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Ulcers, Heartburn, Indigestion and Gerd

The word dyspepsia means to digest with some difficulty or pain.  Indigestion may be a more old-fashioned term, but it means the same thing.  



An estimated 20 million people in the United States suffer from chronic digestion disturbances.  The usual causes of indigestion are wrong food combinations, eating too fast, drinking too much fluids with meals, not chewing the food thourghly before swallowing, overeating, anxiety and nervousness, swallowing air while eating and intolerance toward sugars, fats and starches. 


The common symptoms of ingestion are heartburn sour belching, a heavy uneasy feeling in the stomach after a meal, headache, coated tongue, nausea, vomiting, flatulence, a bad taste in the mouth, foul breath and sometimes difficult breathing and palpitations.


Throughout the United States, indigestion suffers gobble up antacid tablets by the ton every day.  An occasional antacid tablet to relieve stomach upset is harmless enough, but to take the tablets constantly, as some people do, is asking for trouble.


In one recent medical report, a team of doctors found that phosphorus depletion results from the frequent use of antacids that are not of a dietary nature and cannot be absorbed.  Our bones are the “storehouse: for phosphorus and when the mineral is inadequately supplied, the bones are in danger of becoming soft or brittle.


Many of the drugstore patent antacid preparations available in tablet or liquid form contain either or both, magnesium hydroxide and aluminum hydroxide.  I would like to point out that there is a great difference between magnesium hydroxide, which cannot be digested in human stomachs, and the fully absorbable magnesium mineral which occurs naturally in various foods and plants and is valuable in human nutrition.


Non-absorbable antacids containing magnesium-aluminum hydroxides can bind gastrointestinal absorption of phosphorus.  Phosphorus depletion was achieved in subjects by prolonged administration of antacids containing magnesium hydroxide and aluminum hydroxide. Reports state that in all subjects a number of striking similarities occurred, which included a state of debility characterized by weakness, anorexia (loss of appetite) and malaise ( a feeling of being ill).  Severe bone pain and stiffness also developed and persisted throughout the study. 


Absorbable antacids are unfortunately not much safer.  Absorbable antacids (chemical antacids) show the most rapid onset of action and provide faster relief of symptoms. However they may cause an "acid rebound", a condition whereby the gastric acid returns in greater concentration after the drug effect has ceased. 


Pharmaceutical and over the counter antacids dissolve stomach acids completely, leaving the body devoid of any digestive juices to break down foods for proper digestion.  This leads to a dangerous cycle of co-dependence on antacids and malnutrition because the stomach does not have the proper chemicals to break down food.  This can lead to vitamin and mineral deficiencies, constipation, bloating and a host of other digestive issues. 




It is estimated that one out of ten people will develop a duodenal ulcer at some point in their lives.  This type of ulcer occurs in the short tube directly following the stomach.  Some duodenal ulcers are very large- as much as four inches in diameter, while others are microscopically tiny.


Suffers from duodenal ulcers may secrete as much as four times the amount of gastric juice in the empty stomach as normal persons.  The pain of a duodenal ulcer is often called “hunger pain” since it can be relieved by eating food.  The gastric type of ulcer occurs in the inside of the stomach area.  Pain is felt in the stomach, and it also radiates upwards and to the back.  It almost always starts after a meal and produces a sort of burning sensation which intensifies by indigestible foods, but relieved by a milk-diet.


A peptic ulcer simply means an ulcer occurring in the esophagus, stomach or the duodenum. 


No doubt if you suffer from stomach distress you want to take something to relieve it.  But why use indigestible forms of antacids that threaten to dematerialize your bones and make you sicker?  Wholesome and digestible antacids are so easily available from natural remedies.     Certainly medical doctors who employ surgery get good results in treating ulcers.  Sometimes there is no other way to help a patient with an ulcer when the issue becomes a chronic condition.  But when there is not a chronic condition, the ulcer victim can find relief through the use of Chinese herbal medicine.  The remedies are soothing, gentle and very effective. The same is true when Chinese herbal medicines are used for coping with acid indigestion and other forms of stomach distress. 

Acupuncture is also another effective remedy to control and correct stomach issues.  The normal flow of the stomach channel is downward.  When medical conditions such as indigestion, acid reflux or GERD occur, the flow of the stomach becomes reversed.  Acupuncture is the mechanism to unblock and open the flow of digestion in the proper direction.  Acupuncture is so effective in treating disorders of the stomach that the effect of treatment is almost immediately noticeable after a single treatment. 




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