You will no doubt be familiar with the old adage, “We are what we eat”. However, perhaps more accurately it should be, “We are what we digest and absorb”. If we are not digesting our food properly then we are unable to absorb the vital vitamins and minerals needed for optimum health.
Acid reflux, heartburn and indigestion
An adequate amount of stomach acid is vital to help break down food, activate important enzymes and hormones, and protect us against bacterial overgrowth in the gut. Unfortunately levels of stomach acid typically decline with age and older adults are more prone to digestive problems.
Acid reflux and heartburn are often attributed to too much stomach acid and acid suppression medication is usually prescribed to manage the condition. However, what is less commonly known is that low levels of acid can also be to blame – when stomach acid levels are low and food is consumed, the body tries to aid digestion by sending the little acid that remains to the top of the stomach. This causes reflux, making it seem like too much acid is to blame. If you are on acid suppression medication but experiencing no long-term benefit this is something you may wish to explore.
Kinesiology muscle response testing is a simple and painless way of finding out whether supplementation with natural sources of acid (or digestive enzymes) could help. It can also look to see whether B vitamins (often depleted in times of stress) or Zinc might be implicated, as the body needs these for acid production.
I once heard an NHS doctor say that 80% of our ‘feel good’ hormones, serotonin and dopamine, are produced in the gut. Perhaps little wonder then that clients report such a dramatic change when their digestion issues are resolved!
Simple tips to help manage acid reflux, heartburn and indigestion
- 1-2 teaspoons of Apple Cider Vinegar 10-20 minutes before food
- Avoid overeating
- Chew food until liquid
- Avoid eating big meals late at night (ideally only light snacks after 8pm)
- Avoid excess fluids with meals
- Avoid water half an hour before and half hour after meals
- Drink 2 litres of water a day (away from food) and avoid icy drinks
- Eat fruit away from meals
- Limit starches/carbohydrates in a meal
- Eat in a pleasant environment, make sure you are calm (take slow deep abdominal breaths), smell the food, think about eating - be mindful and present
- Leisurely walks
- Avoid tight waistbands!
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