Stomach Acid is Friend Not Foe

Stomach problems with reflux disease after a meal or in general?

By Dr. Stephanie Moore

Well, first thing’s first–caffeine, alcohol and spicy foods will all make acid matters worse. So, a lifestyle clean up may be in order. BUT taking over-the-counter antacids may not be the answer. These are called proton pump inhibitors, or H2 blockers, and reduce stomach acid.  These reduce the pain of heartburn but cause more problems.

You need stomach acid to breakdown food so it can move on to the small intestine and be absorbed. If you lack stomach acid, the food ferments and creates a bloating effect in the next layer of the small intestine. The stomach acid is also crucial to absorbing vitamins and minerals. It is also a line of defense against bacteria; or, viruses that are not wanted. Consider herbal licorice with glycyrrhizin removed.

Glycyrrhizin, at high amounts, is unhealthy so you want DGL – “deglycyrrhizinated licorice.” DGL has stomach soothing properties for functional dyspepsia and regurgitation. Some studies also report help with canker sores when gargling with DGL solution. DO NOT use licorice longer than a week due to side effects, but DO talk with your doctor about DGL. Acid is your friend!

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