If you were to ask 10 experts about the root cause of acid reflux, you’d likely receive 10 different answers, each with its own valuable insight. These explanations range from dietary factors like indulging in fried, spicy, or processed foods, to the impacts of stress, alcohol consumption, and the presence of H. pylori bacteria. While all of these factors can certainly exacerbate acid reflux or trigger a flare-up, the core issue lies in poor digestion.
In essence, our digestive system is designed to thoroughly break down our food, disinfect it with stomach acids, initiate the digestion process, absorb nutrients in the small intestine, and handle the absorption of fluids and waste elimination in the large intestine. If any part of this intricate process, or worse, all of them, begins to operate sluggishly or inefficiently, it sets the stage for a gradual decline in digestion. This initial domino represents the start of a long list of health issues and imbalances. In fact, almost any imbalance can ultimately be traced back to the root of poor digestion.
But what hinders healthy digestion?
If we look at acid reflux from a pro-metabolic lens, we can see how hormones can play a major role.
Cortisol has a cycle that begins in the adrenals and ends in the gut. We even have a specific strain of bacteria that live in the gut called Bifidobacterium Longum 1714, and when this bacteria’s population is diminished by ongoing stressors, the effects of cortisol on the integrity of the intestines are detrimental.
Constantine will provide a multitude of solutions to aid in healing and preventing acid reflux, which can be seamlessly integrated with my emphasis on fostering a diverse and healthy microbiome.
Here is what I recommend;
- Sporebased probiotics
- B vitamins and Bifidobacterium Longum 1714(combined in the product Zenbiome Cope by microbiome labs)
- Supplementing with HCL and digestive enzymes; Contrary to the common internet advice of taking HCL until you experience a burning sensation and then decreasing the dosage, this approach risks the development of an ulcer. Under no circumstances should Betaine HCL cause burning, pressure, or stomach nausea. A reasonable starting point is 1000mg of betaine HCL per meal. If undesirable side effects manifest, discontinue the supplement. It’s plausible that persistent acid reflux may have caused damage to the stomach lining, necessitating healing. Recommended supplements or herbs include:
- Mastic Gum
- Aloe Vera
- Digestive herbal teas
- Pyloguard from Microbiome Labs
Also contrary to misguided internet advice, it’s important to note that Hydrochloric acid (HCL) is not solely required for protein digestion. This misconception is inaccurate. HCL serves the purpose of activating pepsin, a gastric enzyme responsible for protein digestion in the stomach, yes. However, it also plays a crucial role in the absorption of vitamin B12.
Vitamin B12 is indispensable for the proper functioning and maintenance of red blood cells and the health of nervous tissues in the brain, spine, and nerves. Beyond this, HCL has additional functions, including disinfecting anything passing through the stomach. Some experts even consider it one of our initial lines of defence against parasites, certain viral infections such as the potentially deadly Norovirus, and other pathogens.
While it is strongly advised to consult a healthcare professional when experiencing persistent acid reflux, it’s worth noting that conventional medicine often resorts to the frequent use of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) and acid reducers as a common treatment. While these can provide relief for short-term discomfort, prolonged use of PPIs has been linked to heightened risks of bone fractures, acute and chronic kidney disease, gastrointestinal infections, and magnesium deficiency.
For a deeper grasp of GERD and various health conditions,
I suggest subscribing to my colleague Constantine Kenargeledis’ Substack.
His comprehensive knowledge of metabolic imbalances, along with his vast array of remedies and solutions, is truly impressive.
Stay informed and healthy,