What is Acid Indigestion?
Acid indigestion (sometimes used interchangeably with heartburn) is defined as excessive secretion of hydrochloric acid by the stomach cells. Many of the problems associated with stomach acid are also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), peptic esophagitis; reflux esphagitis; heartburn; or dyspepsia.
The mechanism of GERD
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a condition in which the stomach contents (food or liquid) leak backward from the stomach into the esophagus (tube joining the mouth to stomach). This action can irritate the esophagus, causing heartburn and other symptoms.
When you eat, food passes from the throat to the stomach through the esophagus (also called the food pipe or swallowing tube). Once food is in the stomach, a ring of muscle fibers prevents food from moving backward into the esophagus. These muscle fibers comprise the lower esophageal sphincter, or LES.If this sphincter muscle doesnít close well, food, liquid and stomach acid can leak back into the esophagus. This is called reflux or GERD. This reflux may cause symptoms and can even damage the esophagus. If you are experiencing any symptoms of GERD (sour stomach, pain, reflux,belching) please talk to your health care practitioner immediately.
On the other hand...
If a person has adequate amounts of stomach acid, it triggers the upper sphincter muscles of the stomach to prevent the acid needed to digest your food from going up the esophagus. As this takes place the lower sphincter of your stomach opens allowing the stomach to empty food that has been digested. So if you donít have enough acid, you cannot digest protein; the upper sphincter doesnít close tightly enough, causing acid reflux and potential damage to the esophagus.
The Nutritional Consequence of GERD
Nutritionally this creates many other problems besides GERD. When you lack that all important good acid you cannot absorb minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium, copper and zinc. People with poor stomach acid cannot absorb vitamins C, K and B complex. As you can imagine this contributes largely to poor health and a weaken immune system. Many health care experts go as far to state that 60-70 % of your immune health arises in the gut!
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Weekly Health Information 9/26/2011
Dr. Larry Cimperman and Dr. Agnes Gallagher
This information is not meant to treat, cure or diagnose any illness, disease, or health condition. Please contact a qualified health care provider with any health concerns that you may have.