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What is Acid Reflux and How Can Gut Health Help?
Acid reflux affects millions. Here is how to manage symptoms of acid reflux and how to improve gut health naturally.
Acid reflux affects 20% of people inside the US, meaning that about 1 in 5 people suffer from the heartburn and gastrointestinal distress that comes with this disorder. As common as acid reflux is, not a lot of people truly understand what it is, or where it comes from. In fact, many people who have Acid Reflux do not know what to do to help alleviate their symptoms. So what exactly is Acid Reflux, and what exactly can you do to naturally prevent it?
What is Acid Reflux?
A normal, healthy gut biome uses muscles on both sides of the stomach to prevent food and stomach acid, from being pressed back up into the mouth. However, in people who have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), or acid reflux, these muscles do not work as intended. Therefore, food particles backtrack into the esophagus 1.
Symptoms of Acid Reflux
With food particles basically defying gravity, your body will experience a ranging severity of gastrointestinal distress. Symptoms of acid reflux include:
Long-term exposure to acid reflux can be very damaging to your body. It can even cause cancer.
Acid Reflux and Cancer
One study looked at the shocking rise in esophageal cancer over the last 40 years 2.
The publication reported,
“Among white males, the incidence of adenocarcinoma of the esophagus rose > 350% since the mid‐1970s, surpassing squamous cell carcinoma around 1990. Rates also rose among black males, but remained at much lower levels. To a lesser extent, there were continuing increases in gastric cardia adenocarcinoma among white and black males, which nearly equaled the rates for noncardia tumors of the stomach in white men.”– JAMA Network
Many of these causes of acid reflux can be equated to lifestyle choices. Obviously, a rise of esophageal cancer can be equated to the rise of nicotine during the time the study was still being conducted.
The stomach tumors can be equated to the fact those with acid reflux actually have a lack of stomach acid. The pH levels in your gut biome aren’t potent enough to break down the foods you are ingesting. This backup is causing the heartburn and other symptoms of acid reflux.
How Acid Reflux Affects Gut Health
The gut microbiome is relatively delicate, so it does not take much to upset its balance. One of those would be vomiting, or continually taking Tums and other acid reducers.
Now, for some people, they have little choice but to take these medications, and that is okay.
But there is a concern that being on medications for an extended period can be detrimental to your gut health.
Gut doctor, Vincent Pedre, mentions on the website MindBodyGreen how some acid reducers can harm gut health:
“Acid blockers create fertile ground for yeast (like Candida) to colonize your digestive tract, particularly your small intestine. Among its problems, yeast overgrowth creates chronic fatigue, muscle aches, joint pains, mental fog, abdominal discomfort, bloating, anal itching, and skin rashes 3.”– Dr. Vincent Pedre
This means that Acid reflux can quickly turn into gastrointestinal issues such as SIBO, which can be deadly. This concern is why some gut specialists suggest that you do anything possible to prevent acid reflux from happening. However, they prefer you to go the natural route before taking any medications.
What to Eliminate from Diet to Relieve Symptoms of Acid Reflux
You can ease symptoms of acid reflux by cutting back on unnecessary medications. Do you really have that headache? Then, there’s food choices. Must you have the fried chicken tonight?
Here are some items you should remove from your lifestyle to avoid bouts of acid reflux:
- Unnecessary Medicine
Sure, eliminating some products you ingest can ease the symptoms of acid reflux. But is restoring gut flora another form of treatment for people who suffer from Acid Reflux?
Acid Reflux and Importance of Gut Health
Not everyone can just eat more probiotics foods and have their GERD vanish. However, you want to create a microbiome conducive for the digestion of food in a more efficient manner. You don’t want to create opportunities for the food particles to back up. Here is how you can manage acid reflux symptoms and how to improve gut health naturally.
When pH levels are off in your gut biome, there is harmful bacteria brewing. You need to make an environment that is not welcoming for their influential intestinal flora. Get control of stomach bacteria through microbiome testing.
With Ombre, we can pinpoint which stomach bacteria is causing gastrointestinal distress and acid reflux.
Based on the results of microbiome testing, our specialists will recommend strain-specific probiotics that is targeted for your gut and symptoms.
Targeted Probiotics and Enzymes
Probiotics and enzymes are like a miracle for your gut health. This is because a diverse gut environment is able to ensure that nutrients are absorbed properly, and you can keep disorders like SIBO in check.
At Ombre, we provide you with the beneficial bacteria necessary to restore a 7 pH balance in your gut biome. That way, harmful yeast overgrowth, and opportunistic bacteria are unable to survive.
On top of using targeted probiotics, those with severe acid reflux may also want to look into enzyme supplements. These are catalysts that cause reactions in your system that will help you metabolize trigger foods.
Practice Mindful Eating
Eating is something that we should do to stay alive, but not to overindulge at every meal. So as a result, it is best to focus on more mindful eating patterns. For instance, eat until you feel full. Maybe even try to eat more slowly.
Also, focus on the foods that you are eating. Try to stick with more whole, plant-based foods and lean proteins whenever possible.
Focusing on what you are eating can help boost your nutrition, but also prevent you from overeating. Eating too much food in one go can help to reduce symptoms of acid reflux, and allows you to have a higher quality of life.
Drink More Fluids
Be a firefighter in your esophagus. Put out the fire by drinking more fluids.
Drinking more water is good for a variety of reasons. It may prevent overeating and it can help your intestinal flora grow. However, one thing that you should be wary of, is drinking fluids while you are eating.
For many people, drinking while eating can be a severe GERD trigger. The act makes the food far easier to pass through the esophagus. Therefore, you will pound down on those spicy Buffalo wings.
Consuming water can also prevent you from drinking tea, soda, or anything else that might contain caffeine in it. Filling up on water also puts a halt to those sugary cravings. So, while you may think it tastes bland, drinking some water can be an excellent way to keep your weight down, ultimately managing acid reflux.
Managing Life with Acid Reflux
There are many things that you can do to prevent acid reflux. Medications can help but should be a last resort. First, try to alter your diet and lifestyle to make sure that you actually need them.From there, do some microbiome testing. Rebalance your gut biome by improving your intestinal bacteria. Start your journey to wellness with strain-specific probiotic supplements and follow your personalized food recommendations from Ombre.
After you join the program, keep your eye on the prize. Make sure that you focus on what you are eating. Don’t just eat for the sake of eating. Your gut health will thank you for it.
- 1 Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) – Symptoms and causes. (2018, March 9). Mayo Clinic. Retrieved from mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/gerd/symptoms-causes/syc-20361940.
- 2 Shaheen, Nicholas. “Gastroesophageal Reflux, Barrett Esophagus, and Esophageal Cancer.” JAMA, American Medical Association, 17 Apr. 2002, jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/194842.
- 3 Pedre, V. (2017, March 14). The Common Anti-Acid Medications This Gut Health Expert Won’t Touch. mindbodygreen. Retrieved from mindbodygreen.com/0-29312/the-common-antiacid-medications-this-gut-health-expert-wont-touch.html.