So I was chatting to a friend the other day and she asked me if it was a problem that her partner takes antacids almost every day and has been doing so since he was a child.
I mean you can buy them at the supermarket so can they really be that harmful?
I spoke to her partner who when I mention it is best to figure out what is causing the reflux and eliminate that food or underlying issue, he responded by saying it is simply genetic, almost all foods give him reflux and the option for him is to take the antacid or simply suffer with the reflux forever. No other options, its genetic, out of his control.
I obviously didn’t push my opinion, I am learning to let go (well starting to) and am realising that everyone is on his or her own journey and must learn for themselves. And that what I believe to be the right way of doing things may not necessarily actually be right for everyone else (I know hard to believe).
So although I left the conversation there, I was feeling quite frustrated as in that brief encounter there were so many points raised that I rage against.
First and foremost the notion that the body is ‘broken’. That there is no reason for the ‘reflux’ or depression or IBS or headaches or PMS or whatever the issue happens to be for you. The notion that it is a physiological problem within the body occurring for no particular reason and there is nothing that can be done besides taking a pill to ‘fix’ what has gone wrong. I so rage against this as it is my strong belief that the body DOES NOT make mistakes. Things don’t simply go wrong for no reason. There is a symptom to alert you to a deeper problem. The body is crying out to you for attention. To hear what it is saying, something is not working for you and needs to change. There is ALWAYS something that can be done; we just need to determine the underlying cause.
Sure it may be genetic, or run in the family but this does not mean you simply need to put up with it and suffer for the rest of your life or medicate yourself. Because let me tell you this, as much as sometimes medications are necessary, they ALL have side effects not matter how ‘safe’ they may be. You are disrupting the body’s natural way of functioning by putting something unnatural into yourself.
When it comes to antacids, there is actually quite a lot of emerging evidence indicating that long-term use can be harmful.
How they work is by neutralising gastric acid, creating a reduction in stomach acid so that it doesn’t result in reflux. So what’s the problem?
The problem is that we need stomach acid for healthy digestive function.
• To break down our food so we can absorb important nutrients
• To avoid fermentation of food resulting in leaky gut, inflammation and the colonisation of pathogens and toxins not just in the digestive system but spreading systemically to your organs
• For a healthy microbiome (the good bacteria that live in the gut)- which are necessary for healthy mood/mental health, immune function, general digestive health, energy levels and daily we are discovering more benefits.
• For a healthy GIT environment to fight off pathogens
• For serotonin production for positive mood
• The majority of the body’s immune defense is found in the gut. Poor gut function = compromised immunity!
Reflux in itself is not simply a genetic condition. What can be hereditary is food intolerance’s and digestive function both which can be corrected. I would highly recommend anyone who suffers from reflux to consult a health care professional to determine the cause.
There are many natural treatments that work just as effectively as antacids but without negatively affecting digestive function. One product I love is Iberogast, which actually helps to correct digestive function as well as reducing the symptoms of reflux. Probiotics are also highly recommended as well as identifying and eliminating any food intolerance’s and correcting nutritional deficiencies, which may be contributing to poor digestive function. Not to mention the importance of a healthy, well balanced diet and lifestyle.
On an emotional level reflux is about conflict, the inability to digest conflict in our lives. Something is ‘eating’ us up on the inside. It can also represent fear and not trusting the process of life. Resolving these emotional issues will result in a reduction or cessation of the physical complaint.
Try repeating this affirmation daily to release fear and inner conflict-
‘I breathe freely and fully. I am safe. I trust the process of life.’
So to recap about reflux:
• Requiring antacids long term without the diagnosis of a medical disorder is not advised.
• Try something natural such as Iberogast, probiotics and eliminating food intolerances or sensitivities.
• Work on resolving emotional conflict.
• Determine and correct the underlying cause.
And to recap about our magnificent mind/body/spirit:
• The body is not broken it is just trying to alert you to a problem
• You are NOT a victim but have full control over your health
• Understand that symptoms are not random yet part of a greater picture when it comes to health.
• Taking a tablet to mask a symptom never resolves the underlying issue (yes there is one)
• It is often about a lifestyle shift not just one simple change in diet
• Reframing our mindset, releasing toxic emotions and changing our attitudes and awareness is ALWAYS the answer.
P.S. This picture is just a few of the products you can use to aid your digestive function. Always consult with a health care practitioner before diagnosing or prescribing anything (even natural supplements) for yourself.