I have had numerous patients that have come to me either with acid reflux or they have been on antacids for 10 plus years and are trying to get off due to kidney disease or maldigestion. So here is the question. . .do you really need an antacid?
For starters let's break down why people get acid reflux or GERD. There is a percentage of people who have too much stomach acid, but that number is smaller than you think. There is also a percentage of folks that have anatomical reasons for reflux like they have a beer belly, are over weight, have a baby in their belly or a hiatal hernia that causes the stomach push upwards towards the esophagus, letting the acid move upwards easier.
But the third, and MOST COMMON reason, someone has reflux is too LITTLE stomach acid. yes you read that right, low stomach acid. The reason for this is because the lower esophageal sphincter, or LES, does not close completely if there is not enough stomach acid to touch it. So then the acid is able to move upward into the esophagus and causes burning. Low stomach acid is more common as we age.
Also note that sometimes you may have reflux without burning. You may have a consistent amount of mucous in your throat that you have to clear.
So now that we know why this can happen let's talk about what to do. It is important to make an appointment with us if you have been on antacids for longer than a week as it can be very tricky to get off them and re-establish normal function.
Normal function of your stomach is IMPORTANT for the rest of digestion. Hydrocloric acid is important to help absorb minerals in your small intestine as well as start the cascade of digestive enzymes that help you turn your food into nutrients. It is also one of your front line germ fighters.
But if you are at the beginning of your reflux journey and only use the occasional tablet then you may be able to help yourself at home. One of the best ways to do this is to use organic unfiltered apple cider vinegar. If you have low stomach acid then you can help your body begin to produce more by taking a shot of water with 1/2 tsp of apple cider vinegar in it 10-15 mins before you eat.
I love the Mind Your Manna apple cider vinegar tonics so much! They have wonderful added nutrients and herbs. There are so many yummy tonics to try, which is great if you are doing this for while. Use the discount code sparks10 and purchase them here!
*This information is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional.
*You should not rely on this information as a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
*Always speak with your physician or other healthcare professional before taking any medication or nutritional, herbal or homeopathic supplement, or using any treatment for a health problem.