The Truth About Acid Reflux

When fluids from the stomach reflux back into the esophagus and throat it is extremely bitter to the taste. Gastric fluid with or without the presence of Hydrochloric acid is very bitter, leading people to believe they are producing too much acid.

 

GERD or acid reflux is one of the most misdiagnosed conditions in this country. This is because the symptoms associated with reflux are virtually identical in patients that are overproducing acid or not producing enough acid. Both conditions may cause reflux, belching, bloating, gas, abdominal pain, nausea, irregular stools, etc.

 

Unfortunately, many doctors are prescribing proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), or acid-reducing medications to patients who are already not producing enough stomach acid. The lack of sufficient Hydrochloric acid production in the stomach is called Hypochlorhydria. It is a widespread disorder in patients that are in the 40 and up to age groups, but not limited to these groups. When a doctor prescribes an acid-reducing medication to a patient that is not producing enough acid, they become Achlorhydric, which is the complete lack of acid production in the stomach.

 

Additionally, there is the minimal absorption of the necessary vitamins and minerals in the small intestine. This is particularly the case with vitamin B-12, because the same cells that produce the stomach acid, the parietal cells, produce the glycoprotein called the intrinsic factor. The intrinsic factor is necessary for the absorption of B-12 in the small bowel.

 

A doctor should never prescribe an acid-reducing medication or proton pump inhibitor (PPI), without first giving you a pH diagnostic test to determine the condition of your digestive process. Proton pump inhibitors and many types of acid-reducing medications should only be used on a short-term basis if ulceration is present in the stomach.

 

Statics show that only 12% of the total population has Hyperchlorhydria (the overproduction of acid in the stomach).

 

If a person is actually overproducing Hydrochloric acid in the stomach, a Heidelberg pH diagnostic test should be done to determine the severity of the excess acid production. Hyperchlorhydria, or the overproduction of acid, should be, treated with a medication that mimics the normal physiologic buffering that occurs in the digestive process. The excess acid is then neutralized or buffered in the duodenum (first part of the small intestine) by the neutralizing fluid that is naturally produced in the pancreas.

 

If your doctor determines that you have ulceration, he or she may recommend an acid-reducing medication or PPI. These products should only be used on a short-term basis (2 weeks average) to allow healing of the damaged tissue. Once the healing is complete, you should stop taking the acid-reducing medication, and ask your doctor to recommend a natural substitute that mimics the normal physiologic buffering that the body produces. However, your best bet would be to find a qualified Functional Medicine Practitioner in your area who specializes in gut health.

 

Acid-reducers and PPIs will set the stage for viral, bacterial, fungal and parasitic infections. The body requires hydrochloric acid in the stomach to prevent the overgrowth of bacteria, and the elimination of pathogens. Acid-reducers and PPIs will also impede the body from absorbing all of the necessary vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that are required to support the immune system.

 

A Heidelberg pH test is an in-office procedure and does not require a catheter or sedation. During a test, you are relaxed and comfortable, and the test results are available to you and your Practitioner when the test is complete.

 

It is of vital importance that everyone has a periodic Heidelberg pH diagnostic test to determine the condition of their digestive process. This is particularly the case in people over the age of 40, but not limited to these age groups.