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Over-the-counter relief often provides little help. This leads many to turn toward pharmaceutical grade antacids, which either do not work or do not work for very long. Most antacids are meant to be used for 6 weeks or less, and those who use them are at a 50% greater risk of developing a bacterial infection in the small intestine.
Try these steps to reduce or eliminate your heartburn symptoms before turning to commercial medications:
Taking a pharmaceutical grade antacid won't provide long-term heartburn relief. Even worse, it will increase your risk of developing a bacterial infection in the small intestine by 50%!
Rather than muting the acidity of your gastric juices, which is the function of many antacids, do the opposite. In other words, if you want relief, take a hydrochloric acid (HCl) supplement.
Gastric acid is formed in the stomach and has a low pH of 1.5-3.5 (think battery acid). This level of acidity is crucial. In addition to unraveling proteins and activating enzymes, it is also one of the body’s first lines of defense against disease-causing microorganisms.
Additional HCl can rev up your stomach’s ability to break down food and fight infection.
Assist Dairy & Protein contains HCl and other enzymes to help along the digestive process. As we age or after eating a vegan or vegetarian diet, the body will naturally produce less stomach acid.
A collection of herbs known as Digestive Bitters will also encourage stomach acid production. Bitter herbs have been used traditionally in several cultures to improve digestion.
It turns out that the inner ecology of the gut plays an important role in whether or not heartburn develops.
Sometimes, the stomach itself is infected with a bacterium called H. pylori. Other times an overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine can lead to heartburn. Either way, the inner ecology of the gut is out of balance.
Studies have found that H. pylori infection is more common in patients with acid reflux. (1) In order to survive, it is theorized that H. pylori reduces the acidity of the stomach. If this is the case, is there really anything an antacid can do with an H. pylori infection? Unfortunately, since most patients that are prescribed an antacid are not tested for infection, the real issue of infection is never addressed.
These are foods like:
If you are going to take supplements and avoid certain foods, you will eventually want to get to the point where you can eat whatever you like without relying on a supplement for proper digestion.
While fermenting food at home may seem like a lost art, the reality is that traditional ferments are becoming more and more popular. High-profile culinary wizards are rediscovering the flavors (and benefits) of cultured foods, while families interested in nutrient-dense meals are turning their attention to old-fashioned fermentation crocks.
If you are interested in culturing your own food at home, you may want to begin with a starter culture like Veggie Culture Starter. A starter ensures that the final product will be full of healthy, beneficial bacteria rather than questionable wild strains.
The good bacteria available in fermented foods and probiotic beverages keep aggressive colonizers in check. This means that H. pylori and other microbes are not totally eradicated from your inner ecosystem. Instead, good bacteria that have a knack for cooling inflammation and healing the gastrointestinal lining are enlisted to control any overzealous microbes. (2)(3)
Getting rid of heartburn may be an ongoing process, depending on the state of your gastrointestinal system. Healing the gut may take several months, if not more, depending on the depth of the imbalance.
The solution to painful heartburn flare-ups? Put together an HCl supplement with a specific diet and fermented foods. When we learn how to nurture our inner ecology and get to know trigger foods, we do more than heal heartburn. We safeguard our overall health and wellbeing.
Most sufferers of heartburn can attest to the fact that over-the-counter medications do very little to provide long-lasting relief. On top of that, using an antacid increases the risk of developing a bacterial infection in the small intestine by 50%!
To heal heartburn naturally and for the long-term, consider these 4 helpful tips to get your digestion back on track:
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