Could acid reflux signals actually be one of your body’s “check engine” lights? Heartburn is the hallmark symptom, but several underlying problems can cause this indicator. Other commonly used terms for acid reflux are GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) and “peptic ulcer disease.” People can experience a burning sensation behind the breastbone that sometimes travels up into the throat. Commonly thought to be the production of too much acid, it is actually just that the stomach acid is out of place and causing those symptoms. The bacteria, Helicobacter Pylori, can also cause discomfort. Suppressing acid does not treat the problem – it only treats the symptoms and causes the problem to get worse. A common ailment, acid reflux, affects approximately 50 percent of the adult U.S. population. If you want to LIVE YOUNGER, you must treat the cause of the problem and not just the symptoms.
Lifestyle modifications to decrease acid reflux:
- Give your body the raw materials it needs: The acid in the stomach is hydrochloric acid and is designed to break down food into usable nutrients. Unprocessed salt, such as Himalayan salt, provides the chloride that the body needs to make hydrochloric acid and contains over 80 trace minerals necessary for vitality.
- Have your Vitamin D measured by a quality lab: Optimal Vitamin D levels (60-80 ng/ml) are essential for your body to eliminate infection and strengthen your immune system.
- Exercise to increase your body’s immune system: The more you can provide oxygen to your body, the better your total health.
- Eat high-quality, organic vegetables: Processed foods and sugar inhibit the growth of healthy bacteria in your stomach and intestinal system. Supplement with unprocessed foods, fermented foods or a pharmaceutical-grade digestive probiotic.
- Limit or eliminate caffeine and alcohol: Both of these can trigger acid reflux in some people.
- Review your medications with your pharmacist: Acid reflux is a common side effect of many meds. Often, you can change the time that you take the medication and some people find relief by taking a walk after taking their medication to help it “settle.”
- Drink ginger tea: Ginger root has been used since ancient times for stomach upset. And, it’s delicious! Check out my ginger tea recipe.
- Consider Folate and B Vitamins: Many prescription medications deplete B Vitamins. Read my previous blog post on this all-too-common occurrence. You can also get great information in a book that I have enjoyed called Drug Muggers by Suzy Cohen. Research has shown that an adequate supply of B Vitamins can reduce the risk of acid reflux.
Important note: If you are taking prescription or even over-the-counter medications for acid reflux, you cannot stop them cold turkey. You must wean yourself off; talk to your physician about this. These medications generally are not intended for long-term use and have serious long term consequences. Positive lifestyle strategies will help you naturally LIVE YOUNGER with more joy and vitality. You can do it. I will help you.