Saturday, May 08, 2021

ADVERTISING: Advertorial — Reducing stomach acids

| March 17, 2021 1:00 AM

Billions of dollars are spent annually on drugs to reduce stomach acid. Heartburn and reflux affect between 15.1-30% of the population according to Healthline and CDC statistics. That’s a lot of sufferers! The cost in medical care and prescriptions is in the billions!

Many people turn to drugs to calm the burning and reduce the symptoms of reflux, or frequently referred to as “mini vomits” up the esophagus. This can get serious as it may develop into inflammation and swelling of the esophagus, putting one at risk of Barrett’s Esophagus. Barrett’s Esophagus can eventually lead to cancer. Even though, according to the Mayo Clinic, it is rare, it isn’t healthy and needs to be addressed. Hence, medications for many.

Acid reducing medications referred to as H2 Blockers (famotidine/Pepcid and ranitidine/Zantac) are safer than the other kind, PPI’s (proton pump inhibitors). This includes lansoprazole/Prevacid, omeprazole/Prilosec and esomeprazole/Nexium. A Harvard Health report states that people are using way too many of the PPI’s, when their heartburn or reflux only warrant the safer H2 blockers. They encouraged people to reserve PPI’s for only when their condition is severe.

However, they’re all being overused and over-prescribed. They are especially being taken for too long. PPI’s were designed to be used only for two weeks, to reduce your stomach acid long enough for an ulcer to heal. They weren’t intended, and were always cautioned, to not be prescribed, or taken, for long periods of time, yet physicians keep people on them for years on end. But why can’t you take them long term?

Your stomach needs acid. Acid enzymes are critical for breaking down your food into small enough substances to be able to absorb it. You need nutrients into your tissues each and every day, and if you are taking something to inhibit the breakdown, you are actually causing yourself to be malnourished. Over time, this can cascade into a number of diseases that you have no idea are related to the fact that you are inhibiting nutrient absorption.

You also need HCl (hydrochloric acid — your main acidic stomach enzyme) to kill pathogens like bacteria, yeasts, molds, viruses and parasites, to keep them from wreaking havoc on your body. HCl is intended to make the stomach very acid, but we have an amazing buffering system that keeps it from damaging our stomach lining. So why is damage occurring, and why do you have excess acids to start with?

It is actually an HCl deficiency that results in the body having to break down food by rotting it instead of enzymatically digesting it, releasing organic acids as a byproduct. Those acids are not buffered and they are what burn and damage. Correcting the underlying reason for the HCl deficiency will correct the symptoms and negate the need for medications. There are many reasons why the body doesn’t produce HCl properly. The reasons are discussed in our upcoming webinar, "Beyond Tums: Drug-Free Solutions for Heartburn, Reflux, Indigestion and Upset Stomach," 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 24. Register here: or click on the registration link at

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Holly Carling is a Doctor of Oriental Medicine, Licensed Acupuncturist, Doctor of Naturopathy, Clinical Nutritionist and Master Herbologist with over 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 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.