Fight Acid with Acid

    Stomach Acid

    I recently got off of my Proton Pump Inhibitor (PPI) med for my chronic heartburn (GERD).

    The reason why I was concerned was because of this article from Freedom Health News on the dangers of drugs such as Omeprazole (Zegerid, Prilosec) – CLICK HERE for more information.

    There is mounting evidence that long-term use of PPIs can impair mental function, increasing your dementia risk.

    But there are also new concerns about how low acid levels in the stomach can keep the body from being able to absorb key minerals.

    But what is really surprising is that the University of Manchester medical publication Cambridge Journal confirmed that low stomach acid is more to blame than too much for indigestion especially for those getting up in years.

    Indigestion issues of all sorts have been linked to low stomach acid.  The Journal of Gastroenterology in February 2013 showed that the low stomach acid led to a host of issues.

    It turns out that normal levels of stomach acid kill many harmful bacteria and improve overall digestion.

    Hypochlorhydria is the technical term for low stomach acid.  This condition gets worse as we age, making us more vulnerable to digestive issues.

    Older citizens can develop malabsorption issues or bacteria growth lower in the GI tract.

    I was prescribed PPIs for my GERD in my 40’s, but as I got older, I started to realize that these drugs may not have been needed.

    Then I discovered that one of the counter-intuitive causes of heartburn was low stomach acid.

    It is estimated that 25-35% of those over 65 are showing signs of low stomach acid just by getting older and possibly more are developing it from the use of drugs.

    Many people don’t realize that stomach ulcers are not caused by acid, but instead by bacteria.  H. Pylori bacteria leads to gut inflammation and ulcers.  Low stomach acid allows this bacterium to flourish.

    But more counter-intuitive is low stomach acid can lead to heartburn.

    Because stomach acid helps digestion by breaking down food and allowing absorption of key nutrients further down the GI tract.

    When this breakdown doesn’t occur because of low stomach acid levels, the stomach may overcompensate by increasing stomach acid to very high levels, known as a rebound effect.

    Your body knows that if you are not breaking down food you are at higher risk of osteoporosis, fatigue, anemia, and other vitamin and mineral deficiencies.

    This is a reason why many doctors are rethinking their approach to dealing with chronic heartburn and GERD with drugs which lowers stomach acid.

    Many natural health practitioners have been suggesting people use organic raw acid cider vinegar (ACV) to help with heartburn.

    Why in the world would you want to take acid to help with acid reflux?  Well as explained above, to counter the effect of low stomach acid and avoid the rebound.

    This seems to be especially important to those who suffer from acid reflux which is actually made worse by low stomach acid.

    This is not going to be helped by taking large amounts of ACV.  A teaspoon taken in eight ounces of water seems to be enough.  Wait at least 90 minutes per dose.  The effect to stop heartburn seems to only last 60-75 minutes.

    The pH level of ACV is actually lower than your stomach acid, but the slight amount of acid seems to help many people’s heartburn.

    There have been no formal studies on ACV and heartburn, but it is an old remedy that the Cleveland Clinic and Harvard School of Medicine have reported that there is no known downside for trying.

    Do you have a favorite remedy to handle your heartburn?  If so, please share in the comment section below.