Updated: Sep 29
A fun weekend barbecue of ribs and beer spoiled with pain radiating from the chest. Chew some tums, drink alka seltzer, or pop a little purple pill and it’s all better so you can enjoy the weekend. This is ok occasionally. If this pain occurs frequently, the heartburn itself and the antacid solution can be destroying your health from the inside out.
Heartburn damages the esophagus, puts you at risk of food poisoning, weakens the rest of the digestive process, preventing you from absorbing important nutrients from your food and causing digestive issues. Just imagine, acid that is supposed to stay safely in the stomach leaks up into the esophagus and burns the tissue there, causing damage, scar tissue and increasing your risk of cancer.
Below the esophagus, the stomach is supposed to be acidic so it can sterilize food and break it down. Fortunately, the stomach has a thick lining designed to deal with acid. The addition of antacids neutralizes stomach acid so it can’t sterilize food and can’t break down food to get the nutrients out. Weak stomach acid simply can’t get the calcium out of your milk and spinach. With each meal you’re more prone to food poisoning and as you age you’re more prone to weak bones from not absorbing calcium.
Bloating and autoimmune disorders
Good strong stomach acid triggers the rest of digestion to work – it triggers the esophagus to close and prevent heartburn in the first place! The rest of digestion is dependent on stomach acid triggering the rest of breaking down and absorbing your valuable nutrients. Without good strong stomach acid, you’re more prone to digestive issues such as bloating and irritable bowel. Downstream, bloating and irritable bowel make you more prone to leaky gut and autoimmune disorders.
Heal the underlying cause
I totally understand a wild weekend that requires an occasional antacid to stop the pain. The problem occurs when you are taking acid blockers regularly, then digestion weakens so you can’t get all the healthy nutrients from your food. Don’t struggle with heartburn, heal the underlying cause to keep your whole digestive system strong and continue to absorb all the good nutrients in your food. You can learn how your stomach is supposed to work and use health promoting foods, supplements and lifestyle adjustments to keep your stomach functioning well and your esophagus fee of pain.
Last week I talked about the consequences of great digestion, this week we talked about weak digestion and next week where I'll discuss some of my favorite tricks to alleviating heartburn. Look for the class registration where I lay it all out in a convenient plan for you.