Acid reflux / heartburn
What is acid reflux?
Heartburn (also known as acid reflux or gastric reflux) when the contents in your stomach burp and bubble up into the oesophagus. Heartburn occurs because the valve between the oesophagus and the stomach does not close properly. This valve is pH sensitive, and needs to be kept acidic to keep it closed. (1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9)
Strong stomach acidity means good, powerful digestion. Young people have strong stomach acid, and digest their food quickly and effectively. In contrast, with weak stomach acid the food is likely to sit in the stomach for a long time, and tends to burp up into the oesophagus.
Symptoms of acid reflux
- A burning feeling that usually starts in your upper abdomen, and rises up your throat
- An acid/vomit taste in your mouth
- Burning of the oesophagus / throat. This can lead to a dry cough (especially at night)
- Weak stomach acidity means it takes a long time to digest your food, especially protein foods such as meat, dairy, legumes etc
- Bloating and indigestion
Causes of acid reflux
- *** Insufficient stomach acidity
- *** Long-term use of high pH (alkaline) food and drink, especially antacid tablets or alkaline water. (10,11,12)
- *** Pharmaceutical drugs. The standard medical treatment is to try to reduce stomach acidity, usually with a class of drugs known as proton pump inhibitors. They include: aciphex (raberprazole), kapidex (dexlansoprazole), nexium (esomeprazole), prevacid (lansoprazole), prilosec (omeprazole) and protonix (pantoprazole). Whilst they may provide temporary relief, they do the exact opposite of what you need to heal the condition (11,12)
- Wheat. Wheat grains, flour, and all products made from them. You may find that avoiding only wheat will fix your digestion. The Grow Youthful diet recommends avoiding all grains, all legumes, and everything made from them. This will transform your health.
- Over-eating (especially fried and spicy food)
- Poor food combining. This is discussed in Grow Youthful
- Stress and fatigue
Remedies for acid reflux
- Increase stomach acidity with apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, liquid natural whey, Swedish bitters, and other similar traditional home remedies
- Moderate eating of wholesome, natural foods
- Following the food, diet and lifestyle recommended in Grow Youthful
- Visitors comments on using ACV as a remedy for acid reflux
(1) When there is sufficient acid, the LES (lower oesophageal sphincter) opens easily with only 5 mm Hg of pressure from
above (swallowing) yet 80 mm Hg pressure from below will not force it open. A burp or a lack of acid will cause it to open.
It instantly closes again at the first sign of acid.
Dornhurst, A.C., Harrison, K., and Pierce, J.M. Observations on the normal oesophagus and cardia. Lancet 1: 695-98, 1954.
(2) Lastaste and Conthier. Removal of the acid secreting portion of the stomach causes failure of sphincter inhibition and reflux. ? 1967
(3) Cannon, Walter B. Acid closure of the cardia. Am. J. Physiol. 23: 105-14, 1908.
(4) Collis, J. Liegh, The causes of the variable response to gastric reflux in hiatus hernia. Royal Col. of Surg. of Edinb. : 77-87, 1969.
(5) Alwin, J.A., Thorax 8:38, 1953. Cited by Collis op. Cit.
(6) Dougherty, R.W., and Meredith, C.D., Cinefluorographic studies of the ruminant stomach and of eructation. Am. J. Vet. Res. 16:96-100, 1955.
(7) Dougherty, R.W. and Habel, R.E. and Bond, H.E., Esophageal innervation and the eructation reflex in sheep. Am. J. Vet. Res. 19:115-28, 1958.
(8) Dougherty, R.W., The physiology of eructation in ruminants. In Digestive physiology and nutrition in the ruminant, Ed. Lesi, D., Butterworth & Company, London, 1960. (Proceedings of the University of Nottingham seventh Easter school in agricultural science, 1960)
(9) Dougherty, R.W., Bloat in ruminants, In: Forages, Eds. Hughes, H.D., Heath, M.W. and Metcalf, D.S., The Iowa State University Press, 2nd Edition, 1962.
(10) Peter Bytzer et al, Copenhagen University and Koge University Hospital. Gastroenterology, July 2009.
(11) Gastroenterology. Reimer C, et al "Proton-pump inhibitor therapy induces acid-related symptoms in healthy volunteers after withdrawal of therapy" Gastroenterology 2009; 137: 80-87.
(12) Gastroenterology. McColl KEL, Gillen D "Evidence that proton-pump inhibitor therapy induces the symptoms it is used to treat" Gastroenterology 2009; 137: 20-22.