Heartburn, Stomach Pain, Indigestion & GERD by Dr. Stephanie King, DC Health & Wellness in Pasadena, CA
Protect Your Stomach Stomach pain, indigestion, and acid reflux disease (GERD) are common causes for trips to the doctor’s office or the emergency room. Most can be avoided by some simple preventive measures. The most important step is to control your diet and eating habits. I know this sounds simple, but it is amazing how much a few basic changes can reduce such problems.
One of the major causes of stomach discomfort, especially in young people, is overeating.
We tend to eat hurried meals and consume large amounts of food at one sitting. These habits have a number of harmful effects:
• They put a great deal of pressure on the esophagus, which leads to reflux.
• They make the work of the digestive enzymes more difficult, which also leads to reflux.
• They overwhelm the stomach’s acid, which reduces digestion and increases the risk of infections reaching the lower intestine. This can lead to abdominal pains and chronic infections in the colon.
• They stretch the stomach repeatedly and can cause damage to its lining and musculature,
which increases the likelihood of stomach ulcers, cancer, and the malabsorption of nutrients.
To avoid these problems, eat smaller meals, even if you have to eat more often during the day.
One of the major contributors to reflux disorders is our obsession with carbonated drinks. I have had a number of people tell me they cured their reflux problem simply by giving up carbonated soft
drinks. Eating more slowly is also important. Chew your food well before swallowing. I have noticed that
people are so rushed in their lives that when they eat, they chew their food a couple of times and
then swallow. The purpose of chewing is to aid the stomach in digestion and to increase the absorption of
nutrients. Vegetable cells differ from those of animals
because they have a tough cellulose cell wall which locks in all the valuable nutrients. To release these
nutrients, the cell wall has to be broken.
This requires either cooking, blenderizing, or chewing the vegetables thoroughly since we do not
have enzymes that can dissolve these cell walls.
Eating more slowly also causes us to secrete more saliva which helps dissolve foods and makes them
easier to digest.
While some oppose drinking liquids during a meal because liquids dilute digestive enzymes, I feel
that it is important to dissolve the foods thoroughly before they reach the stomach.
That brings up another major cause for both esophageal and stomach problems: drinking hot
liquids. This can be a special problem with the elderly because their temperature sensors are less
sensitive, meaning they want their coffee or tea really hot.
This can burn the lining of the esophagus and stomach. Even if there are no actual burns, very hot
liquids will damage delicate proteins in the cells of the GI tract.
This damage can lead to impaired function, indigestion, reflux, and high levels of free radicals, things that can lead to cancer.
Dr. B.J. Marshall won the Nobel Prize in medicine for discovering that most stomach ulcers
are caused by an infection with Heliocobacter pylori. Recent studies have suggested that over half of the population may be infected with this organism. Vitamin C, curcumin, quercetin, and epigallocatechin gallate from white and green tea all reduce the risk of infections and have been shown to suppress the growth of H. pylori.
It is my opinion, and the opinion of other professionals, that the medical profession’s
obsession with reducing stomach acid levels is responsible for many of the GI problems we see.
Medications that keep stomach acid levels artificially low not only impair digestion (many
stomach enzymes require the acid to function), but also increase the risk of developing reflux. Most people as they age and eat poorer diets produce less acid and less digestive enzymes causing them to not be able to digest their food properly the adding the proper balance actually rebalances this area and reduces the symptoms. For more information on how to treat your body specifically feel free to call our office for a free consultation to find our more about our 2 hour health & nutrition assessment. 626-799-0557
“Thanks Doc for giving me back my life. I’ve had heartburn now for 4 years and have taken every prescription the doctors prescribed and none of them worked. I even cut out all of the foods I loved hoping it would go away but not only did it not go away it got worse, daily. I couldn’t take it, then my girlfriend recommended Dr. Stephanie King, DC, and I thought how could a few bottles of supplements and chiropractic work when all these prescriptions failed. I had nothing to lose and I’m so glad I listened to you. With all your technology I figured you must know something they don’t and just like your testimonials in two weeks no more heartburn. I thought no way and this would never last so I waited 6 weeks before writing this and doc I’m eating my spicy foods and still no heartburn. Thank you so much for finding the real cause and giving me back my life without Meds.” Scott