Mason County News
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Natural Health from A to Z
Wednesday, February 6, 2013 • Posted February 6, 2013

Indigestion - From gas and bloating to acid reflux - if you have it, you want to get rid of it. But don’t fall for something that just gets rid of the symptoms, look to address the underlying cause.

Most indigestion is the result of insufficient enzymes and/or insufficient stomach acid. The most common remedy is some sort of acid blocker that makes proper digestion impossible. Antacids and acid blockers perpetuate the problems of indigestion. They neutralize or block stomach acid, preventing the stomach from digesting food. A vicious cycle is then set up since more acid is needed to digest the food; so, more acid is then produced in the stomach, then more antacid is needed, then the stomach produces more acid, etc.

Good digestion is important. If you are wanting to be healthier, commit to fixing your digestion so that you do not need acid blockers. Many of the symptoms of indigestion will disappear when digestive enzymes are supplemented – especially those with betaine HCL, a mild form of hydrochloric acid (similar to what your stomach naturally produces.)

If enzymes keep you from getting indigestion, then your indigestion was an enzyme deficiency. Levels of enzymes available to digest food decline with age. Supplementing with trace minerals can help increase enzyme levels, but supplementing with enzymes is necessary if you are eating cooked and processed food. Raw food contains lots of enzymes. Cooking and processing food destroys enzymes.

Most acid indigestion is actually caused by not enough stomach acid. Again, this can be a problem of age. Supplementing with enzymes containing betaine HCL will be helpful as will raw apple cider vinegar.

Food sensitivities will also bring on indigestion. The two big offenders are dairy and white flour. Blood types also influence this - types A and AB do not produce as much stomach acid as the other types and will need to supplement with betaine HCL when eating meat. Look at your blood type diet to see if you are eating foods you should avoid.

Other indigestion can be caused by a damaged stomach lining. Inflammation of the stomach lining is generally caused and/or aggravated by poor eating habits such as eating the wrong types of food, eating too fast, drinking too much liquid with meals, eating when upset or anxious, and/or eating too much. Chronic inflammation of the stomach lining can lead to h. Pylori and even ulcers.

You can repair the stomach lining by taking supplements like aloe vera, slippery elm, and deglycerrhized licorice. It may also be helpful to take something to eliminate bacteria or parasites that are compromising the stomach lining. There are many good supplements on the market. I recommend one called Gastro Health.

Remember that your health is directly tied to what you eat and how you digest it. Don’t assume that whatever you put into your mouth is going to be digested and nourish you if your digestive system is not working well. You are what you eat, assimilate and do not eliminate.

Margaret Durst owns The Green House, a vitamin, herb and health food store in Mason, Texas. www.naturalcowgirl.wordpress.com

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