Guest Author - Arrow Durfee
Heartburn or acid reflux is a painful condition that affects about 20% of the adult population. Some people have it daily and others intermittently. Contrary to conventional medical advice this condition is caused by to little stomach acid also known as hypochlorhydria.
When the stomach secrets too little acid to digest a meal properly gas and bloating occur. The esophageal sphincter releases under this pressure and the stomach contents go up and these are acidic and do burn. But if the stomach acid is sufficient to do a proper job, gas and bloating would not occur and the meal will digest without difficulty and pain.
Always be sure to chew your food really well. Digestion starts in the mouth and will not be effective as it could be if you do not chew sufficiently.
If you don't have enough stomach acid the solution to the problem is to add some during a mealtime. Betaine HCL can be purchased at any health food store. Start with one pill. Increase the dosage with each meal until you get a mildly warm feeling in your stomach. Take the pills about 10 minutes before eating. That warm feeling in your stomach tells you that you have enough to get the job done. Some people only need one pill; others might take several, and up to 5 or 6. After taking the pills be sure to eat!
Do not use this therapy if you have stomach ulcers. Treat that condition first.
The good news is that people who have insufficient stomach acid may be able to turn these cells that produce the acid back on after supplementing with the proper products for several months. This does not always happen but sometimes it does. It will be based on the cause of one's low stomach acid.
If you truly suffer from low stomach acid and the resultant acid reflux and stomach bloating you should feel better with Betaine HCL supplements. You should also consider taking digestive enzymes if you only get partial help from Betaine HCL after a few weeks trial. If your own normal stomach acids are decreased it means that the acid secreting glands are not functioning properly. Other enzyme functions may also be decreased and this will contribute to your pain from eating. Pineapple and papaya enzymes are helpful to some people. Others may require more complex digestive enzyme products that include amalyse and protease.
Some people respond well to a tablespoon of natural apple cider vinegar with meals for a simple cure.