Acid reflux is something that many people experience during some stage of their lives and to be honest, it’s a serious pain in the chest and throat!
A lot of medical professionals discuss the diagnosis of acid; however, this theory is quite limiting.
The digestive system is still a mystery that is slowly becoming discovered by functional practitioners around the world. And unfortunately, western medicine treats digestive problems with medication, or over the counter drugs without targeting the actual problem – scary right? Yet we all fall victim to this terrible recipe.
So what is acid reflux?
So the diagnosis of acid reflux is: The stomach contains hydrochloric acid, a strong acid that helps break down the food and protect against pathogens, such as bacteria. Even though the lining of the stomach is specially adapted to protect from the powerful acid, the esophagus is not protected.
The gastroesophageal sphincter (ring of muscle) normally acts as a valve that lets food into the stomach and prevents it from making its way back up to the esophagus. When the valve fails, and stomach contents are regurgitated into the esophagus, that’s when you have symptoms, like heartburn, chest pain or a lump in your throat.
Although society focuses on the diagnostic element, we need to consider that acid reflux, while it is related to acids, is not due to gastric acids or hydrochloric acid from the stomach.
Generally, if someone is consistently experiencing acid reflux, the acid is either coming from bacteria, toxins in the liver and even potentially the small intestinal tract. Although in most cases if the cause is not visible, then it can be related to a weakened liver and bacterial overgrowth.
How can bacteria responsible for acid reflux?
When you have bacteria and toxin-based acid coming up and causing acid reflux, it means that you actually have a lack of hydrochloric acid in your stomach. We need this acid because it’s the good kind that helps destroy bacteria, which in turn prevents the oncoming of acid reflux. If you have the bad acids, it means you do not have enough of the good acids.
So what are some other reasons why we might experience acid reflux?
On the flip side, acid reflux could also indicate that you have a weak liver. Typically, weak digestion is due to an overburdened liver that cannot produce enough bile, which then forces the stomach to overproduce hydrochloric acid to compensate. This can be challenging on both organs and is very important to consider and understand that the liver needs support. Bacteria then builds up, and there’s not enough hydrochloric acid to fight it off.
Are there ways to heal from acid reflux?
We always suggest that you see a recommended nutritionist or functional practitioner who can examine you with bloodwork results so that you get the most accurate advice possible. However, we understand that it costs money, so we’re here to provide you as much information as possible.
It’s all about an integrative approach to healing, in order to find the cause root of the issue. When healing, there are three things that you need to keep in mind:
- Build up hydrochloric acid
- Kill off unproductive bacteria (streptococcus or e.coli)
- Strengthen the liver
Where do you begin?
It all starts with diet. Firstly, there is an array of foods that you should avoid while overcoming acid reflux. They are:
It’s also advised to cut down on animal proteins, however, it isn’t as much of a problem as what we’ve mentioned above.
Gluten dairy and eggs are a delicious food source for the naughty bacteria to feed off and grow. Pathogens fuel themselves by eating and if you remove gluten, dairy, and eggs from your diet then you’re starving the naughty bacteria from eating food while preventing it from festering.
Lowering your fat content through eliminating these food groups, plus limiting your animal fat protein will give your liver the break that it deserves.
If you’re already a vegan, then lower your nuts, oils and other high fatty contents that you consume.
What should you eat?
When healing from acid reflux, focus on eating plenty of healthy carbohydrates from fruit, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and winter squash. Fruit and potatoes are amazing disease fighters and unfortunately don’t get the credit they’re deserved.
If you don’t have IBD (inflammatory bowel disease) then we recommend focussing on salads with plenty of greens, including thyme, oregano, and rosemary! All gut healers.
A lot of people have started their day with celery juice and seen overwhelming results – we’d love to explore this topic a little more.
What other ways can we combat acid reflux?
There’s no magic pill that will fix your problems. However, the following are worth looking into:
- Licorice root + oregano oil + olive leaf extract.
- Baking Soda/Sodium bicarbonate (for instant relief)
- Herbal teas such as peppermint, elderflower, or thyme
- Aloe Vera water or juice or pills (the sugar-free kind)
Now that we’ve informed you a little more about acid reflux, you can take the steps needed to reduce and heal these conditions.