Got indigestion? The top 3 factors contributing to heartburn, and what to do about them.
In 2004, 64.6 million medications were prescribed by doctors for GERD, accounting for over half of all prescriptions for digestive disorders.1 That does not include over-the-counter (OTC) medications, which don’t need a doctor’s prescription. – Craig Fear, The 30-Day Heartburn Solution
Kind of amazing, isn’t it?
What’s even more disturbing is that in most cases, conventional treatments – from Nexium to Tums and everything in between – only exacerbate the problem.
Indigestion, heartburn, acid reflux… they’re so prevalent they’re not even a big deal anymore. It’s just the price to pay when you have that hamburger, right?
There’s absolutely no reason you need to live with indigestion, heartburn, acid reflux, OR their more chronic and severe relation, GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux disease). Sure, knocking back a Tums or two seems fairly innocuous. Maybe your doctor has prescribed a PPI (proton-pump inhibitor) and it seems to be doing the trick. But not only are these treatments just masking symptoms, ultimately they’re making things worse.
Here’s another important thing to know: heartburn is one of the key triggers to a whole series of digestive issues. It’s often at the root of gas, bloating, cramps, dysbiosis, diarrhea, constipation, gallbladder problems, intestinal pain, and even more serious digestive illnesses such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
I’m not trying to get scary on you. I just want to (need to!) be real and upfront. It’s not a small thing.
The clue to resolving heartburn
– as in: live without it for good and without relying on any over-the-counter or prescribed medications to “manage” it – lies at the feet of the three factors that cause it:
1) Age. As we get older, our production of hydrochloric acid (HCl) – the stomach acid we supposedly to have “too much” of and need so desperately to reduce – decreases. Hmmm… that’s an interesting conundrum. If our production of HCl decreases with age while the incidence of heartburn increases with age, could our assumption that heartburn is the result of too much acid be faulty?
2) Diet. It’s no surprise that diet contributes to heartburn and indigestion. But is it because the food we’re eating is too acidic? Not at all. In most cases, it’s because certain foods we’re eating inhibit our body’s natural production of HCl and the environment in our stomach is not acidic enough for digestion to function properly. That’s food for thought.
3) Stress. This is another no-brainer. Of course stress exacerbates heartburn, but once again not because it increases our production of stomach acid. Quite the opposite. When we’re in a stress state – that biomechanical state that drives fight or flight – our digestion is severely compromised. After all, if we are running from a woolly mammoth (which is ultimately what our stress state is designed for) then digesting breakfast is of secondary importance to immediate survival, right?
So what to do about all of this?
Clearly we can’t reverse age ourselves. Not yet at least. So our solution lies in the two other causes: diet and stress.
The short version of this story is:
1) eat real food
2) eat in a parasympathetic (relaxed) state
The longer, more comprehensive version of this story (which I highly recommend, because this stuff is never as obvious as it seems) is found in my colleague Craig Fear’s eBook – The 30-Day Heartburn Solution: A 3-Step Nutrition Program to Stop Acid Reflux Without Drugs. It is both the most comprehensive and the most straightforward resource on the topic I have found to date.
In Craig’s book you’ll learn:
- How the digestive system is supposed to work, and what’s going wrong when you have heartburn
- How and why conventional medical treatments for heartburn are only exacerbating the problem
- Why most “health conscious” diets often exacerbate heartburn and how to eat to address the root cause of the problem. (Handily, this way of eating is delicious, totally sustainable, and supports weight loss as well. Win win win!) I bet you’ll be thrilled to see some of your favorite “forbidden” foods in this meal plan.
- Which real food is a traditional remedy for heartburn
- Exactly what to eat to resolve heartburn for good, including recipes and meal plans. Yes, I said resolve heartburn. Not cover it up, not “avoid trigger foods”, but resolve it once and for all.
It’s basically your one-stop-shop for resolving digestive distress. And that’s no small deal.
If you or someone you know has been been struggling with heartburn or any mysterious digestive issues, then start here. I whole-heartedly recommend The 30-Day Heartburn Solution and following Craig’s plan for a pain-free dinner.
1 National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services. Digestive Diseases Statistics for the United States. N.p., 10 May 2012. Web. 7 March 2013
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