Acid Stomach Reflux and Leaky Gut
It isn't too much acid that causes the burning pain or heartburn. A hiatal hernia is rarely the main reason for the burning pain or heartburn. The primary cause of the burning pain is a loss of the protective lining in the stomach.
The truth is most people have too little acid in the stomach. Acid is absolutely essential for:
- Digestion of protein
- Protection from bacteria and viruses from entering the body
- Getting calcium into the bone
- Absorbing iron
Taking common over the counter proton pump inhibitors like:
- omeprazole (Prilosec, Prilosec OTC)
- aspirin and omeprazole (Yosprala)
- lansoprazole (Prevacid, Prevacid IV, Prevacid 24-Hour)
- dexlansoprazole (Dexilent, Dexilent Solutab)
- rabeprazole (Aciphex, Aciphex Sprinkle)
- pantoprazole (Protonix)
or antacids will interfere with protein digestion, calcium, and iron absorption and lead to a cascade of health problems.
The proper approach is to eliminate the things that have caused erosion of the protective lining, like:
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (Asprin, Alleve, Ibuprofen, Meloxicam, Celebrex, Voltaren)
- Heliobacter pylori
Moving down the digestive tract we get to the small intestine and the large intestine. This is where we see another common problem. "Leaky Gut" or intestinal hyperpermeability.
What is Leaky Gut?
Leaky gut is a condition in which the intestinal lining becomes inflamed and damaged leading to a porous lining. Through this porous lining undigested food, bacteria, fungi, and other foreign invaders may enter the bloodstream. This causes an immune response and inflammation. This will frequently be diagnosed as Fibromyalgia or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, or in some cases, you may be told "it's all in your head".
Your body can recognize undigested foods and create a lasting allergy to those foods. Some other chronic conditions associated with leaky gut include:
- Chrons disease
- Food allergies
- Autoimmune disease
Some common causes of leaky gut include:
- Diet: Things like hydrogenated oils, excess sugar, gluten, and alcohol
- Medications: The same types that can cause erosion of the protective lining
- Infections: H-Pylori, Yeast, Parasites, bacteria, and viruses
- Stress: Ongoing stress causes the adrenal glands to secrete cortisol which degrades the gut lining
- Environmental Toxins
- Vitamin D deficiency
How do we fix a leaky gut?
First, we need to identify the things that have or are causing it. This may be as simple as reviewing your diet and medications, or it may require stool testing or food sensitivity testing. We frequently find through laboratory examinations that there is a low-grade infection also perpetuating the problem. If an infection is identified it is treated. Then we need to supply the body with the needed nutrients for repairing the lining. A large percentage of the nutrients needed to repair the gut lining can come from your diet. Supplements can also be very beneficial in this rebuilding phase.