Acid indigestion

Acid indigestion

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  1. Acid Indigestion     

              Acid indigestion is an issue that plagues people all over the world. It is likely that we all know or have met someone who is or has been, inflicted with this problem. Although there are medications that can help the symptoms, sometimes these medications may do more harm than good. For starters, acid reducers may reduce the acid at that moment, but it can trigger the body to produce even more acid later. This effect can possibly increase the dependency of taking that medication. Secondly, medication can also inhibit the absorption or deplete us of valuable vitamins and minerals that our bodies needs to sustain optimal health. In knowing this, the prevention of acid indigestion seems the way to go.

                Acid indigestion has many symptoms including flatulence, nausea, and constipation, burning in the stomach and the throat, fullness, bloating, acidic taste in the mouth, chest pain, heartburn and frequent belching. Gastro-Esophageal Reflux disease or GERD as well as, Dyspepsia are other common names given to people with acid indigestion. Acid indigestion can cause serious health risks and complications if not dealt with correctly. Chronic acid indigestion can damage the cells in the esophagus by contributing to the formation of scar tissue. Scar tissue buildup can create a chocking hazard due to the narrowing of the esophagus. Acid indigestion can also contribute to an open sore in the esophagus called an ulcer. The ulcer can become very painful and possibly bleed, making swallowing increasingly difficult. If reflux is left alone over a long period, it may cause esophageal cancer due to the constant irritation to this area.

                We can contribute many factors into the causes of acid indigestion. Mainly diet and lifestyle are our biggest culprits. Today many people live in an unhealthy manor allowing stress to inhibit them. In today’s hustle and bustle society, stress contributes to acid indigestion just as much as certain “de-stressors” might. Overworked, highly stressed people may not take into consideration simple things like how well they chew their food, if they are eating to fast or chewing with their mouth open and swallowing air. Perhaps they are not combining their food properly or maybe they are simply over eating. Sometimes people will try to relax and with this, they might drink alcohol or smoke.  People have also become less active and they may be consuming more caffeinated products than they should be. Chocolate is a favorite for some and carbonated beverages for others. People suffering from acid indigestion should avoid all of these factors to aid in the prevention of this problem.

                Sometimes people with reflux do not even realize the tiniest things that could help them feel better. For instance, wearing clothes that are not constricting in the stomach area can help. Chewing gum after you eat can help with the stomach acids. Paying attention to the foods that are irritating and listening to your body’s signs that those foods should be avoided. Lastly, short walks after meals may help to boost the body’s own metabolism and aid in the digestion of the meal.

                Knowing how and what to eat is a very important factor in aiding in the prevention of acid indigestion. There is a simple guideline to help in changing the diet so that acid indigestion can be eliminated.

    Primary Foods

    Secondary Foods

    Tertiary Foods

    Quaternary

    20%-30%

    30%-40%

    5%-10%

    2%

    Whole grains & Protein rich foods.

    Fresh local seasonal Vegetables lightly cooked.

    Dairy, eggs & fresh local seasonal fruit, meat.

    Fats & Oils

    High in fiber.

    Contains essential vitamins & minerals. Stimulates elimination process.

    Stimulates & maintains metabolism. Cell & tissue repair.

    Aids in absorption of vitamins A, D, E & K. Helps to burn stores fat.

    Include: Small amount of animal protein, Larger amount of tofu, tempeh, and Small amount of beans.

    Includes: hiziki, dulse, kelp, wakame, arame & Irish moss.

    Eliminate or consume in very small amounts.

    Including: Olive, sesame & Ghee

              It is also important to know the roles of each aspect of this chart and how changing your dietary intake will affect your health and your need to eliminate acid indigestion.

    The role of vitamins:

    • Growth
    • Digestion
    • Vitality
    • Elimination
    • Immunity

    The role of proteins:

    • Repairs cells & tissues
    • Aids in strong immune system

    The role of fats:

    • Helps burn stored fats.
    • Helps vitamin A, D, E & K absorption.

    The role of kitchen spices and herbs:

    • Medicinal properties
    • Digestive stimulants
    • Aid in problems such as nervousness, coldness, muscle spasms, headache, heart problems, diarrhea and bleeding problems.

