Do you suffer from indigestion, heartburn or other digestive problems. Perhaps you’ve been diagnosed with GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease). This used to be called heartburn but now it’s been allocated a fancy name and given the class of a ‘disease’. It is a condition we’ve brought upon ourselves and it’s often being wrongly diagnosed which leads to inappropriate medication which can be detrimental to your health!
Now an ‘over the counter’ drug
If you have been prescribed with a PPI (proton pump inhibitor) drug, no doubt it will be something like Nexium (esomeprazole), Prilosec (omeprazole), Protonix (pantoprazole), Prevacid (lansoprazole) or Zegerid (omeprazole) for example. But now these drugs can be bought without a prescription, known as an over the counter drug. This means you can buy them willy nilly and poison yourself even quicker than if you’d gone to the doctor for some.
For baby too, from 1 month old!
The problem is, these drugs should only be used for a maximum of 2 weeks, otherwise the side effects can be profound. Without the control of a prescription to make sure you do not overtreat yourself with these drugs, you are likely to exhibit permanent symptoms of heartburn, acid regurgitation and dyspepsia after stopping the drug, even if you were in good health before starting the medication. This is according to a study that showed more than 40% of healthy volunteers, who had never had symptoms of the above digestive problems, succumbed to the side effects of PPIs after cessation of treatment. What’s more, you can now get this drug for use with babies from 1 month old. I can see many parents trying this drug out to see if it stops their baby crying without even consulting a medic!
Too much acid? No, too little!
So for those who consult their doctor about their heartburn or indigestion, you have probably been told that you have too much acid in your stomach or that your acid is too strong and this is the cause of your problem? If so, you are just 1 in 100 that actually do suffer from too much acid, because too much acid is quite unusual. The majority of us who have heartburn, reflux or other indigestion symptoms are suffering from too little acid in our stomach, despite being mis-diagnosed the opposite.
Some diseases associated with low HCl and Mg deficiency
The older population as well as those with arthritis, osteoporosis, asthma, diabetes, depression, gallbladder disease are often lacking in hydrochloric acid. Also, all the above conditions are associated with Mg deficiency.
Problems caused by low acidity.
Weakened or inefficient stomach acid can lead to many problems, not least Mg deficiency. This can be a vicious circle because when Mg is deficient, stomach acid production is compromised which makes Mg absorption even more difficult. The digestive process is vital for chemically changing our mineral intake into an absorbable form ie. ionization. When a mineral complex such as for instance Mg citrate reaches the stomach, it needs the acidic conditions that the stomach produces, to break apart the constituent parts of the complex. This changes Mg into its ionic form which can then be used by the body.
Apart from this, the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) which is at the entrance to the stomach, normally opens to allow food into the stomach and then closes tightly whilst the digestive process progresses. If the acidity within the stomach is too low, the LES can allow the weaker acid back into the esophagus, causing heartburn.
Why do we do it?
Our digestion is often compromised by the junk food and drink that we consume. After eating and drinking rubbish to excess, the first thing we turn to are antacids. These are one of the most popular over the counter drugs and using them will do nothing for us except give temporary relief for a problem that we inflict on ourselves with our dysfunctional eating and drinking habits. Our digestive systems have to try and deal with the sugary, greasy, non nutrional fast foods that we insist on burdening our bodies with.
How do PPIs (proton pump inhibitors) work?
Proton pump inhibitors, actually stop the acid producing pumps in the stomach and this can be positively harmful. Normal stomach acid (hydrochloric acid or HCl) is stronger than battery acid. It has this strength for a reason. Neutralizing the normal stomach acid, makes it impossible for our bodies to absorb vitamins and minerals or digest our food efficiently.
Reducing the stomach acid also compromises your defences against stomach infections and food poisoning. Pathogens can get hold if not destroyed by the acidity. Some bacteria such as Candida albicans and more seriously, H. pylori (Helicobactor pylori) can migrate from the intestines where they normally live without causing problems. The reduced acidity will allow them to flourish within the stomach. H. pylori has been proven to actually cause ulcers and if not eradicated can progress to induce stomach cancer.
