Mar 27, 2015
Acid reflux, GERD, heartburn and indigestion can all seem to be the same problem. When I ask people what they think causes it, I hear some of the same answers: too much stomach acid, too much hydrochloric acid and too little digestive enzymes. I would like to give a different perspective that may clarify what is going on.
When you eat a meal your body goes into action. When the food enters your stomach, the muscles surrounding it do two things. They squeeze the stomach to force the secretion of some digestive fluids from the walls. They also agitate your stomach to enhance the disintegration, or breaking down, of the food. (It has to be in incredibly small particles for assimilation by the cells.) Most of the time, you don’t feel this.
Your stomach is essentially a bag that can withstand the hydrochloric acid, whereas other parts of your digestive tract cannot, such as your esophagus. It becomes irritated when it comes in contact with stomach acid. This irritation is what many people are feeling when they complain of indigestion.
Why do some people have heartburn and some do not? The answer is minerals.
Your stomach has an opening at both ends and, when the agitation takes place, both ends are supposed to be securely closed by sphincter muscles. The bottom sphincter should be closed until it is time for the chyme (the food-containing fluid) to migrate into your intestinal tract. However, the top valve (the top of the bag) should also close so that in the agitation process there is no leakage up into the esophagus. However, if the body is lacking important minerals, the muscles are not getting the message they require, so they are not closing completely. Therefore, during the agitation process you are getting leakage and, consequently, indigestion or acid reflux.
Minerals are part of the answer. Nourish your body with adequate minerals needed for all your muscles, including the sphincter muscles of the digestive tract. I don’t mean just calcium, although calcium will quickly neutralize acid.
There are a few products to alleviate indigestion or heartburn almost immediately. Some of the ingredients, like slippery elm and marshmallow, not only soothe the irritation of the esophagus, but will also help the healing of it. The truth is the body is the healer; if you give the body what it requires, it does the healing.
A quick liquid approach, which is also good for hiatal hernias, is aloe vera gel after meals.
The following will assist the body in alleviating heartburn and speed healing of the esophagus:
Slippery Elm bark
Complete multi-mineral complex
Slippery elm bark and marshmallow root are both known for their soothing effect on membranes, and okra is an old time favorite for acid and ulcers.
- Michael Schwartz, N.M.D.