Acid reflux popularly known as acid indigestion is a condition whereby the acidic contents of the stomach partially returns backwards to the food pipe causing an uncomfortable feeling of heartburns and sometimes it can come as far as the mouth. The condition when not treated properly can lead to other serious problems like difficulty in swallowing and damage to the voice box. Conventional medicine unfortunately explains the condition only from a physical perspective, stating that the condition is due to excessive production of acid by the stomach and the pancreas and so attributes its causes solely to physical events like, time of eating, eating too much spicy foods like chillies, garlic and ginger; certain drugs, sleeping just after eating, pregnancy and hiatal hernia, overweight, lack of exercise and possibly the presence of a tumour. In as much as these reasons are valid causes, they are not the main cause of the condition for majority of the people who are on a daily dose of medications to block acid production. In my practice, I see hundreds of patients present with this condition, with a faulty understanding of the condition . They have been told that their system is producing too much acid for no reason, so it makes perfect sense to block the acid production. A lot of them are on this medication simply because the doctor’s guideline for prescribing the drug says that a if a person suffers heartburn twice a week then they qualify for a prescription to block acid production. I have seen many patients who have been put on these acid inhibitors grow from one medication to a multiple of them due development of new conditions like high cholesterol, low thyroid levels, high blood pressure, irritable bowel syndrome etc. The major flaw in the way modern medicine deals with ailments is that various parts of the body are treated as if they are independent of each other. This is why when one part is interrupted with medications, the other parts start to suffer and they call it side effects.The bible clearly tells us that the church is likened to the body of Christ,with various parts working together for a common goal. This means that if one part goes out of balance, the rest will feel the pain. There is no such thing as an independent part of the body. With the above background knowledge of the causes and treatment by modern medicine which hasn’t proved successful in healing the affected people but rather turning them into lifetime customers , I decided to research into the root cause of this problem for the majority of people whose acid reflux is not due to the above mentioned causes. I realised about 95% of people who were depressed and are taking antidepressants were also on medications to reduce acid production, this caught my interest, so I began to investigate the link and this lead to the discovery of the fact that 90% of people suffering from acid reflux did not have high acid production but rather LOW amounts of acid production in their stomach due to inhibition aid a nerve called the vagus nerve which is responsible for stimulating acid production in the stomach. This inhibition is caused by negative emotions like worry, stress, low self esteem, overthinking, depression etc. The vagus nerve is 5th nerve from the cranium of the the brain and it is directly linked to all the organs involved in digestion to control the whole process. Therefore when blocked or inhibited will lead to reduced acid production and therefore sluggish digestion which causes the contents of the stomach to return backwards to the food pipe. The acid that is produced by the stomach and the pancreas is for a good reason, God in His wisdom put it there to help breakdown the complex food into a more simpler form so absorption can occur for nutrients to reach the human cells to sustain life. If for any reason ,like stress, depression, worry, low self esteem etc the acid production is inhibited, then digestion is significantly reduced leading to a delay of digestion which subsequently leads to the delay of food in the stomach causing the opening up of a muscle flap called the oesophageal sphincter which is found between the end of the food pipe (oesophagus) and the beginning of the stomach to open up and allow the contents of the stomach to travel up the food pipe to cause heartburn, discomfort and bloating accompanied by a lot of burping. The closure of the sphincter is PH controlled meaning if the level of acidity isn’t achieved I.e 2-4, the sphincter will open to allow stomach contents to flow upwards to cause acid reflux. This is the case for many people, in a world where stress, worry and depression has become the order of the day, especially after a festive period like Christmas. With this new knowledge in mind , the best way to tackle this problem will be to look into God’s word for ways to control the negative emotions that plaque us very often. In Matthew 6:25, the bible says ” do not worry about your life” also in Philippians 4:6 it says be not anxious about anything “. These bible verses are the therapeutic words that many sufferers of acid reflux will need to help stop the inhibition of the vagus nerve. Repentance and coming clean and pure before God can significantly relax the mind with an assurance of hope and an expectation of a solution to all problems.. Another way to deal with this problem can be seen in the bible in 1 Timothy 5:3 where Paul encouraged Timothy to no longer drink water exclusively, but to use a little wine ( partially fermented grapes) for the sake of his stomach and his frequent ailments. The wine in this quote is not an intoxicating drink to get Timothy drunk, but rather to use a fermented fruit product to create a good PH or acidic medium which will allow for good digestion to help heal Timothy’s stomach problems. My advise here is to use sour tasting fruits like lemon squeezed in water or 1-2 teaspoons fermented fruit vinegars like apple cider vinegar in water taken 30 minutes before food or kambucha ( fermented drink) to help create an appropriate acidic environment that will facilitate good digestion. When this practice of acidifying the stomach is done coupled with the above advice of repentance is practised daily, the body will begin to regenerates it’s ability to do it’s own digestion properly and healing will eventually occur. If after trying the above natural ways to resolve acidity and you still can’t stop it then visit the doctor for further investigation. I hope this enlightenment will help someone think differently when afflicted by this condition.
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Vincent Uchegbu ( your health coach)