Acid Reflux & Acid Blockers
Dealing with chronic acid reflux can take a toll on your energy, mood and overall quality of life without a doubt. The problem is that people mistakenly believe they have just two options: they either deal with acid reflux for the rest of their life or they decide to take an acid-blocker indefinitely.
This belief is the result of a lack of publicly available information and you should know by now (if you’ve read my previous blog posts) that there is always a reason WHY.
MAIN CAUSES OF ACID REFLUX
1. Low stomach acid
Believe it or not, low stomach acid levels are actually the reason why people get acid reflux in the first place. First, it’s important for you to understand that our stomach should be very acidic (pH 2-3) in order to break down food, especially proteins.
We have a muscle called the lower oesophageal sphincter (LES) which is located at end of the oesophagus, where it meets the stomach and it closes to prevent acid and stomach contents from traveling backwards from the stomach.
However, if the acid is too low, the LES will not close and so the little bit of acid you have in the stomach will come up the oesophagus and cause acid reflux.
2. H. Pylori
These bacteria can cause acid reflux in two ways:
1. They produce an enzyme called urease that breaks down urea into ammonia. When it produces ammonia, it has a very high pH (11.6). The lack of acid means that the food will sit in the stomach, it will begin to ferment and push the food upwards causing acid reflux.
2. The urease produced by H. Pylori actually kills the parietal cells and these are the ones that produce hydrochloric acid. The result of this? Lower stomach acid and thus acid reflux.
When you get put on an acid blocker, they don’t tell you that the directions on it say: “do not use for more than two weeks”. Doctors keep you on it indefinitely and the reason is that they weren’t given another formula to help you address acid reflux.
I don’t blame the doctors because what else are they going to do? Just have you suffer? Of course not… The problem is that in medical school they just match up the disease with a pharmaceutical. That is how our system works.
I am not against conventional medicine but there is a time and place to use it. Pharmaceuticals do not help with chronic-based conditions and taking an acid blocker never helps you figure out why you have the acid reflux in the first place.
THE DANGERS OF ACID BLOCKERS
1. It weakens your stomach acid levels even further
We all know how acid blockers work right? It’s pretty self-explanatory, as the name states, they literally block stomach acid levels. The problem is that stomach acid is necessary to digest proteins and help bacteria from growing in your intestines. If you don’t have enough acid, you’re not going to be able to acidify the small intestine which can lead to SIBO. If that is not bad enough, nutrients such as calcium, magnesium and B vitamins are not properly absorbed if there isn’t enough stomach acid and this is why we see so many people with nutrient deficiencies as well.
2. Linked to cancer
Proton pump inhibitors block the acid but do not block the enzymes and other things from coming up into the oesophagus. There are many people who get oesophageal cancer from acid blockers and there are multiple studies about this. The reason this happens is because if you don’t have enough stomach acid, the lower oesophageal sphincter functions improperly and so other types of stomach acids and enzymes can come up into the oesophagus and eat away the lining of the oesophagus.
There was a study on this published from a very reputable journal called British Medical Journey and it was completed by the Washington University School of Medicine. They did a long follow up study on people on proton pump inhibitors and found an excess of 45.2 deaths for every 1,000 individuals taking these drugs. That alone is unbelievable.
It is estimated that more than 15 million people take them in just the United States alone and so this means that over half a million people died unnecessarily because of taking this medication. To me, that is absolutely surreal and it is criminal that it is not only still used but is also is prescribed by GI doctors for longer than two weeks.
On top of that, when you take proton pump inhibitors, you don’t digest your food or proteins as well. This means that now you have fermented food in your gut which can lead to small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, poor mood, excess weight gain and inflammation.
It is not just the end result but everything that happens throughout the stage of being on pharmaceuticals.
If you’re using a pharmaceutical, it is masking an underlying condition. Yes, they do help with the symptoms, but they always lead to something else because you never fixed the underlying root cause of the issue in the first place.
All of my GI Protocols are hands-down some of the best protocols out there. They are based on the exact science of how our digestive system works because we need to repopulate with acidic-based bacteria that will wipe out what shouldn’t be there in the first place.
You need to figure out what is causing it. Is it food fermentation in the stomach, hiatal hernia, h. pylori overgrowth or just general low stomach acid levels?
Once you figure that out, you’re then able to work backwards and get rid of the acid reflux once and for all.
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