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Acid reflux/GERD
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James Offline

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Post: #1
Acid reflux/GERD
A common misconception about acid reflux is that it results from excess stomach acid. Actually it is just the opposite. Here is a response I wrote to someone in the past concerning GERD:

These can be signs of a lack of stomach acid, which leads to an overgrowth of stomach yeast. When we are younger our acids produce sufficient stomach acid to control yeast growth. As we age though, stomach acidity naturally declines. This helps explain why as we age we develop more nutritional deficiencies, and get more frequent heartburn.

Minerals and vitamins B6, B12 and folate all require sufficient stomach acid to be absorbed. Silica, which helps maintain healthy bones, blood vessels, skin, etc. has to be converted in to orthosilicic acid to be absorbed. The presence of sufficient stomach acid increases the conversion of silica in to orthosilicic acid. Drops in the production and absorption of orthosilicic acid leads to osteoporosis, wrinkles, etc.

Overgrowth of yeast in the stomach leads to heartburn due to fermentation from the yeast. This fermentation leads to the production of carbon dioxide gas, which creates the bloating. The gas also produces pressure on the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) muscle at the upper end of the stomach. Like other muscles this muscle can get tired. When the LES tires out from fighting the pressure the LES relaxes allowing the gas to escape up the esophagus. As the gas goes up the esophagus traces of stomach acid are carried with it causing the heartburn.

Excessive stomach acid is a medical condition known as hyperchlorhydria, and medical texts tell us it is extremely rare. Yet antacids and acid blockers are the second largest selling drug class. This stems from the outdated notion that acid reflux involves too much stomach acid. But the fact is that these drugs can actually make the condition worse by neutralizing the remaining acid, or by preventing its secretion.

Further reducing stomach acidity just encourages more yeast growth that can contribute to reflux. An easier way to look at this principle is when taking antibiotics, women can develop vaginal yeast infections. The reason for this is that the flora that inhabit the vaginal cavity produce lactic acid to maintain slightly acidic tissues, which yeast cannot grow in. Since the antibiotics kill these bacteria, they also lead to a shift in the pH of the tissues to the alkaline side leading to an overgrowth of yeast. If the stomach becomes too alkaline the yeast can come up from the intestines in to the stomach increasing fermentation and reflux.

There are several things that can be done. In Europe digestive bitters are very popular for treating heartburn. These are bitter tasting herbs, usually sold in liquid form since they must come in to contact with the tongue to work. Bitters work by stimulating the bitter receptors on the back of the tongue. This in turn stimulates a nerve, known as the vagus nerve. This in turn increases the production of stomach acid, bile secretion and pancreatic enzyme secretion. Bitters also have a cleansing effect on the liver, and the bile increasing effects make it useful for dissolving cholesterol based gallstones. Since bitters do cleanse the liver it is important to drink a lot of water throughout the day when using them.

Zinc can also help since it is a catalyst for the formation of hydrochloric acid for the stomach. The recommended dose is 50mg daily with a large meal.

B vitamins are also essential for the formation of stomach acid. It is best to get these from foods such as rice bran, oat bran, watercress, seaweeds, or nutritional yeast. Otherwise a B50 complex twice daily with meals can be used.

Trimethylglycine (TMG) can also be used to increase stomach acid formation. TMG is a strong methyl donor. Methylation is required for the production of many substances in the body including stomach acid, neurotransmitters, hormones, etc.

The final option is betaine HCl, derived from beet leaves. Betaine HCl is very acidic, with a pH of 1. So it needs to be taken with food already in the stomach. Although, I do not believe in substituting for the body's own job long term since it can become dependent on the substitution. So Betaine HCl is best used occasionally.

Caffeine, nicotine and mints should be avoided by people with chronic GERD as these can relax the LES causing more reflux.

Hiatal hernias can also increase the risk of reflux by constricting the stomach
(This post was last modified: 03-15-2016 03:23 PM by James.)
06-28-2012 11:37 PM
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Messages In This Thread
Acid reflux/GERD - James - 06-28-2012 11:37 PM
RE: Acid reflux/GERD - Anderson - 07-20-2012, 11:42 AM
RE: Acid reflux/GERD - James - 07-20-2012, 07:07 PM
RE: Acid reflux/GERD - Anderson - 07-21-2012, 12:03 AM
RE: Acid reflux/GERD - Anderson - 07-21-2012, 03:58 AM
RE: Acid reflux/GERD - James - 07-21-2012, 01:19 PM
RE: Acid reflux/GERD - Anderson - 07-23-2012, 07:02 AM
RE: Acid reflux/GERD - James - 07-23-2012, 09:11 PM
RE: Acid reflux/GERD - Anderson - 08-12-2012, 11:00 PM
RE: Acid reflux/GERD - James - 08-15-2012, 02:46 AM
RE: Acid reflux/GERD - dforce - 08-12-2013, 06:26 AM
RE: Acid reflux/GERD - edybuman - 11-17-2014, 11:37 AM
RE: Acid reflux/GERD - Anderson - 12-31-2016, 04:10 PM

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