrate diet has created a beautiful process, with a stomach acid level ideally around 1.5- 3. Amazingly caustic, yet, in a healthy system it is highly effective for getting the most possible nutrition from meat.
So what about acid reflux? Between your esophagus and your stomach is the cardiac sphincter, which should be a one-way passage. Lower your stomach acid, and the food that passes through doesn’t digest so well. Your stomach knows not to pass it along until it is in comfortably small bits, and at 98.6 Fahrenheit, speed is crucial. Sothere3 is a delay, and instead of moving along, things begin to produce gases, which can push acid (what little there is) up into the throat, where it very much doesn’t belong. Acid reflux, also called GERD. Quite painful, and often a precursor to much scarier things.
A doctor’s visit later, you have a little purple pill and much relief. The symptom is cured, but the cause is ignored. By further suppressing your stomach acid, the actual process gets worse. Food doesn’t break down, so nutrients aren’t available, and the whole system is stressed. Add to that a lot of putrefying food moving through a system ill prepared for it, and your doctor’s son has tuition for life.
As I have said before, I do love a good conspiracy theory, but I think most doctors are fine people, motivated to help. Unfortunately, medicine in our country is profit driven, which moves responsibility to the drug companies. In my belief system, that is where the villains are. As doctoring becomes less profitable for the individuals, it is the drug suppliers who are profiting.
‘Follow the money…’
What is the option? A readily available HCl supplement to prime your own ability to make stomach acid, and a diet that cuts back on refined foods. Drop me an e-mail and I will forward a protocol, or pick up Drs Wright and Lenard’s book: Why Stomach Acid Is Good For You.
Austin Nutritional Therapy by Elaine DiRico