    Examples of digestive herbs and spices:       

    • Aniseed
    • Cinnamon
    • Cardamom seeds
    • Caraway
    • Bay leaves
    • Rosemary
    • Basil
    • Chamomile
    • Ginger
    • Cloves
    • Spearmint
    • Thyme
    • Angelica root
    • Dandelion root
    • Valerian root
    • Gentian

    Application of digestive herbs and spices:

    Medicinal Teas:

          Decoction- Taken before a meal.                   

    • Simmer 1 hr. (1oz. Grated ginger to 1 pt. Water.)
    • Simmer 1 hr. (1oz. Gentian or dandelion root to 1 pt. water.)
    • Grate 1 oz. Fresh ginger and add to 7 peppercorns, 1 cinnamon stick, 5 cloves & 15 cardamom seeds. Simmer 10 min. in 1 pt. of water, and then add ½ cup of milk, a sprinkle of nutmeg & a few drops of vanilla. Simmer 10 more min. (drink 1 cup twice per day) Sweeten with honey to taste if desired.
    • Slippery elm powderworks wonders for acid reflux when drank as a tea. It helps heal damage to the intestinal walls by coating the intestines with a slippery protective surface that prevents the bad bacteria from sticking.  It is a very safe and nutritious product that can be used with babies and debilitated patients.  The correct intestinal dosage if using capsules is two capsules, 3-4 times a day.

    Infusion- Taken after a meal.

    • Bring 1 cup water to a rolling boil and steep lemon balm, fennel, mint, aniseed, dill or chamomile in a tightly covered container for 10 to 20 min.

    Internal extract:

    • In a sealed jar add- 1 Pt. white wine to 1 part dandelion root, calamus root, gentian, angelica, valerian & ½ part ginger root equaling 2 oz. Of herbs all together. Extract for two weeks, shaking daily and strain into a glass jar. (Take 1 tsp. Before and after meals).

    Syrup:

    • Cinnamon & honey

    Lastly, in order to help your body to eliminate the problem of acid indigestion you should know what order you can eat different foods at meals. You should always eat the easiest to digest first.

    1. Water and fruit juice
    2. Soups (except cream based)
    3. Non starch green leafy vegetables
    4. Starchy vegetables and starch
    5. Proteins

    You should also know how to properly combine foods within you meals so that digestion can work properly.

    1. Acids and Starches should be eaten at different meals
    2. Proteins and carbohydrates should be eaten at separate meals
    3. Include only one kind of protein per meal
    4. Proteins and acid foods should be eaten at separate meals
    5. Fats and proteins at separate meals
    6. Sugars and proteins at separate meals
    7. Sugar and starch at separate meals
    8. Eat meat alone
    9. Omit desert unless it is eaten as a meal.
    10. Do not combine fruits and vegetables
    11. Drink liquids 30 min. before meals or 1-2 hrs. after meals.

               Acid Indigestion is a tricky problem that affects to many people. With these guidelines and a bit of determination we may be able to rid people of the uncomfortable ailment. The battle against acid indigestion is an ongoing one and it will take a life change and commitment to overcome. Nature is willing to help give us a fighting chance to allow our bodies to heal itself. 

     The Holistic Answer

     

    -Citations-

     

    Tierra, M. (1998). The way of Herbs. New York, NY: Pocket Books.

     

     

    Ryman, D (1993). Aromatherapy the complete guide to Plant and Flower
     essences for health and beauty
    . New York, NY: Bantam Books.

     

    Balch, J. F., & Balch, P. A. (1997). Prescription for nutritional
         healing
    (2nd ed.,). Garden City Park, NY: Avery Publishing
         Group.

     

    Page, L.  (2003). Linda Page’s healthy healing (11th ed.,). USA:
         Traditional Wisdom, Inc.

     

    Shelton, H. M. (1982). Food combining made easy. San Antonio, Tex: Willow Pub.

     

    Time-Life Books. (1996). The medical advisor: the complete guide to alternative & conventional treatments. Alexandria, Va: Time-Life Books.

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