I can say with certainty that you have most likely suffered from heart burn at some point in your life. And for some of you it must be an ongoing problem, having lasted more than 3 months.
Am I right?
Let’s be real. You love your steak, fries, cheese, chocolate cakes, doughnut, burgers or fried chicken. Heart burn is just a natural consequence when you eat such foods, you’d think.
The heart burn does not let you sleep at night. After all there’s fire burning in your chest making it impossible to lie down and rest.
You feel horrible and restless, and pace around the bedroom like a tiger bound in a cage, not knowing what do to.
You may curse yourself for eating those greasy favorite foods, but you tend to forget all about the suffering the next time you eat them and the cycle begins again!
And I’m sure there must be a favorite over the counter remedy you must be taking when suffering from heart burn. Perhaps you take quick fixes like Tums, Rolaids or acid blockers like Zantac.
Some of you may even be on prescription PPIs (Proton Pump Inhibitors) like Prevacid or Prilosec.
So what’s the need to worry, when you already have an easy, quick fix solution?
Then let me tell you that indiscriminately taking these over-the-counter acid blockers is harmful for your gut in the long run.
Let me explain……..
First let’s begin by understanding what heart burn/ GERD is.
Heart Burn/ GERD happens when the lower esophageal sphincter muscles (LES) which allows food to pass from food pipe to the stomach malfunctions.
As a result the stomach acid moves up into the food pipe/ esophagus, irritating and eventually scarring if not dealt with.
Ultimately it can even block food from going down, making it difficult to eat at all.
It can be caused by ingestion of certain foods / medications which cause the burning sensation, without acid participation.
During a simple acid reflux, the esophagus usually clears the acid again and it goes back down into the stomach. However, during GERD this may not happen causing more symptoms/ damage.
Suffering from heart burn/ GERD is annoying and you want a quick fix. As a result, Americas spend about $3 billion on antacids like Tums/ Rolaids and over $13 billion on prescription acid-blocking drugs.
While these drugs are good at reducing symptoms in the short term, they do nothing to address the root cause of the issue. In fact in many cases these drugs exacerbate the underlying issue of low stomach acid and create new problems.
The common side effects of these drugs are constipation or diarrhea, gas, bloating, nausea and abdominal pain.
In addition some other long term effects of antacids/ acid blockers are:
1. Poor digestion:
We need stomach acid to activate pancreatic enzymes which in turn breakdown the food we eat. So by taking these drugs you turn off this cycle as you are dousing the stomach acid. The result is lack of energy, gas and bloating.
2. Risk of bacterial overgrowth/ infections and compromised resistance to super-bugs:
Stomach acids helps protect you from pathogen that your body is exposed to. Reducing stomach acid therefore helps create an environment for the ‘bad pathogens’ to grow and make you sick with infections and overgrowth of bad bacteria in the gut. This causes issues like gas, bloating, H. Pylori infections, yeast/ bladder infections, intolerance to fiber, carbs and even probiotics!
3. Vitamin depletion:
Vitamin B12, magnesium, zinc, folate, calcium, iron and beta-carotene need stomach acid to be absorbed in the body. Long term use of PPIs or acid blockers therefore may lead to fatigue, anemia and osteopenia.
4. Increased risk of fractures:
As mentioned above, if bone building calcium, zinc and magnesium are depleted- you will be at higher risk for fractures.
As you can see it’s imperative to take necessary preventative measures to avoid getting heart burn and becoming dependent on acid blockers.
Some natural preventative ways to do this are:
1. Eliminate trigger foods: Typically these are fried, greasy or citrus foods. Keep a log of what causes heart burn and stay away from these foods temporarily, giving time for the gut to heal.
2. Eat bitter greens: Foods like dandelion greens, cress, turnips, mustard greens help spark the digestive fire.
3. Avoid mint or mint products (even in toothpaste), as they dilate the LES and will aggravate the problem.
4. Taking a shot of apple cider vinegar before meals helps light the digestive fire.
5. Strengthen your digestive system, so that you don’t experience these symptoms in the first place!
Grab my free guide to 10 Essential Foods for Rocking Digestion and Energetic You and begin strengthening your gut right away with these simple everyday foods.
6. Drink at least 2.4 l of water during the day. Aim to start the day by drinking at least 2-3 cups as soon as you wake up. It works wonders for your digestive system and will also help with bowel movements.
These are just some of the natural ways to deal with GERD.
If you’d like to dive deeper and eliminate your heart burn, indigestion or any other digestive issues like gas/ bloating, IBS, constipation, diarrhea; I invite you to take advantage of a complimentary Living a Symptom Free Life Coaching Session with me by clicking here.
During our call, we will:
- Create a crystal clear vision for the ideal life you’ll be living in your energized, symptoms free and confident body.
- Uncover the root cause, hidden challenges and self sabotaging habits that may be causing your symptoms.
- Leave this session renewed, inspired, ready to finally strengthen digestion so you can enjoy your favorite foods with restrictions and be your best once and for all.
- Simply click here and book your call.
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