It is this theory that has prompted doctors to prescribe antacids in droves. While these drugs can treat low stomach acid symptoms, they do not address the root cause of gut health issues. In fact, drugs such as Nexium, Pepcid, Prevacid, Prilosec, Zantac and others, can actually cause more damage than good over a period of extended use. Wright goes into a detailed explanation. He says that 50 percent of Americans over 50 are not producing an adequate amount of stomach acid for proper food digestion.
The stomach is one of the more fascinating organs which is lined with mucus-secreting cells and two highly important glands :. There are three stages to the method, which are under constant control of hormones and nervous system signals:. Parietal cells in your stomach release extremely acidic hydrochloric acid 0. This process is triggered by food in your stomach. Smelling or even just thinking about food can cause your stomach to begin producing gastric secretions.
In fact, 20 percent of these acids are produced before food even enters your mouth. In the end, the acids in our stomach break down proteins into the crucial nutrients and amino acids. Keep in mind that several body systems govern this entire process, which can explain why patients using medication to fight acid indigestion can more times than not experience multiple low stomach acid symptoms that, on the surface, appear to be unrelated to stomach acid.
An excellent example is with prescription proton pump inhibitors PPI. PPIs lower acid production in the stomach by blocking key enzymes that produce acid. None of this is true. Since nearly all GI problems can be attributed to reduced low stomach acid symptoms, Prevacid and other PPIs are virtually useless and have been associated with many side effects of low stomach acid symptoms, including: 1. The truth is that reduced stomach acid has nothing to do with acid reflux.
The real culprit behind heartburn and GERD is a leaky valve, which lets acid enter the esophagus. Basically, the door between the esophagus and the stomach — the esophageal valve — cannot shut properly and stomach juices are able to sneak in. Common causes of this include:. Since smoking tobacco is known to damage mucus membranes, increase acid secretion, impair muscle reflexes and lower salivation, smoking is a major cause of acid reflux.
A growing fetus can sometimes put too much pressure on parts of the body, including the esophageal valve.
We all have a diaphragm that helps prevent acid from entering the esophagus. However, if a hernia causes the upper area of the gut to move above the muscle, acid can get through.
11 stomach-soothing steps for heartburn - Harvard Health
Personal experience shows that this systematic guide is a great path to better GI health. Taking probiotics and digestive enzymes are a great idea for people suffering from GI-related issues.
These two things can help digest food, which takes some of the pressure of the gut while it heals. Since our diets tend to be low in probiotics and high in antibiotics, people have found it to be beneficial to continue to supplement with probiotics and digestive enzymes after the GI system has healed.
Raw apple cider vinegar ACV is my go-to natural remedy for boosting low stomach acid levels. Article last updated by Yvette Brazier on Mon 13 November All references are available in the References tab. Lifestyle factors among proton pump inhibitor users and nonusers: a cross-sectional study in a population-based setting. Clinical Epidemiology. Gerson, L.
Just a few dietary tweaks can ease your discomfort
Treatment of gastroesophageal reflux during pregnancy. Gastroenterology and hepatology, 8 11 , Symptomatic gastroesophageal reflux as a risk factor for esophageal adenocarcinoma. New England Journal of Medicine. Massimiliano di Pietro, Rebecca C Fitzgerald. Research advances in esophageal diseases: Bench to bedside. F Prime Reports. Proton-pump inhibitors. Proton pump inhibitors PPIs. Ramsay PT, Carr A. Gastric acid and digestive physiology. The Surgical Clinics of North America. Understanding heartburn and reflux diseases.
Vela MF. Medical treatments of GERD: the old and new. Gastroenterology Clinics of North America. Chao-Hung Kuo. Current pharmacological management of gastroesophageal reflux disease.
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Why Stomach Acid is Good for You: Natural Relief from Heartburn Indigestion, Reflux and GERD
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How to Treat Indigestion at Home
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A GP can provide stronger treatments and help rule out any more serious possible causes of your symptoms. To ease symptoms of acid reflux, a GP may prescribe medicine that reduces how much acid your stomach makes, such as:. Go back to your GP if your symptoms come back after stopping your medicine. You may need a long-term prescription. Page last reviewed: 24 August Next review due: 24 August Heartburn and acid reflux.
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