These drugs, while giving temporary relief to sufferers, by slamming on the brakes of the acid-producing pumps, play havoc with these essential producers of acid. When you stop taking the drug, acid is produced with a vengeance causing “rebound acid hypersecretion”. This rebound or withdrawal symptom is so intolerable that most patients go straight back onto taking the PPI again. In other words they become reliant on the drug. Never go ‘cold turkey’ with these drugs. You have to withdraw from them very slowly to have any chance of getting off them for good.
I would like to give a warning to those of you that take the antacid known as ‘Tums’. Antacids such as Tums actually advertise that they aid against osteoporosis. This is despite antacids exacerbating osteoporosis and other calcifying type diseases. Antacids that have a large quantity of Ca in them (mostly Calcium Carbonate CaCO3 which is in fact just chalk) will only make matters worse. They will overload the system with Ca, subsequently this overload will not be controlled properly. The excess Ca will migrate around the body, calcifying in places where it shouldn’t be.
As I am always advocating, your Mg:Ca ratio should be as near to 1:1 as possible. Despite advertising that they are ‘osteoporosis friendly’ these antacids are positively harmful. The label information states “Each tablet contains: elemental calcium 200mg.” and on the same label: “Do not take more than 15 tablets in 24 hours.” So, if you take the maximum dose of 15 tablets in a day, you will be consuming 3000mg of Ca. This is a stupid amount of Ca to take which will exacerbate any calcification problems that you have and if you haven’t got them yet, you soon will!
Another worry is the advertisement image which shows what looks like a bag of sweets. “Soft & Delicious” they advertise, “Chewy Delights”, and “Very Cherry”. I can imagine many youngsters thinking these are sweets and most adults summizing that 15 tablets a day means they can’t be harmful. Wrong. This overdose of Ca is very harmful and I would suggest that you use real caution if you wish to consume these “Soft Delicious Chewy Delights”. Beware!
So, if you have too little acid in your stomach, why are you being prescribed a drug which actually turns off or reduces the production of acid? What makes you think that from now on, your body can do without producing the correct concentration of acid to digest your food. Why do we think that it will be healthy to stop the nutrients, vitimins and minerals from what we consume, being absorbed by way of our stomach acid. How is it we’re stupid enough to think that we can be protected from toxins and bacterial overgrowth such as H. pylori and Candida albicans without the acidity necessary within our stomach to do these functions?
Ironic isn’t it!
So here we have it. You go to the doctor because of heartburn and other digestive symptoms. You are diagnosed with having too much acid in your stomach. You’re put on a drug which reduces the ‘too much acid’. The PPI drug stops the production of stomach acid. You think you’re cured and come off the drug. Then ‘rebound acid hypersecretion’ or the build-up of acid that has not been released, is then unleashed with a vengeance. What an irony. You have too little acid and are diagnosed with too much acid, then the drug you take gives you too much acid which you didn’t have in the first place!
First Do No Harm
Why does this happen? Because we have faith in those put into a position of trust such as medical professionals and supposedly moral drug manufacturers who we, the public, trust will ‘first do no harm‘. We trust our doctors to know exactly what they are prescribing and that what they do prescribe is in our best interests and will not make our condition worse, and/or make us reliant on that drug, a drug such as Nexium. Those of you who are taking Nexium and are trying to come off it, will know exactly what I mean.
We are just ‘sheeples’
I’m afraid we are just a load of ‘sheeples’ being led by the nose into a cocophany of illnesses and diseases which are being caused by prescription and over the counter, drugs. But it is unforgivable to convince the general population with heartburn or GERD or other digestive problems, that we have ‘too much acid’, when the majority of us have the exact opposite. Of course, we could all be in that group of 1 out of 100 that actually do produce too much acid but I don’t think so. IMHO most of us who suffer ‘acid indigestion’ have brought it on ourselves and we need to take control of our own health and take preventative measures to stop these conditions before they start.
How about a change of lifestyle and a daily dose of Mg Chloride (MgCl2). The clue here is in the ‘chloride’ ie. hydrochloric acid which those with low acid will be deficient in (as well as Mg)!
Any comments or experiences regarding the subject of antacids or PPIs would be welcome. Give us your views and tell us if you have suffered with this complaint and how/if you are now cured. Good health to you always, Ches