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Do you experience frequent heartburn/reflux? Indigestion? Maybe you take over the counter antacid relief, or your doctor prescribed you Nexium (the purple pill!) or Prilosec. After all, it makes sense: if you have stomach acid burning your esophagus, you need an antacid to neutralize it for pain relief, right?

i don't feel so good.

i don't feel so good.

Actually, this is not always the case. Conventional medicine has a knack for treating the symptoms without uncovering the underlying cause of what causes the reflux. In cases of chronic heartburn, it’s actually LOW stomach acid, not too much stomach acid, believe it or not.

Your stomach acid should be around a PH of 2, incredibly acidic, so that it can break down food into a liquid (chyme) that travels to the small intestine and then the large intestine, where nutrients are absorbed and waste travels onward and outward to be excreted. If your stomach acid is at a higher PH, more alkaline, food cannot be properly broken down, and any pathogens, bacteria, or anything else that might be possibly contaminating your food won’t be killed. When food is not properly broken down, it sits in the stomach and ferments/putrefies, giving off gases and causing a burning sensation in the stomach and/or throat. This is reflux. It also travels out the other end, causing gas and bloating.

If you have chronic heartburn, GERD, or ulcers, chances are very good that you have h pylori, a nasty bacteria that causes ulcers, gastritis, and systemic inflammation that can lead to cancer and heart disease. The 2005 Nobel Prize in medicine was awarded to 2 scientists for “the bacterium Helicobacter pylori and its role in gastritis and peptic ulcer disease.”

Antacids make the heartburn worse because they lower stomach acid further, making it easier for h pylori to thrive and making it harder for you to digest food. That’s why reflux worsens over time. No purple pill will kill h pylori – it will only exacerbate it over time.

Low stomach acid is a common problem and worsens with age. If you see undigested food in your poop, or if you belch or fart a lot, you likely have low stomach acid and are not absorbing necessary nutrients from your food. Also, low stomach acid makes it easier to get h pylori and other bugs in the first place. H pylori can also be transmitted through undercooked chicken, meat, or even by kissing.

Of course, reflux can also result from consuming foods to which you’re allergic, spicy foods, whatever. But if you are experiencing it regularly, time to figure out the cause. H Pylori and other bugs can be tested for via stool test. Then you can do a mastic gum cleanse for 60 days. Mastic kills the h pylori. It’s often used with bismuth to soothe, and DGL licorice to heal. Once the h pylori is gone, your stomach and gut can heal – both will be inflamed as a result of the infection. You can take digestive enzymes to help digestion and to increase stomach acid. Follow up the program with a good course of probiotics to recolonize the gut.

Don’t live your life covering up symptoms of a very uncomfortable problem. Why take a pill for the rest of your life when you can get rid of the problem itself?

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