Acid and Digestive Disorders: Breaking the Vicious Circle
The primary symptom of acid reflux is obvious to those who have it. During the digestive process, acid flows up into the throat and causes a burning sensation. This is caused by a breakdown in the valve that separates the stomach from the esophagus. It's an indication that the acid-alkaline balance in the digestive tract has been disrupted. Unless that balance is restored, any attempt to treat or correct the acid reflux problem will provide nothing more than short-term relief.
The accumulation of acid in the digestive tract is often the result of eating the wrong types of food. Acid is not caused only by excessive consumption of junk food. Anything processed or overloaded with additives can upset the acid-alkaline balance in the digestive system. Even foods that you think are healthy can be highly acidic.
In a digestive tract that's already out of balance, something as simple as cooking your food can lead to further problems. Cooking destroys natural enzymes in the food that assist with digestion. When your digestive system is unable to produce the necessary enzymes for digestion, the loss of natural enzymes makes the problem worse.
Lifestyle also contributes to digestive disorders. Stress intensifies hyperacidity. Blood is diverted away from the stomach to the heart, lungs and muscles for the "fight or flight" response. The stomach is deprived of necessary oxygen and nutrients and cannot form sufficient enzymes for proper digestion.
Acid reflux irritates and swells the mucous lining in the throat, esophagus and stomach, which disrupts the digestive process. The irritation can form ulcers. The acid-alkaline balance of the digestive tract is also upset, leading to further accumulation of acid.
The intestines are affected even more severely. Unlike digestion in the stomach, the intestinal digestive process is meant to be alkaline, not acidic. Therefore, the intestinal walls do not have a thick mucous lining that protects from acid as the stomach does. The intestinal walls are meant to facilitate the absorption of nutrients into the bloodstream.
When acid inflames the intestinal walls, it disrupts the acid/alkaline balance of the digestive tract. It kills off the friendly bacteria that aid in digestion - friendly bacteria that are no longer present in much of our food supply. The intestinal inflammation also slows down peristalsis, the contraction of the colon that pushes food along the intestinal tract. Undigested food particles putrefy and lead to greater accumulation of acid.
The liver and gallbladder are also affected. When the liver becomes overloaded with acidic waste that it can't eliminate, it crystallizes bile and acid waste into gallstones. The gallbladder has difficulty releasing bile, which inhibits proper digestion and further slows peristalsis. Acid levels continue to rise, the liver becomes damaged, and all other body organs become vulnerable to deterioration. Degenerative disease sets in.
THE BENEFITS OF A BALANCED pH
The best way to restore pH balance to your digestive tract is to eliminate foods that cause acid reflux. This also means identifying and eliminating foods that cause an allergic response.
Supplements that replace the friendly bacteria and the digestive enzymes destroyed by acid can also help.