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Acid reflux is pretty common, but sometimes it's something more. If you experience acid reflux multiple times a week—you may have GERD.
Both of these conditions can be annoying and really painful. Finding relief can be a challenge. Sometimes you think you've found something that helps, but it never seems to last—it's always a temporary fix. If you can't seem to find relief, I may know the reason. But, get this—it's the opposite of what you've probably heard.
The best part is though, unlike many things, the answer to these two issues is really quite simple. So, let's get started so you can start getting some real relief.
In this article:
What is GERD?
GERD is short for Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease. You have probably experienced reflux or heartburn from time to time, maybe from something you ate or drank. GERD is very similar.
GERD occurs when your stomach acid flows up into your esophagus. This acid backwash or acid regurgitation is acid reflux, and it can cause irritation to the lining of the esophagus.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease is a mild reflux that occurs twice a week—minimum. If your reflux is moderate to severe, it only has to happen once a week to fall under Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease.
There is a valve at the bottom of your esophagus, which is a circular band of muscle called the lower esophageal sphincter. The lower esophageal sphincter opens when you swallow, allowing food and liquid to go down into the stomach. Then, the sphincter or valve closes again.
What reflux and GERD both boil down to is a problem with this valve.
GERD Symptoms and Acid Reflux
- Problems absorbing minerals
- Aversion to meat (especially red meat)
Why do You Really have GERD?
If you haven't been able to find relief for your acid reflux or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, you probably haven't heard what I'm about to tell you.
The reason many people have these problems is that the Ph in their stomach goes too alkaline. That's right.
Your stomach needs to be extremely acid. The Ph levels in your stomach should actually be one to three. As your Ph rises, it becomes more alkaline, until it reaches seven, which is a neutral point. After seven it continues to become more alkaline.
Essentially, when your Ph goes higher, it becomes more alkaline. When it goes lower, it becomes more acidic.
When your Ph is between one and three, it's in the sweet spot. Everything runs smoothly, and you can digest. That's because the valve can open and close like it should—keeping the stomach acid contained.
But, something that's common as you get older, especially once you get to your 40's on up, is you start losing your stomach acids. That's why; if you're in this age group, you may notice that yourself and a lot of your friends may have problems with reflux or GERD. It's not a coincidence. It's your stomach Ph.
Now, with less stomach acid, your Ph will start to rise and become more alkaline. So what happens is your valve can't close properly anymore, and acid regurgitation occurs.
You need the acid in your stomach to be very acidic to absorb minerals and digest protein. If you eat without a good strong acidic stomach, you will start experiencing reflux and GERD symptoms.
Microbes and your Stomach Acid
Another point I want to mention before we move on is on microbes. H. pylori is a microbe or type of bacteria that actually invades your digestive system when your Ph becomes too alkaline.
Many people already have this type of bacteria in their body, but it's inactive. When you're Ph goes higher and more alkaline, guess what—H. pylori become activated. You can help protect yourself from bacteria like H. pylori by making sure your stomach stays more acidic.
One of the purposes of even having a strong acid in your stomach is to kill off these microbes that you swallow from your food.
A Simple Fix for Relief
When people start feeling reflux, what do they usually do? Well, they may try proton pump inhibitors or H2 blockers. But, while proton pump inhibitors and H2 blockers are popular, the person is most likely going to pop an antacid like Tums.
The problem is, antacids may help you feel better, but only temporarily. The next time you eat, the real problems with your stomach Ph and the valve are just going to get worse.
To top it off, if you look at the side effects of medications for Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, you'll notice some of those side effects are heartburn, ulcers, or calcium soft tissue.
Some people will also say you don't need to take these medications you just need to make some lifestyle changes. But, while lifestyle changes may be great and helpful, they aren't going to cut it.
If you want real relief for reflux or GERD, here is a simple fix you need to take advantage of.
Betaine Hydrochloride and/or Apple Cider Vinegar
First off, try taking betaine hydrochloride. This is a completely natural alternative. It's just the acidic form of betaine which is a vitamin-like substance found in grains and other foods.
You should also try apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar has various incredible benefits, and it helps decrease reflux.
How to take:
Take 3-4 betaine hydrochloride supplements before a meal.
You can take your apple cider vinegar at the same time you take your betaine hydrochloride, or you can take it on its own. If you don't want to drink straight apple cider vinegar, there are actually apple cider vinegar pills you can take. Just take them right before you eat.
Why Does This Help?
Once you start taking betaine hydrochloride and/or apple cider vinegar, you should start noticing a difference in the way you feel.
This is because you're creating more acid in the stomach and the valve at the bottom of the esophagus can now close properly. Ultimately, this keeps the acid from flowing back up—supporting healthy digestion.
Start doing this today. It's that simple.