The Big 4! Heartburn, Reflux, Constipation and Diarrhea, by: Lexi Sandifer, NTP
In my practice these are the top four complaints that I see. Clients come to me after trying several different medications or the “watch and wait” method. Unfortunately these symptoms usually don’t go away on their own and there is ALWAYS and underlying cause.
When I work with my clients my goal is to find the true cause as to why the body is symptomatic. When we take medications it masks the true cause of the symptom(s). Once you stop taking the medication the symptom(s) will still be there and usually a few other symptoms have joined the main symptom(s).
Many medications that are used to treat the Big 4 are actually clinically tested for 6 weeks. Once you have been on the medication for 6 weeks you should be reporting back to your doctor to receive dietary changes and a change in medication. Acid blockers like, Omeprezole/Prevacid, fall into this category. Long term use of these medications, cause brittle bone disease because they block the absorption of calcium and other vital vitamins and minerals that rely on the acid from the stomach to be properly absorbed by the body. Yes, the body needs acid for absorption of your B Vitamins, minerals, and processing of proteins to convert them to amino acids. The stomach acid is also needed to decrease histamine in the body which is why people with allergies usually have low stomach acid.
Your stomach acid is a pH of 1.5-2.0. To give you an idea of how hot this is, water is a pH of 7.0 (alkaline) and acid is a 0.0 on the pH scale. If you do take acid blockers the food in your stomach is a pH of 5.5 or higher. This higher pH does not allow your food to be broken down properly and it causes stomach distention and pain. The distention causes food to get pushed back up into the esophagus which causes reflux. It is very important to have the correct pH in your stomach and sufficient gastric acids to properly breakdown your food.
Stomach acid is also needed to treat constipation and diarrhea. Digestion starts in the brain, then moves to the mouth and finally moves to the stomach before finishing in the small intestine and colon. If you don’t have enough stomach acid, you will not properly breakdown your proteins. Undigested proteins putrefy in the gut. These undigested proteins move into the small intestine where the fats and carbohydrates get broken down. The gallbladder and pancreas wait for the digested food to pass into the first part of the small intestine (duodenum). This is where bile is released from the gallbladder to digest fats and enzymes, cholecystokinin, and bicarbonate are released to properly breakdown your carbohydrates. If your pH is too high the gallbladder and pancreas do not release the proper amounts of bile, enzymes and bicarbonate further breakdown the food that you have eaten. This causes gas that stinks to the high heavens, bloating, and pain. The undigested food is kind of like a sludgy, lumpy putrid instead of a thick liquid.
Your small intestine and colon need the food to be a liquid by the time it gets there. If your food is not properly broken down you will have the following fecal issues; undigested food in your stool , your poop will stink, you have unformed poop, you have quick transit time when you eat (diarrhea) , your poop is pellet hard, hard to pass, it is not brown, or it floats. These are all signs that your digestive system is not working properly.
A poor functioning digestive system leads to all kinds of symptoms and diseases like allergies, acne, gallstones, gallbladder removal, anxiety, depression, chronic illness, anemia, bad breath, yeast infections, hormone imbalances, parasite infections, dermatitis, ulcers, brittle bones, headaches, IBS, Crohn’s, diverticulitis, arthritis, fibromyalgia, and much more.
When clients come to see me I take a full history. This means that a half an hour of our time is spent discussing your health from birth to your current age looking at your health history. I need to hear your full story. The reason is that many times digestive issues actually started long before the acute symptoms came on. Did you have a head injury? If yes, the chances of digestive issues are high. Did you have chronic skin or ear problems as a child? If yes, then a food sensitivity is most likely the cause of your digestive issues as an adult. We have to have the facts before we can move you to healing and health. We are not a one size fits all society. Every body’s body is different. I tailor design my client’s nutritional protocols based on their history and their bioindividuality. I utilize a very precise and scientific analysis of the body’s reflexes to help determine the exact nutrients you need to supplement your diet in order to bring about balance and better health.
In our clinic, my husband and I use designed clinical nutrition to discover and correct the cause of health problems so the body can regain the ability to correct itself. Years of clinical experience in thousands of cases have shown us that if the priority is not handled, healing of all health issues is slowed or prevented. Please know that we are considering ALL of your health complaints as we design your program, and that our goal is to help you feel better overall. But we must also work with the natural laws of healing to achieve the ultimate goal: optimal health for your whole life.
Your digestion is vital to your health. It’s vital to get to the cause of your health symptoms. Once we uncover the cause, true healing can start. You don’t have to suffer anymore. There is help! I would be honored to work with you to help you reach your optimum health goals.
Alexia Sandifer, NTP