Sunday, September 18, 2005

Is it a disease, or is it really the result of poor dietary habits?

Commentary 09-18-05

Over the next few weeks I am going to look at various diseases and try to determine whether they are best treated with Dietary Change, or a Prescription Drug.

Today, lets look at Acid Reflux Disease. ARD, which will be the acronym soon I am sure, is the result of untreated Heart Burn, that begins to damage your esophagus. This is a relatively new disease that is currently treated with the now famous Purple Pill, as well as others. Untreated, it can cause a lot of damage.

My wife and I have both had the condition at one point in our lives, and I can say it definitely disrupts sleep and can be very uncomfortable when it's occurring. We both were prescribed a drug to treat the symptoms, that stopped stomach acid from being produced, and indeed the disease appeared to go away. As long as we took the pills, that is.

I got to thinking one day, why I allowed myself to take a drug, when I teach people that drugs should always be the last resort we try, only after trying all natural approaches, first. Why, because, drugs have side effects and dietary changes often have side benefits.

So, I realized that we had both changed our diets a year or so before to a mostly carbohydrate diet which included, beans, rice, tortillas, bread, cereals, vegetables and fruit. It was an experiment we tried, recommended by a Doctor, to help with certain health issues one of us had at the time. It did not help those issues, but it did cause us to both gain weight and develop terrible Heart Burn and eventually ARD.

I began to do research and found that stomach acid is normal, but having it come up to your esophagus is not of coarse. What causes stomach acid to go against gravity and climb up toward your throat,... gas. What causes the gas? The consumption of fast starches and sugars along with fats from the foods you eat. Examples of this would be a french fries, baked potato with butter and or sour cream, potato chips, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, cakes, cookies, toast and jam, cereal and milk, beans and rice especially with a flour tortillas etc. While there are many other examples, I think you get the idea. What happens is this: Fats take as long as 2 to 3 hours to leave the stomach, before being emptied into the small intestines for further digestion. Corn syrup, sugar, refined flour, rice, potatoes, and foods similar to this are broken down into simple sugars as soon as you have chewed them and added saliva to the mix. In other words, as soon as you swallow fast carbohydrates, they are ready to be absorbed into the blood stream, and therefore can and would be emptied immediately into the small intestine. The body gets confused messages, and if it decides to hold on to the food, in order to fully prepare the fat for further digestion in the small intestine, the sugars start to ferment and gas is produced. Since it is normal to have acid released in the stomach to help with the digestion of proteins and minerals in your food, that acid is then pushed up into the esophagus, which is not designed to handle stomach acid, and damage begins to occur with the associated pain.

If you remove these common foods from your diet and stick with a meat, egg, nut, vegetable, and fruit diet, and eliminate refined grains, breads and cereals, potatoes, white rice, processed sugar, corn syrup, soft drinks, juices etc, the ARD goes away, usually within a few days to a week.

You can make your own decision on this subject and try your own experiments, but all my experience tells me that ARD, is not a disease that requires a pill to fix but instead is the result of long term dietary habits, that our bodies were never designed to consume.

Lets all take charge of our own health, and stay healthy.

If you would like to have a weeks diet analyzed to see where you can make changes, see our website at Q&AMAIL.


Christopher Wiechert, C.N.C.
Clinical Nutritionist in the field of Ortho-Molecular Medicine

Christopher Wiechert's Healthblogger is for educational or informational purposes only, and is not intended to diagnose or provide treatment for any condition. If you have any concerns about your own health, you should always consult with a healthcare professional. If you decide to use this information on your own, it's your constitutional right, but I assume no responsibility.

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