Down the alimentary canal we go….. Clues you can use from your head to your tush!
I’ve gone round and round in my head about how best to approach this next topic. It’s a “which came first…. the chicken 🐣or the egg situation”, so I will leave it up to you as to how you choose to run with these clues!
As we travel down the alimentary canal, some of the roughest waters are located right beyond the oral cavity. An estimated 60-70 million people have chronic digestive disorders in the USA, with 25% of the adult population experiencing weekly symptoms of reflux.
Here’s “the chicken”:
– Reflux commonly results from either a mechanical dysfunction or environmental trigger. Mechanically, it may be caused by a diagnosed hiatal hernia, pregnancy, excessive weight, eating a large meal too close to bedtime……there are others, but these are the biggies.
Biochemically, certain foods and beverages may also trigger reflux in some people. Spicy, oily, or fried foods, alcohol, and caffeine are well known irritants.
👉👉There are two other under diagnosed but VERY COMMON dysfunctions….. Hypochlorhydria: a deficiency of hydrochloric acid in the stomach and insufficient digestive enzyme production within the body. 👈👈
Causes of low stomach acid include:
– A deficiency of Zinc or B vitamins
– Medications taken for reflux
– Gastric bypass surgery
– Age – people over the age of 60-65 are most likely to have inadequate stomach acid production
Before refrigeration and the advent of the processed food industry, normal diets were rich in food that contained prebiotics, probiotics, and enzymes that supplemented what was already made within the body. Sadly, the Standard American Diet (aptly acronymed ‘SAD’) contains none of these, and the “fakeness” of many foods has made the digestive process even harder to accomplish.
Digestive enzyme insufficiency has several possible causes:
– Gallbladder removal
– Crohn’s or Celiac
– Leaky gut
– Chronic Stress
– Inflammation (often due to toxin load)
Certain diseases affecting the pancreas
Low stomach acid and/or insufficient digestive enzymes can cause a cluster of clues over time….
🔎Bloating and burping
🔎Upset stomach that sometimes feels worse when you take supplements
🔎Heartburn or indigestion
🔎Diarrhea and gas
🔎Protein, B12, Calcium and magnesium deficiencies
🔎Neurological issues such as numbness, tingling, and vision changes
🔎An appearance of or worsening of an autoimmune disorder (lupus, allergies, asthma, skin conditions, etc)
Prescription trends reflect this stat: Approximately 65 million prescriptions are written for reflux medications on an annual basis…. The most common being💊 acid reducers.
WAIT. WHAT??!?!? If the reflux problem is commonly related to too little acid in the stomach, why in the world are drugs like 💊Pepcid, Prilosec, Nexium, Protonix 💊prescribed so regularly? After all, they are designed to reduce acid in the stomach. That, my friends, is the multi- billion dollar question you’ll need to ask Big Pharma about.
I make no recommendations to quit any medication without talking to your favorite health care professional first. I’m not a doctor…. only an observant pharmacist who knows when things don’t add up. #followthemoney
And now we come to “the egg”….. the medications regularly recommended for heartburn. You see, the drugs within the acid reducing class are approved by the FDA for short term use only (generally 8 weeks or less) and yet we all probably know multiple people who have been on them for years.
What happens when the pH within the stomach continues to slowly become more alkaline?
* A worsening of B12 deficiency which affects many parts of the body, but especially the nervous system. Prolonged deficiency increases the risk of dementia and neuropathy.
* An increased risk of hip, wrist, and spine fractures due to accelerated osteoporosis
* A 50% greater risk of pneumonia
* An increased risk of a cardiovascular event
* A worsening of overall digestive problems
* Increased risk of kidney disease
How can this particular “chicken/egg” question be avoided? The biggest answer to nearly everything we talk about is always going to revolve around diet, exercise, stress management, sufficient sleep, and removal of toxins whenever possible. It’s not always easy to incorporate enzyme and stomach acid supportive foods into today’s daily eating habits, and yet they are a valuable and needed piece of the wellness and vitality puzzle.
Thankfully, we have some very supportive digestive enzyme supplements available to us! 🙌🙌
Young Living’s Essentialzyme caplets also contains Betaine HCl which help support healthy stomach acid pH.
Young Living’s Essentialzymes-4, Allerzyme, and Detoxzyme are also digestive enzyme supportive capsules, and Mightyzyme chewables are for kiddos (or adults who like them!) who might need a little extra digestive support!
As always….. This information is not intended to treat, diagnose, or cure….. Rather to give you the tools you need to make the best and most informed decisions you can make in regards to your own health. You are the responsible party for Y.O.U. …… no one else.