It is a physiological fact that the stomach requires hydrochloric acid to break down consumed foods. Hydrochloric acid is also needed to destroy bacteria, parasites, viruses, and worms.
An antacid simply by its name is telling that it goes against necessary digestive function. ANTI-ACID.
We also know that as the human body ages, the production of stomach acid declines.
When one combines declining hydrochloric acid production with something designed to neutralize whatever acid is there, it is like doubling up on one side of a scale.
Reduction in acid production + an antacid = a heavy burden for the rest of your life
Without something to break down food in the mix, there is no balance. Now the road to true health recovery has double the work.
Antacid heartburn re-lie-f is RE-ally a LIE.
Let me explain further.
Products designed to “prevent” acid indigestion will lower the levels of digestive acids. With a reduction of hydrochloric acid in the stomach germs and viruses will begin to throw a party in the intestinal system. Imagine how the word spreads among unsupervised youth when adult supervision is absent. It is a “my parents are out of town” gathering where everything gets out of control. The bacteria Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) which is known to cause ulcers is also welcome to stay with the absence of hydrochloric acid. (Reminder, consuming antacids reduces the needed acid).
Consider all the long-term implications of free-flowing viruses, bacteria, parasites, and worms, and germs in the intestinal tract with the use of antacids.
Often the reason someone experiences what we call indigestion is because his or her consumed food is not breaking down within the optimal digestive cycle. There is an extended life of low-acid and undigested food that will cause uncomfortable feelings day and night.
When there are not enough live components to a meal (enzymes) and acid levels are low (and made even lower by antacids) the digestive problems one might experience will increase over time.
Overeating, over-cooked food, high consumption of sugars, caffeine, alcohol, tobacco, meats and dairy products can all contribute to indigestion. High stress levels when eating, and other body imbalances are also factors in declined acid production.
There are ways to test your stomach acid production. If experiencing indigestion after a meal, drink one tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar. If this brings some relief, you may have low levels of hydrochloric acid. Another test is to mix 6 oz. of water and ¼ teaspoon of baking soda. Wait for a burp/belch. If nothing happens within 5 minutes, this is another indicator of low acid.
What does one do to break the ANTI-ACID cycle and return to balance? Your solution is likely to include some or all of the following:
Taking the time to chew your food.
Have designated meal routines that do not involve attempts at multi-tasking. (Multitasking does not work well either for non-meal times).
Aloe Vera juice or herbals such as chamomile, comfrey, and peppermint.
Begin each meal with live food or juice to stimulate digestion. Try ginger, endive, watercress, celery, and carrots.
Take quality digestive enzymes with each meal to assist the digestive process.
Work with a digestive specialist to find the cause and individual solutions. Professional guidance is crucial if you are dealing with chronic indigestion or digestive upsets. If you make any nutritional or lifestyle changes, it is necessary to discuss with your medical care professional as well. Indigestion can also be a symptom of ulcers, hernias, or other significant health circumstances that need to be evaluated.
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Hay, L. & Khadro, A. Loving Yourself to Great Health. Retrieved from: “21-Day Weight Loss Challenge” Vera Tweed. (August 2015) Better Nutrition Magazine. Nutritional Resources, Inc.
Hoffman, D., FNIMH, AHG (2014) Herbs for Healthy Aging. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press
Tenney, L., M. H. (1996) Today’s Herbal Health for Women. Pleasant Grove, UT: Woodland Publishing
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Reality Wellness Specialist