Most people actually suffer from too little stomach acid, not too much.
Lunch Hour Lesson #10
Today’s lesson is the second in a three part series. In Part 1, we discussed the common approach to stomach conditions like heartburn and GERD, and brought to light the dangers inherent in the treatments. If you haven’t heard that episode, you should go back and watch last week’s broadcast.
Today, Part 2 will cover how the stomach and digestion are supposed to work, and what can go wrong. And in Part 3 next week, I will give some practical steps you can take to optimize the acidity of your stomach and ensure maximum nutrient absorption.
In order to understand how the stomach and digestion are supposed to work, we’ll need a little anatomy and physiology lesson, so stick with me here.
But, the stomach is perfectly prepared to deal with this intense acidity. It actually has a thick layer of mucus that lines its walls, preventing the acid from doing damage.
After we chew and swallow food, and sufficient stomach acid is released to mix with the food and bring the overall mixture, chyme, to this low pH of 1.5-3, the pyloric sphycter at the lower end of the stomach can open, letting the chyme pass into the small intestine and continue the digestive process.
Another great thing about this program is the accompanying cookbook that is included in the price.
But what happens if there isn’t enough stomach acid to bring the chyme down to that 1.5-3 pH level? Let’s say there’s only enough to bring it down to a pH of 5. Well, the pyloric sphincter is resistant to open, and the food just sits in the stomach. It starts to rot, producing gases and giving us feelings of bloating and nausea.
Eventually those gases press up on the esophageal sphincter, forcing it to open a bit and release some of the chyme back up into the esophagus – that’s reflux.
Because the pH of the chyme in this example is 5, that is still more acidic than the esophagus wants to tolerate. The esophagus doesn’t have a protective mucus layer lining like the stomach does. So it gets irritated, and that’s heartburn.
If your stomach contents were actually MORE acidic, like 1.5-3 pH, the gas and bloating wouldn’t happen because the chyme would just pass efficiently on to the next stages of digestion.
Learn practical solutions to optimize the acidity of your stomach and ensure maximum nutrient absorption in part 3 of this series on the stomach.
Pay attention to how you feel within 1 hour after eating this weekend. Belching, gas, bloating, and a sense of excess fullness after meals are all symptoms of low stomach acid production.