Six Causes of Heartburn #5: Excess Stomach Acid by Dr. Lynn August
You might find it surprising that excess stomach acid is not presented as the first or primary cause of heartburn in this series discussing the Six Causes of Heartburn. Certainly you would be hard pressed to convince anyone in the midst of a fiery attack that too much acid is not the culprit. And, the definitive relief provided by antacids and acid suppressors serves to confirm that acid itself, and its excesses, is THE problem.
However, the solutions to heartburn presented in the first four causes of heartburn of this series, do not involve neutralizing or suppressing stomach acid. And, these remedies, singularly or in combination, in most situations obviate the need to neutralize or suppress stomach acid. The remedies to heartburn presented in the first four causes are:
- increasing stomach acid
- enhancing stomach emptying through relaxation of the stomach outlet valve
- increasing bile flow, which neutralizes stomach acid as it leaves the stomach
Now it will become apparent that even heartburn caused by excess stomach acid does not necessitate the neutralization or suppression of stomach acid. And soon, solutions discussed in the forthcoming sixth and seventh causes of heartburn – structural/functional and stomach/tissue alkalinity – will reveal that stomach acid neutralization or suppression will seldom, if ever, be necessary.
The three causes of excess stomach acid are histamine, histamine and histamine. The first cause of excess histamine release is overactive parasympathetic nerves relative to the activity of the counterbalancing sympathetic nerves. The second cause of histamine release is poor bowel ecology. The third cause of excess histamine release is inflammation, often the result of toxins released by poor bowel ecology.
Parasympathetic dominance is quieted by the supplement phosphoric acid, Standard Process’ Phosfood. Potassium turns the parasympathetics “on”. The phosphorous supplied by Phosfood is a potassium antagonist. Be certain there is adequate calcium lest the addition of phosphorous will draw calcium from the bones and teeth. The ideal ratio of Ca to P in the blood is 2.5.
Standard Process’ Zymex II, an enzyme complex, is recommended between meals to rid the gastrointestinal tract of unwanted organisms. Enzymes are specific in their action, that is, an enzyme that digests insect tissue does not harm human tissue. The enzymes from the fig and almond in Zymex II are the plants’ defense against insects, including worms, and kill parasites in the G.I. tract. Moreover, the high protease content in this formula ‘aggravates’ worms so they leave the body.
Next acidify the gastrointestinal tract so favorable organisms can thrive and unfavorable organisms cannot. This is best done with Standard Process’ Lactic Acid Yeast, 3 tablets per meal initially. Lastly consider Cholacol II, also Standard Process, a highly adsorbent clay to which toxins readily adhere. The clay is not absorbed into the blood but rather eliminated in the stool with toxins attached. Cholacol II is particularly useful in the treatment of diarrhea due to toxicity.
Like high cholesterol, excess stomach acid is a ‘warning light on the dash’. Drugs that merely turn off the warning do not address the problem. More problems become inevitable if the cause is not addressed. Additionally, drugs that neutralize or suppress stomach acid not only ignore the cause, they result in low or absent acid. The consequences of low or absent stomach acid are vast, from contributing to food allergies, asthma, arthritis and diabetes, to vitamin and mineral deficiencies resulting in heart disease, osteoporosis, dementias and more.
NOTE: Heartburn can have multiple causes. And heartburn is indicative of failing digestion, which can cascade into a host of health problems. The Health Equations Blood Test Evaluation is recommended for a 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.