SIX CAUSES OF HEARTBURN II: Deficient Stomach Acids by Dr. Lynn August
Heartburn, also known as acid indigestion or GERD (gastro-esophageal reflux disease), is not always caused by excess stomach acid. Surprisingly it can be caused by too little stomach acid.
Excess stomach acid is often the assumed cause of heartburn because antacids and drugs that suppress acid production successfully relieve heartburn. However a significant majority of the population is deficient in stomach acid. Moreover a steady decline in stomach acid production is well documented with advancing age, starting at age 40.
Heartburn occurs when the acid contents of the stomach flows backwards, i.e., up into the esophagus. A sphincter or valve of sorts – at the end of the esophagus where the esophagus connects with the stomach – should prevent back-flow from the stomach into the esophagus. However, the sphincter will not close and prevent back flow unless there is sufficient acid produced in the stomach. Thus too little stomach acid will fail to close the sphincter yet will be enough to burn.
Sufficient stomach acid is necessary for all digestion. As stomach acid declines there is less nutrient absorption. As nutrient absorption declines the ability to produce stomach acid declines further. It is a “Catch 22″.
To break this vicious cycle it is often necessary to get enough acid from an outside source with each meal until one’s own production is sufficient. The best way to get acid for each meal is taking the combination of Malic Acid and a Health Equations Electrolyte Formula with each meal. See :: DEHYDRATION, the No. One Cause of Heartburn :: for more information about the Electrolyte Formulas.
The Health Equations Malic Acid capsules are 300mg. Up to four capsules are recommended with each meal. Even four capsules is a small amount of acid compared to the amount the stomach would ideally make. Four capsules are well tolerated by most people. However it is best to start with one capsule per meal and increase a capsule at a time. The capsules should be discontinued if there is any burning. Malic Acid should always be taken DURING the meal, never at the beginning or at the end of the meal.
NOTE: Heartburn can have multiple causes. And heartburn is indicative of failing digestion, which can cascade into a host of health problems. A Health Equations Blood Test Evaluation is recommended for thorough evaluation and correction of heartburn.
Dr. Lynne August, of Greenfield NH, is the founder and director of Health Equations. She received her Medical Degree from Washington University School of Medicine in 1973. She combined conventional and holistic medicines in private practice for ten years and soon after, founded Health Equations. For almost thirty years, Dr. August has been researching significant influences on health… diet, soil, water, agriculture, food processing and environmental exposures. The inspiration in Lynne’s clinical practice and research comes largely from her experience as a Clinical Researcher at the Institute of Applied Biology in New York. There, Dr. August assisted Scientific Director Emanuel Revici M.D. in research on non-toxic therapeutic lipids. She also draws upon her training and practice in Ayurveda. Prior to her work at the Institute of Applied Biology, Lynne served on the board of the American Holistic Medical Association, researched hyperinsulinism and diabetes and served as the staff physician at a multi-disciplinary research center for children with developmental needs. Dr. August has been widely published. She lectures at physician seminars throughout North America and Europe and hosts seminars for clinical health professionals.