Monday, June 13, 2011

ABCs of Better Health – Acid Reflux

I will be writing a series of articles on various health challenges that can be addressed naturally. Emilio and I are talking about the different systems of the body on Blogtalk Radio on Mondays at 2pm. This week we discussed the digestive system, and how it affects our overall health, as well as ways to ensure that your digestive system is functioning optimally. This week's blog will briefly address acid reflux and the simplest way to overcome it naturally. Millions of Americans suffer from Acid Reflux and most of them turn to acid reducing drugs for help. Unfortunately they don't realize that masking the symptoms creates even worse problems.

Acid reflux is rooted in the deficiency of enzymes in our current food supply. Enzymes are necessary for proper food digestion, just as stomach acids are required. When enzymes aren't present, our bodies try to compensate by increasing acid production. The result: too much acid, and incredible discomfort. Following the typical allopathic method of treating the symptom without addressing the problem will indeed make one feel better, but in the long run it can also result in much worse problems such as ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, leaky gut, and even colon cancer. It is not uncommon for the 'end result' of continued medical treatment to be removal of portions of the colon!

A more common sense approach would be to determine WHY the stomach is producing too much acid. Almost always, adding good quality enzymes and improving the diet will alleviate the problem. It is also prudent to use some form of a colon cleanse to rid the body of all the undigested foods that clog up the intestines and lead to other illnesses. Much of what we consume today is toxic in some way. Very few of us eat a totally raw, organic diet...and unless we do, it is important to be proactive in supporting our digestive health.

Whether we suffer from acid reflux or not, it is prudent to do a cleanse at least yearly. There are several good enzyme products on the market, and a plethora of colon cleanses (some more detrimental than beneficial.) Care should be taken that you get a good quality product, else you won't get good results. It is not a good idea to use colon cleanse type products long term, nor should they be used as a method for weight loss. They WILL greatly enhance a weight loss program, but if they are being used AS a weight loss program, they are too harsh. One of my favorites is the "Master Cleanse" – mainly because it involves using simple ingredients you can find at the grocery store, and it isn't harsh. Even things that are healthy for us, if used improperly can be harmful. Don't confuse "detox" or "digestive support" types of products with "colon cleanse". The Miracle Tea is designed to support the digestive system and detox organs (such as the liver and kidneys) and is gentle enough to be used through the duration of the weight management program. It is also a good addition to include once or twice a week regardless of whether you are trying to lose weight or not. Enzymes and probiotics can be use daily as they are simply rebuilding the digestive environment we have destroyed with poor eating habits and excessive use of antibiotics. Many people find that when they use the Smart Mix they no longer need to supplement with enzymes. Since it is never heated during processing and hasn't been denatured in any way, it is still enzymatically alive.

Including raw foods in the diet on a daily basis will also go a long way towards restoring proper digestion. Be sure to eat seasonal fruits and vegetables, and include a wide variety. Your best bet is to buy them from a local grower if you aren't able to grow your own. Next best would be to purchase from the local Farmer's Market, but buying them at the grocery store is better than getting a fruit cup with your Big Mac. Not to downplay the benefit of trading fruit for fries, but your commitment to change needs to be bigger than that! Make it your goal to eat something raw with each meal for a week, and see if you can turn that into a habit. Your colon will thank you!

My goal in writing the ABC's of Better Health is to help people seek out natural solutions before turning to drugs for answers. There are cases which are more difficult to 'solve' but I am convinced that natural answers can be found, and it is very rare that drugs are necessary...especially on a long term basis.

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