by Dr. David Minkoff September 16, 2022 5 min read
There is an idea that if we have GERD or Acid Reflux this means we have too much stomach acid.
And this idea is pushed heavily by pharmaceutical companies who make quite a bit of money from antacids and acid blockers (known as PPIs) — for the rest of a person’s life.
However, these only give a temporary solution, if solution it is, and in the long term actually make the problem worse.
This is because it’s not high levels of stomach acid that cause acid reflux and GERD, but the exact opposite — too little stomach acid. In fact, there is no research at all showing high stomach acid to be a cause.
If you've read this article then you know something about the importance of stomach acid.
Without it, we wouldn’t get nutrients from the foods we eat — no matter how much we ate — causing muscle loss, low hormones, low energy, and low immune levels.
Also, harmful bacteria would thrive in the intestines, stomach, and our body, causing inflammation, poor energy, stealing nutrients needed by the cells, lethargy, and more.
And, of course, we get GERD, Acid Reflux, Gas, and Bloating.
When we eat, our stomach secretes digestive acid and enzymes. These are necessary to break down the food into a form the cells can use, break down minerals so they can be used, and kill off harmful bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites coming in through food and water.
All of these are very important.
Now, there is something called the PH scale, going from 1-15, with 1 being the most acidic and 15 being the least acidic.
The stomach secretes acids until it hits a ph of about 1 or 2 (very acidic). Hitting this point signals that the food is ready to move on into the small intestine, which opens to let it in.
However, if the stomach doesn’t reach this level then the food can stay in the stomach longer and go rancid (if you drank milk and then looked at it in the stomach it would look like cottage cheese, not milk anymore).
When it goes rancid it can start to bubble up and hit the esophagus. While the stomach is made to withstand a very acidic environment, the esophagus is not, so it burns.
It can get so bad that the valve between the stomach and esophagus becomes degraded and may start to let acid in with or without food in the stomach just because you laid down or bent over.
But it does more than that.
The PH scale is not a straight scale upwards. It goes up by multiples of 10. So a ph of 2 is 10 times less acidic than a ph of 1. And a ph of 3 is 10 times less acidic than a ph of 2, or 100 times less acidic than a ph of 1. Then when we see that many people today have a ph of 4 or 5 — 1000 to 10,000 times less acidic than what is needed — we see how easy it is for acid reflux to occur.
So look at this. It’s supposed to be at about 1 or 2 to kill off all harmful bacteria and fully break down food and minerals so they can be used. But if it’s at a 4 or 5 this is 1,000 to 10,000 times less than what is needed here.
Until this is fixed, and the ph level lowered to a more acidic environment, GERD, heartburn, and acid reflux will continue, no matter how many pills you take. And the pills will make it worse.
This also leads to bacteria making it through to the small intestine where they take root, eating your food and giving gas in return that makes you bloat. They also cause inflammation which can give you stomach pain or even pain in your muscles when these bacteria get into the bloodstream.
It also lets parasites through, which will take root.
And it can get so bad that the stomach itself is so non-acidic that bacteria can start living there, breaking down the cells of the stomach walls and causing much more trouble.
Antacids operate by neutralizing the acid in your stomach and so raising the ph level. This then alleviates the pain of heartburn or GERD as it’s less acidic. But it also lets through these harmful bacteria and prevents food breakdown, including protein breakdown.
And your stomach acid is made from… the amino acids in protein. If they’re not fully broken down then your body can’t use them to make more stomach acid and we get a continued lowering of stomach acid production over time, leading to a less and less acidic environment so we take even more antacids.
Acid Blockers or PPIs are a bit different. PPIs stands for Proton Pump Inhibitors. The Proton Pumps are the glands that secrete stomach acid.
PPIs operate by poisoning these so they produce less acid, so they literally can’t function as they’re supposed to.
Now, if someone has something like a bleeding ulcer, an actual wound in the stomach, these can be necessary as we need to lower the acid levels so the wound has a chance to heal.
But once it’s healed up we need to come off them and build back up our stomach acid levels or we’ll be causing ourselves a lot more trouble than just a wound in the stomach.
As PPIs operate by poisoning the glands that secret acid, over a long period of time these glands can become so damaged that even when we come off the PPIs it takes a long time for the glands to heal so they produce acid properly. The longer we’ve been on the PPIs, the longer it takes the glands to heal if they even fully can at that point.
So this is very important. Only take them when actually needed, no longer.
If we have Acid Reflux, Heartburn or GERD then we have lower levels of stomach acid. Period.
So first, we need to get off any acid blockers, antacids, and even soda water, which also lessens acidity.
We then need to start taking digestive enzymes to provide the Stomach Acid and Enzymes the stomach needs to fully break down food and kill off bacteria and parasites coming in. Because if we have one of the above situations then we already know we don’t have enough.
Next, we need to start getting in more protein and taking the enzymes to ensure it’s broken down fully so the body can use it, as it’s protein that the body uses to make more stomach acid and digestive enzymes. If we don’t do this then the situation will continue indefinitely.
This is also one place PerfectAmino becomes very important. It not only provides the amino acids from protein necessary to produce more enzymes and stomach acid, but it also helps to heal the cells injured by the effects of low stomach acid.
For Acid Reflux, Heartburn, and GERD, PerfectAmino and Digestive Enzymes are a very winning combination. I highly recommend you check them out.
by Dr. David Minkoff
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