Many people approach the treatment of acid reflux like the quest for the Holy Grail. They become so bogged down with different opinions that they become confused and give up. When they do, they tend to rely on the convenience of drugs to treat the symptoms of acid reflux rather than to seek a cure.
Our culture has become far too dependent on pharmaceuticals to treat the symptoms of illnesses. Drugs certainly have their place, but there are also natural ways to treat, if not cure disease. It would seem that the medical community, Natural Supplement Ingredient Manufacturer at large, is more concerned with the treatment of symptoms than the elimination of disease itself.
There are three classifications of drugs which treat acid reflux. The first of these is antacids, which neutralize the acid in your stomach and are at best only a temporary fix. They are loaded with harmful ingredients such as sodium and aluminum. The next group of drugs is called H2 Blockers. They reduce the amount of acid that the stomach produces and provide longer lasting relief than antacids. Finally there are the PPI drugs (proton pump inhibitors), which shut off the proton pumps in the stomach that manufacture hydrochloric acid.
PPI drugs are the most commonly prescribed pharmaceuticals for the acid reflux condition. These drugs, in my opinion, which actually stop the production of stomach acid, are quite dangerous. Obviously, our bodies were designed to produce stomach acid for a specific purpose. Stomach acid is necessary to break down, digest and assimilate food. Without proper digestion and assimilation, our bodies cannot work as they were designed to. I believe that most people who pop those PPI drugs are walking around in a state of malnutrition.
Sometimes we overlook the reality of a negative situation by choosing convenience over common sense. The simple and natural way is usually the best way to go. Two inexpensive supplements, when taken together, can alleviate most acid reflux symptoms, in time. These supplements are probiotics and digestive enzymes. Wouldn’t it be wiser to take two capsules containing natural ingredients rather than drugs? Drugs are expensive and most have dangerous side effects.
Probiotics are beneficial microbes which protect the digestive tract by keeping the natural flora in balance. The most well known is lactobacillus acidophilus, which is found in yogurt and in supplement form.
A good probiotic should contain at least five billion live microorganisms per capsule. The ideal composition should include L. acidophilus, L rhamnosus, S. thermophilus and L. bulgaricus. These are considered “friendly bacteria”. They are of great benefit to the health of the colon and to the immune system, in general. Taken in conjunction with digestive enzymes, they balance the digestive system and reduce the possibility of acid reflux.
Digestive enzymes, which are normally secreted by different glands in the digestive system, help to break down food molecules into smaller particles in order to aid digestion. Each enzyme has a specific function related to different elements of food. For example: lactase breaks down lactose (milk sugars), protease and pepsin break down proteins and diatase digests vegetable starch.
Those who suffer from acid reflux usually need more digestive enzymes than their bodies produce. A good digestive enzyme supplement should contain protease, amylase, lipase, cellulase, diastase, invertase, lactase, pectinase and alpha galactosidase. Just ask for a full spectrum product.
In addition to these supplements aiding the digestive process, they are also beneficial in treating allergies and skin problems. When the digestive system is functioning properly, our bodies become more alkaline. Many believe that disease cannot exist in an alkaline environment.
In treating acid reflux, you might also consider drinking at least eight glasses of water each day – more won’t hurt. Water hydrates the body and flushes out the toxins that we collect on a daily basis. Do not drink anything with a meal as it dilutes stomach acid and the body produces more to compensate.
Eat raw vegetables as often as possible. Munch on them as snacks or appetizers before a main meal. Eat fruit and nuts for breakfast and a salad for lunch. These foods are easy to digest. The less strain we place on the digestive system, the more energy we will have and the healthier we will be.
Refrain from lying down too soon after a meal. You should allow at least two hours before doing so. Take a walk instead. Walk for thirty minutes each day. Aerobic exercise is essential for the over all health of the body. It encourages a healthy digestive system.
Chew gum between and after meals. Chewing produces saliva, which is alkaline in nature and counteracts the over production of acid. Try to eat slowly in a pleasant and relaxed atmosphere. Stress is a major cause of poor digestion and ill-health in general. There are many small things you can do to avoid acid reflux. Let common sense be your guide.
By taking responsibility for your health and making a few little changes in life style, you can avoid a problem like acid reflux before it evolves into a more serious medical issue. Supplements like probiotics and digestive enzymes will give you a jump start and get you on your way to better digestive health.