This is a condition where the acids of the stomach back up into your esophagus, causing a burning sensation in the chest. You may also experience a sour taste in the mouth, runny nose, and sore throat upon waking. There are several major causes of this issue:
- Low Stomach Acid Levels
- Deficiencies in Zinc and Chloride
- Forward posture/slumped posture
Many times, patients are told by their doctor that the cause of acid reflux is having too much stomach acid. This logic does not make any sense with what happens in this condition. If having high acid was the true cause, then we would find that these people would easily digest foods and absorb vitamins and minerals better than everyone else. This is NOT what we see in practice. People who have reflux also tend to have trouble digesting foods (especially protein) and are deficient in many of the nutrients that can only be broken down/absorbed by having proper acid levels in the stomach. The TRUE cause is having too little stomach acid. This is caused by several reasons:
- High stress
- High carb/sugar diets
- Nutrient deficiencies
When we are constantly stressed the body goes into fight or flight mode. When in this different neurological state, the body shuts down acid production in favor of giving energy to the musculature. Therefore, chronically stressed individuals have very tight muscles with numerous trigger points.
Next, when people consume highly refined carbohydrates/sugary foods like white bread, cereal, pasta, white rice, candy, sweetened drinks, etc; this raises your blood sugar levels. When people maintain chronically high blood sugar levels you will get damage to different structures of the body. Specifically, consumption of these foods causes direct damage to the stomach lining. Once the stomach becomes inflamed you will not digest foods properly, and reflux will ensue.
In terms of nutrient deficiencies, in order to make stomach acid you need two things. One, the mineral Zinc. Two, the compound chloride. Zinc is an exceedingly important mineral for many reasons and is found in a variety of foods, mostly In dark leafy greens, nuts, and shellfish. As farming practices have modernized, we have depleted our soil of this essential nutrient. Because of this, I find that at least 50% of my patients have a zinc deficiency.
Chloride on the other hand is usually consumed in the form of salt. Hence why it is called sodium chloride. The issue here is that many people have been told that a low salt diet is the answer to their health issues. This could not be further from the truth. The quality of the salt you consume is the bigger factor. Using Himalayan pink salt that is rich in trace minerals and chloride is the way to go to fix this issue.
Lastly, we must correct the structure of your spine. When the body goes into a forward slumped posture several structural changes occur. The shoulder slump, the head goes forward, and the chest collapses down and in. When this occurs, the ribs of your chest will compress your stomach. The stomach is just a sack, so when it is compressed you will shoot the contents up the esophagus and cause reflux. This is why many patients reports that their reflux has no rhyme or reason to when it strikes.
To correct this problem at the root cause we will 1. Supplement more stomach acid 2. Fix your deficiencies in zinc and chloride if they are found to be deficient 3. Change your diet to avoid sugars/refined carbs 4. Correct your forward posture to take the pressure off the stomach allowing normal digestion to occur. That way we can correct this issue at the root-cause instead of treating its symptoms.
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