Acid Reflux: The Natural Way
One in 10 Americans experiences heartburn or acid reflux symptoms at least once a week, making the antacid industry one of the most profitable business ventures in the healthcare system today. Acid reflux occurs when the liquid content of the stomach (gastric acid) regurgitates into the esophagus. As a result, the esophagus becomes inflamed and over time can become damaged. This can lead to a burning sensation when eating as well as a pain that often rises in the chest and may radiate to the neck, throat, or angle of the jaw.
Acid reflux is one of the most incorrectly treated conditions today, due to the understanding of the root cause of acid reflux. The widespread thought process is that the stomach is overproducing stomach acid (hydrochloric acid) which causes the burning sensation in the chest. Therefore, they prescribe antacids which neutralize the stomach acid, resulting in short-term pain relief. The problem with this diagnosis and treatment is that they are not addressing the basic mechanism of what is occurring.
When acid reflux occurs, it is actually due to low stomach acid (HCL) or achlorhydria, which is an extremely common condition today. The majority of people are actually not producing enough stomach acid which is often the result of overeating highly cooked, processed, and animal-source foods. These types of food choices require a high amount of hydrochloric acid to digest them, and unfortunately over time, we are no longer able to produce adequate amounts to properly digest them. As a result, the food begins to create lactic acid which is the true cause of the burning sensation that is known as acid reflux or heartburn.
Should I Not Use Antacids?
The use of antacids, as you can see, is actually the complete opposite of what you need to create a long term solution to your acid reflux. Instead of neutralizing your stomach acid (HCL), you need to increase its production. In order to do so, the body needs a reliable source of unheated real sea salt. This form of salt is entirely different than common table salt, which is highly heated, bleached and stripped of its minerals, therefore leaving it as a detriment to your health, rather than a benefit. Real sea salt contains the chloride fraction the body needs to make hydrochloric acid and unfortunately most people no longer include this valuable nutrient in their diet.
What About My Diet?
Sorry guys, but unfortunately we are also going to have to address the diet, because simply increasing our stomach acid is not going to be a good enough if you keep eating stressful foods. It is vital to eliminate or significantly reduce the food sources that are causing the body’s hydrochloric acid production to be stressed. First and foremost, we need to eliminate or reduce meat, especially highly heated or processed meats. This includes items such as charbroiled steak, Slim Jims, hot dogs, fast food, sausages, chicken nuggets and spam.
Other offenders are fried foods (French fries, tempura, onion rings, fried shrimp or calamari), processed foods; chips, packaged cookies, crackers, pasteries and soda. Soda, diet or regular, is a highly acidic food that contains phosphoric acid that greatly contributes to acid reflux. Therefore, complete elimination is necessary for relief. Finally, dairy is also very aggravating to those who suffer from acid reflux, so switching to non-dairy alternatives such as coconut milk products is going to be the best plan.
How Can I Get Relief Naturally?
1. Increase Hydrochloric Acid Production:
I would suggest supplementing with 1 tsp of unheated sea salt (I like SunFire and Premier Research Labs) in your water and/or on your food every day. This is a great natural way to increase natural HCL production. You can simply add 1/2 tsp to a large bottle of water twice a day or just add it to food. *If you are dealing with high blood pressure I would consult with your doctor and begin a small dose such as a pinch and increase over time while monitoring.
If you would like to take it a step further you can also supplement your meals with a HCL supplement. I would definitely advise this route only if you are not experiencing damage to your esophagus lining or do not have an ulcer.
2. Drink Pure Aloe Juice Daily
While we are working on increasing hydrochloric acid in the stomach, it is also necessary to begin the healing process of the lining of the stomach and esophagus. My favorite choice is pure aloe juice (I like Premier Research Labs AloePro) because it does not additives such as artificial flavor, color or preservatives. I personally would take 2 oz three times a day on an empty stomach before meals. This will allow the aloe to do its job without any interference with the digestive process.
* I like to just take it down like a shot, but feel free to add to water and a splash of fresh juice as well.
3. Eliminate Stressful Foods
Meat (especially highly heated and processed)
- 1 tsp of unheated sea salt daily
- 2 oz of Aloe Juice 3x/day on an empty stomach (you can slowly increase to 9 oz daily if you choose).
- Drink half your weight in ounces of purified water daily