In Part I of “Is Stomach Acid GOOD for You?” we discussed briefly that Hydrochloric Acid (HCL) is not only good for you, but ESSENTIAL for good health.
HCL is not only needed to digest the nutrients in our foods, but is first in the line of defense if you eat bad food. A dozen people can eat the same foods and only some get sick. Those with the weakest HCL are more likely to get food poisoning than those who have sufficient amounts. HCL is also needed to activate other enzymes, both in the stomach and in the intestines. This, of course, is in addition to the digestion of the nutrients you just consumed.
When you don’t have sufficient HCL in your gut, the food has to get out of your stomach somehow. In the wisdom of the body, there is a way of dealing with that. Fermentation. Rotting. Putrefaction. All words to describe food that has to break down by a secondary means of digestion so your stomach can clear it. The acids released as food breaks down this way does not do the potassium and chloride dance that HCL stimulates (discussed in Part I of “Is Stomach Acid GOOD for You?”), so the raw acids don’t get neutralized, and subsequently play havoc on your poor gut lining.
The most important thing we can do is fix the digestion. Don’t mask it, don’t let it just burn, take action!
First, we have to understand some of the mechanisms that cause the digestive system to go awry. Stress is one. In the stress response, the fight or flight mechanism, anything that isn’t needed to help the person either run from “danger” or fight, gets shut down. We don’t need digestion to battle the enemy or to flee, so it gets down-regulated. There are ways of supporting the body to handle stress better, so this mechanism is much reduced.
The signaling required for the digestive system starts in the mouth. Too few people chew their food to a liquid to activate this mechanism. Also, certain foods and drinks in the diet either handicap the normal potassium-chloride ion exchange in the gut, or neutralize the very acidic enzymes in the wrong way, that are already in short supply.
In an HCL deficiency the food ferments, releasing organic acids that burn, bubbles that press up on the upper sphincter of the stomach and esophagus, and weaken it, resulting in reflux.
Having just scratched the surface of what goes wrong in our digestive system, suffice it to say that there are plenty of ways to mess it up, but also plenty of ways to get your digestive system back and running up to par.
Learn more, sign up for our upcoming health class, Beyond Tums: Drug Free Solutions for Heartburn, Reflux, Indigestion and Upset Stomach, 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 23, at Vital Health in Coeur d’Alene. Fee: $10. RSVP: 208-765-1994 or register here: http://bit.ly/DigestionClassOct2019
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Holly Carling is a Doctor of Oriental Medicine, Licensed Acupuncturist, Doctor of Naturopathy, Clinical Nutritionist and Master Herbologist with nearly four decades of experience. Carling is a “Health Detective.” She looks beyond your symptom picture and investigates WHY you are experiencing your symptoms in the first place. Carling is currently accepting new patients and offers natural health care services and whole food nutritional supplements in her Coeur d’Alene clinic.
Visit Carling’s website at www.vitalhealthcda.com to learn more about Carling, view a list of upcoming health classes and read other informative articles. Carling can be reached at 208-765-1994 and would be happy to answer any questions regarding this topic.