LISTEN: Everyone Has Reflux; Overview of Digestion and the Causes of Reflux
Digestion is a complex physiological process that fuels our bodies with nutrients. It is controlled by a series of coordinated mechanisms within our digestive system. However, amid this guided process, there exists a common discomfort known as reflux, which can disrupt the harmony of our digestive journey.
Reflux is also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). It’s a condition where stomach acid and partially digested food flow back into the esophagus, causing discomfort and irritation. This occurs due to a weakened lower esophageal sphincter (LES), which is a muscular ring that separates the stomach from the esophagus. Chronic reflux can lead to complications and requires dietary and lifestyle modifications, along with potential medical interventions.
Join me and Dr. Steven Sandberg Lewis, a naturopathic physician and author, as we delve into the realm of digestion. We talk about the different organs of the digestive system including the mouth and their purpose. Our aim is to clarify why these components occasionally malfunction and to gain a comprehensive understanding of the optimal functioning of our digestion. Moreover, Dr. Lewis gives tips on how to prevent reflux, talks about the role of constipation in many digestive issues and why many children and babies suffer from reflux problems. You won’t want to miss this episode!
- The esophagus has two sphincters, one at the top and one at the bottom. The bottom sphincter stops stomach contents from refluxing into the esophagus.
- You swallow less salvia and make less salvia when you sleep which is why often reflux symptoms can be worse at night.
- If you don’t produce enough stomach acid it means you can’t kill the bacteria often found in your mouth which can be a major contributor to reflux.
- Heartburn can be caused by reflux but this isn’t always the case, it can be caused by other things.
- Stress can impact digestion, as your brain focuses on survival tactics, not things like correct digestion.
- LPR is a type of reflux that only affects the voice, breathing and the lower head so has different symptoms to what many people associate with reflux.
- Finding a personalized diet that works for you, that doesn’t give you an overproduction of gas, can be an effective way to tackle reflux.
- Don’t underestimate the impact of chewing on your digestion including reflux, particularly for children.
- Fasting and letting the stomach be empty, is important for good digestive function.
“Everybody has got some kind of reflux”
“The stomach is always acidic, what happens is when you eat food it buffers the acid”
“You don’t have to have reflux to have heartburn”
“Burping can be caused by eating fast, swallowing a lot of air but also digestion”
“If you can burp that’s great because if you couldn’t you’d be in so much pain”