What is Acid Reflux?
Acid Reflux also known as GERD(Gastroesophageal reflux disease) is a condition that arises from digestive acids rising from the ball of the stomach into the thin tube of our esophagus(food-pipe). This causes the esophagus lining to become irritated by the influx of acids. The inner lining of our stomach contains protective-mucosa-layers that resist corrosive damage from stomach acid. The esophagus does not contain this lining and can result in damaged function upon continual acid exposure. The term “heart-burn” is a direct result of this condition as our esophagus resides directly behind our heart.
The conventional theory is that the backup of acid is based on our body producing too much hydrochloric acid(HCL). This appears to be false as acid reflux has been found to be the result of not producing enough HCL. At the bottom of the esophagus there is a muscle called the esophageal sphincter. The design of this muscle is to relax during the process of swallowing as to allow food particles to pass. Outside of this act the muscle contracts like a closed cellar door in order to prevent acids from uprising. In the case of reflux the esophageal sphincter is kept in a relaxed state during and in-between swallowing.
Hydrochloric acid acts as a firewall that protects our gut from opportunist organisms (yeast, fungus, bacteria, worms) during digestion. If we deplete our HCL these microbes begin feeding on undigested food particles allowing them to proliferate further in our body. This is the basis for the blood type theory in reference to type O’s being able to process the most variety of food options. They produce more stomach acid than any other blood type therefore they can evade the indiscretions of poor eating longer.
How to Increase Hydrochloric acid in your system?
In order to help encourage enough stomach acid production it is essential to give your body the raw materials needed. Unprocessed sea salt may prove to be the single best addition for increasing HCL. Those that eat a diet of highly processed foods consume processed table salt, this is counter productive for digestive health. I have seen people who have been on raw food approaches for years become hyper-alkaline by removing all salt from the diet developing digestive difficulties. I believe this is due to a weakened acid production and false theories on alkaline focused diets. I have also seen this happen on high fruit based diets over long term durations.
Acid Relfux is the primary cause of helicobacter pylori infections. H. Pylori is a type of bacteria that nests itself into the mucus lining of the intestinal wall in the stomach. Gastric acids are the primary defense wall against infectious organisms yet this bacteria adapts itself to survive in harsh acidic environments. These bacterial strains can alter the stomach environment by reducing stomach acid so they can burrow themselves safely and colonize. When there is too much mucus production pylori fit themselves into this material and hide away from our immune system. Acid blocking medications are well known to further exacerbate acid reflux and therefore allow pylori infections to proliferate.This is also the case with borrelia burgdorferi bacteria that are associated with lyme disease infections. They are attracted to mucus in the body and therefore mucus forming foods such as dairy products (excluding ghee & colostrum), flesh foods, processed foods (including vegan products), and allergenic foods should be removed from the diet. Mucus dissolving foods such as ripe fresh figs, sun dried fully ripened olives, olive leaf extract, cold pressed or stone ground olive oil, pumpkin seed and pumpkin seed butter, ginger, cayenne, grape fruit, red onions, garlic, raw organic honey, and pineapple are excellent.
Acid reflux has become one of the most common conditions due to the over consumption of cooked foods, processed foods, animal products, grains, acid suppressant medications, alkaline water, and dehydration. For the average individual it is required to perform a lifestyle make over, which I assume is why your reading this book. It is recommended to remove caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, and other foods that you may have an allergenic response too such as wheat products(gluten), soy products, corn, and conventionally dairy as these can be irritants to your gut.
Consider the list of tools below for repopulating depleted stomach acid.
Betaine HCL: Betain is derived from whole beets. This is the form of HCL supplementation that is optimal.
Vitamin D: Optimal vitamin D levels help to resist microbial infections that often take place due to a lowered hydrochloric acid wall. Daily sun bathing is strongly advised for optimal vitamin D production. 10-15 minutes on front and back. Make sure you consume copious amounts of fresh fruits and vegetables for internal antioxidant protection. It is also suggested to use extra virgin cold pressed coconut oil as a skin moisturizer.
Fermented Foods: One fermented meal a day will dramatically help to repopulate beneficial bacteria in the GI tract.
Apple Cider Vinegar: ACV is beneficial for a multitude of conditions, especially stomach acid production.
Celery & Lemon Juice: Celery is natures great sodium resource. Sodium helps stimulate stomach acids and is balanced by its alkaline mineral content. Lemons contain necessary acids to balance an over alkaline environment that may subtract from digestive capacity over time. Celery and lemon pair perfectly in your vegetable juice.
Basic Protocol for increasing acid production:
This is meant to be a temporary strategy, usually carried out for 2-3 weeks but in some cases 4-6 weeks or until optimal digestion is achieved.
◆ Take one shot of apple cider vinegar each morning
◆ Take a probiotic supplement containing acidophilus and bificus each morning on empty stomach
◆ Consume 1 HCL capsules 10 minutes before each meal and 1-3 capsule during a meal.
◆ Take 5-10 digestive enzymes during a meal. Stop eating for 5 minutes. Take 5-10 enzyme capsules immediately following the meal.
◆ Consume 6-8 ounces of fermented vegetables once a day or as a side to a meal.
◆ For increased effect add 2-3 capsules of probiotics to your fermented food and let sit for half an hour before consumption.
Perform this upon each solid meal of your day until consistent discomfort dissipates and you are able to produce healthy acids on your own. This will become evident as your bowel movements become more regular and you eventually no longer need HCL supplementation.