If you suffer from heartburn, indigestion, reflux, or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), then you may find relief. Why Stomach Acid Is Good For You by Jonathan V. Wright and Lane Lenard, Ph.D., is quite revealing and could help you understand the real culprit for your pain.
Drs. Wright and Lenard begin the book by telling the story of a patient who had gray hair. Literally, she had no pinkish hue to her body. He was 61 at the time and very fatigued. At forty he began taking Tums or Rolaids for indigestion and then, years later, he found relief by taking a prescription antacid, Tagamet. By the time he got to the doctor’s office, he had been taking Tagamet daily for almost 7 years.
Doctors continue to explain the myth of acid indigestion. Many people self-diagnose their discomfort and are similar to “Mr. Gray” and find relief by taking over-the-counter antacids like Tums or Rolaids. Often they graduate with a prescription drug like Prilosec, Prevacid, Tagamet, Zantac, Pepcid, or Axid. These methods reduce the amount of acid in the stomach. This seems like a good protocol and it makes sense, right? It was interesting to learn that complaints about heartburn increase with age and, at the same time, stomach acid levels decrease. But doesn’t heartburn come from too much stomach acid? That’s what the doctors and the commercials say.
Doctors share that most of the time the real culprit is low stomach acid levels and improper timing of stomach acid secretion. Antacids temporarily relieve symptoms, but long-term use can cause dependency and a host of other medical problems. They said the antacids “dry up the river, but they don’t repair the dam.” Often when people stop taking antacids, their problems return with a vengeance.
This book teaches how the gastrointestinal tract works and gives people the tools to treat the problem. One of the steps in treating the problem is getting a proper diagnosis, eliminating food allergies / sensitivities and toxins, and taking the right supplements. Proper diagnosis is essential. I was surprised to learn that when most people go to the doctor complaining of heartburn, indigestion, reflux, or GERD, many doctors easily prescribe an antacid instead of running a test to see if their stomach acid levels are really high. I ran my own little test of this theory and asked several people who regularly take over-the-counter or prescription antacids if their doctors tested their stomach acid levels. His answers fully supported the claims of the doctors … none of them had been tested. I was speechless.
Low stomach acids cause poor absorption of nutrients and overgrowth of bacteria and can lead to other problems. The book covers other diseases and problems that can occur from poor absorption of nutrients such as: leg cramps, rheumatoid arthritis, childhood asthma, type 1 diabetes, osteoporosis, chronic fatigue, depression, cancer, and graying of the skin.
Does this news seem overwhelming and depressing? Well, cheer up. Drs. give step-by-step instructions on the proper dosage of supplements that will help your stomach acid reach normal levels. These include the removal of elements that inhibit the enzymes that produce stomach acid, fluoride, and chlorine. They also talk about foods and substances to avoid, such as nicotine, caffeine, sugar, alcohol, and milk. Some of the supplements they look at are HCL and Pepsin. This book is a worthy read. There is hope for a cure for the pain and discomfort you experience from heartburn, reflux, indigestion, or GERD.