Many of us may have experienced firsthand or may know someone who has suffered from heartburn or acid reflux. It has become a common health problem in the United States, affecting approximately 50% of our population. The medical term for this health condition is gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or peptic ulcer disease. The real issue contributing to this disease is not that the stomach is producing too much stomach acid, but it is actually producing too little. Unfortunately, this misconception has adversely impacted the health of millions of people.
Drugs like Prilosec, Prevacid, and Nexium, also known as proton pump inhibitors, block acid production in your stomach. Once you suppress stomach acid, you are also decreasing your body’s ability to kill the helicobacter bacteria, which is ironically one of the main causes of ulcers and heartburn, thus making your condition worse and perpetuating the problem. Furthermore, these drugs have the potential for causing serious side effects, including bone loss, hip fractures, and pneumonia. In addition, once you start taking these proton pump inhibitor medications, you’ll develop a tolerance and dependence on them. Therefore, you’ll need to gradually wean off these meds or you might experience a severe rebound of symptoms.
The Natural Cure
Ultimately, to resolve acid indigestion, you must restore your natural intestinal balance and function. Sugars and processed foods only exacerbate the symptoms because it will upset the balance in your stomach and intestine. It is recommended to eat lots of vegetables and other high-quality, unprocessed foods. In addition, avoid caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine. Be sure to replenish your beneficial bacteria either with a probiotic supplement or with the ingestion of fermented foods, such as fermented vegetables (like sauerkraut), cabbage juice, chutneys, or you can even make your own coconut kefir with coconut water.
As previously mentioned, heartburn is a sign of having too little stomach acid. A helpful way to encourage our bodies to make sufficient amounts of stomach acid is by including Himalayan salt (or any high-quality, unprocessed sea salt) in your diet. It will provide your body with chloride, which is necessary for the production of hydrochloric acid. Drinking just a few teaspoons of cabbage juice before eating will also help to improve your digestion and is one of the best-known natural remedies for stomach ulcers.
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