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Gut Health Drawing Overlay(The “purple pill” – type medications)

Long Term Problems

Acid-stopping medications work by interfering with the “proton pump” and stopping the production of hydrochloric acid by gastric parietal cells in the stomach. These drugs induce a state of hypochlorhydria in the stomach, which negatively affects the function of the other digestive organs. A pH of about 2-3 (very acidic) in the stomach is necessary (and normal) for healthy digestion. The stomach lining is designed to handle its own strong acid production, which has many vital functions outlined below. Initially this class of drug was strictly controlled and only permitted to be prescribed for a six week period for ulcers and acid reflux. Now they are used for months and even years at a time, and are routinely prescribed for any and all GI symptoms. They are given to all age groups including children, infants and even pets. Acid stopping medications are the number one selling drug in the country and are even available over the counter. Antacids can cause similar problems listed below.

Pharmacology Over Physiology

It is officially reported that there are few side effects to the drugs, and that the side effects tend to be mild. But what is actually being perpetrated is a form of physiological and biochemical insanity.

The main reason that this is insanity is that over 90% of people with “acid indigestion” and “acid reflux disease” are not making too much stomach acid, but too little stomach acid.

Here are the physiological facts:

  1. We have been told that stress makes our stomach pump out to much acid, causing heart burn and ulcers. Yet any physiology textbook tells us that when the stress handling system in our bodies is engaged (sympathetic / fight-flight nervous system), digestion is suppressed. When engaged in handling stress, the body diverts available energy away from regenerative functions like digestion. (digestion is a parasympathetic / rest-repair function)
  2. When we eat food while in a stress-handling mode, the food sits in the stomach – a nice warm, moist environment – and begins to decay rather than digest.
  3. It is the decaying food in the stomach that produces organic acids of putrefaction and fermentation, and these are the acids of acid indigestion. Undigested, decaying food tends to come back up (“acid reflux disease”) rather than continue down the digestive tract.
  4. Acid-stopping medications and antacids can make the resulting symptoms – heartburn and acid reflux – better, but they make the original problem worse. Over time, a host of other problems follow.

What are the results?

  1. Progressive malabsorption and malnutrition
  • Healthy digestion begins with strong acid production in the stomach
    1. Mineral digestion – almost all minerals require strong stomach acid for proper digestion.
    2. Protein digestion – protein digestion begins with strong stomach acid.
    3. Pancreatic enzyme release – a pH of 2 or 3 (very acidic) in the stomach is the “on switch” signaling the pancreas to produce and release its digestive enzymes.
    4. Liver and gall bladder function – a pH of 2 or 3 in the stomach signals the release of bile from the liver and gall bladder. Healthy bile flow is essential to emulsify (break down) and absorb fat soluble vitamins and nutrients. Without healthy bile flow, undigested fats in the intestines interfere with mineral and other nutrient absorption.
  1. Progressive toxicity
  • When food is not digested properly beginning in the stomach, it will putrefy and ferment – literally rot – as it proceeds through the warm, moist environment of the GI tract, resulting in systemic toxicity.
  1. Hypochlorhydria
  • A state of ongoing hypochlorhydria is induced
  • What disease processes are related to hypochlorhydria? The short answer is any and all disease processes, especially degenerative diseases.
  • For a detailed discussion of hypochlorhydria and its many consequences, which were clearly understood in medicine in the early part of the 20th century (before antacid medications), see the three part article “Hypochlorhydria – A Review” by Judy Kitchen in The Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients, Oct., Nov., and Dec. 2001
  1. Parasite infections – loss of aseptic function
  • The low pH of gastric juice is designed to sterilize food. Without the acid pH of the stomach, a person is susceptible to any type of food or water-borne parasite.
  • Parasite infections have become far more common than is currently recognized, primarily due to lack of proper testing procedures. A single random stool test (as performed in hospitals) is very unlikely to detect most parasite infections. Specialty test should be done, such as the Diagnos Techs GI-2 (a multiple sample saliva and stool test).
  1. Degeneration of the gastric mucosa
  • Another result of prolonged use of acid-stoppers is degeneration of the gastric mucosa. This is why most users of these medications have even worse stomach burning if they try to stop these drugs
  • When correcting digestive problems with natural remedies after the use of acid-stopping medications, the problem may takes many months to correct. It appears that considerable degeneration of the gastric mucosa takes place. This makes sense, since the constant presence of rotting food on the mucosa has to cause problems. The first part of the natural protocol must therefore address the healing of the gastric mucosa before boosting of gastric secretion can take place.

There are ways of getting you off your acid stopping medications. Working together we can find what is holding your body in a stress mode, remove the stressors and support the organ or glandular system involved. Depending on how long you have been on them, it can take a few months, but most people respond quite well.

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Poor digestion is not the problem, it is the result of stress which puts the body into fight/flight or chronic stress responce. Stress can be physical, emotional and nutritional / biochemical. Give the office a call today and start regaining your health! CONTACT US »

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