Stomach – The Acidic Pit of Goodness

Welcome to a long and glorious weekend!  It is gearing up to be a cracker of a weekend weather wise and no doubt some of you will know someone (or experience this personally) the burning or squeezing of a surly stomach. No matter how much you tell yourself you can consume something a little exotic or alcoholic, if you have a grumpy tum, it isn't going to be pretty until it passes.

Your stomach is the pouch like organ situated just underneath your oesophagus that receives food soon after you (are meant to) chew and swallow.  With a  pH of 1, the stomach is well equipped in usual situations to bust open all kinds of food particles and consequently send chemical messages to your small intestine to then produce enzymes for further digestive break down.

Essentially, your stomach is meant to be extremely acidic to do this.  This acidity helps to promote a natural antibiotic effect for the rest of the digestive system, keeping in check all kinds of nasty's, including parasites.  When the uncomfortable signs of reflux or indigestion/heartburn occur, it is understandable to want to dampen this acid down, given the painful symptoms this brings.  However, it is rarely the hydrochloric acid in the stomach that is the problem to start with.

Research has shown that the use of antacids in these conditions can actually further compromise the digestive system if used for long term periods.  These medications are often prescribed for years without a review, however they were only ever designed to be used for no longer that 12 weeks or so.  Antacids use long term may increase the risk of osteoporosis due to calcium absorption issues.  One reason for this is that calcium needs an acidic stomach to start the metabolism of this important mineral.  This is also true for iron and protein.

If you have a stomach burning problem, your best bet is to address the possible causes :

Eating too fast

Eating too much

Eating a meal that is complex and rich

Eating a high bready meal

Stress responses

High caffeine intake

Hiatus hernia

Parasites

There are few rules to stomach care when it comes to turning the burn around.

1.  If it burns, soothe first, heal second, power up third

2.  If it doesn't burn, heal first, power up second, address bacterial overgrowth third

3.  When the stomach is digesting well, the rest of the digestive system follows suit.

There a number of natural solutions to compliment these 3 rules, including improving the capability of emptying the stomach has.  If your stomach is slow to empty, the feeling of being full for longer after the meal than is healthy is common. What is happening however, is that the longer the food stays behind in the stomach, the more chances there are of bacterial imbalances further down.

Remember - your stomach is the gateway to all things good, including producing the most corrosive and destructive of wonderful acid you can ever imagine!

 

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