I have this burning desire…

I have this burning desire…

…To talk about heartburn (acid reflux)

So what happens when you have heartburn? why not just reach for an antacid? Let me explain how this works.

PPI’s (proton pump inhibitors) eliminate the stomach acid that we need to digest our food and absorb the nutrients it provides. These are some of the strongest antacids on the market currently.

So why is taking acid blockers a bad thing? We need the stomach acid to absorb Vitamin B12, iron, folate, zinc, magnesium (which most of us are deficient in and don’t even know it) also calcium, Vitamin A, vitamin D, and amino acids.

There are studies out that show chronic use of PPI’s have correlated with vitamin B12 deficiency and an increase of food allergies. Most people do not realize that improper digestion can lead to allergies which is why having a healthy gut is key to overall health)  We know that gluten containing foods and dairy can be very common causes of heartburn, even though the reaction may not be right away it is typically found to be the cause. A general rule of thumb is to go on an elimination diet, removing these from your diet for 6 weeks. Another cause is SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth), an often overlooked condition. In this case most people respond very well to the low FODMAP diet. See the link for more information.  List of FODMAP foodsheartburn-reflux-

So what should you do?

  1. Try eating smaller meals, larger meals cause a mechanical upwards pressure. Try to eat till you are almost full but not quite (80% full) then stop, try this for a few weeks- minimum of 3 weeks but 6 weeks is better if you can then see how you feel. Also try to space out your meals, I like to have 3 meals and 2 snacks throughout the day, try not to become too hungry between meals as this results in overeating.
  2. It is recommended to eat a meal with 15g of protein, this recommendation varies depending on who you speak with, and of course if you are taller you will require slightly more. Also include veggies, I like my plate to be 80% vegetables and of course you want to include some healthy fats in that as well. Avocado, nuts, olives and coconut are all my favourite go to’s for healthy fats.)
  3. Eating more healthy fats tends to crowd out the starchy cravings, same with the sugar cravings. Keep in mind you need 3 hours for the body’s mechanism to kick in to move the food down the intestine. When you allow this you have a much more effective digestion, don’t forget it is important to chew your food, slow down and enjoy it.
  4. Try not to eat on the run, while reading a stressful email, anything that upsets you will upset your digestion. Eating should be a time of peace. Food sits there and doesn’t digest well, to much fat in a meal can also have this effect. Try to put your fork down in between bites, don’t pick it up again until you have finished chewing that bite.

Reasons to get off medication or avoid using them altogether:

Symptoms indicate a deeper imbalance – masking them won’t make you healthy, it will just give you temporary relief. We need to stop the band aid solution and get to the root of the problem.

Medications have side effects, some of which only appear after prolonged use, others show right away and can create another issue requiring yet another drug to counteract it.

You gain a sense of confidence in your body when you can deal with discomfort without the use of drugs. We were made to be in tune with our bodies for a better balance.

Need help figuring your body out? What to eat, when to eat it and how to best utilize your foods nutrients? sign up for a consultation and wellness assessment today.

3 Comments

  1. Great post! I always feel bad for people who are on long-term medication for something like this that can be fixed pretty simply through diet.

  2. Thanks for this good advice!

  3. Thankfully I have never had heartburn. But keeping this one on file just in case:)

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