Digestion - Stomach Acid
Published: February 25, 2010 Last Updated: March 21, 2016
Digestion is a crucial part of the body’s metabolic equation. Suffering from poor digestion upsets this balance and causes your body more harm. You can eat a balanced diet, but unless the food is digested properly, you simply won’t be able to grow and repair.
Many people suffer from low acid stomach. Constipation and/or diarrhea often result from allergies. Emotional stress can lead to many conditions, like colitis.
Symptoms of poor digestion
When digestion doesn’t work, as it should, your cells are starved of nutrients. Toxins are allowed to build up, growth and repair are impeded, resistance to disease is increased, the skin suffers, the body feels heavier and more sluggish and your emotions become exaggerated and unstable. Your digestive system is the pipeline carrying vital nutrients to your cells. Bad digestion cuts that off.
If you suffer from insufficient stomach acid, your first stage of digestion is impaired. As food reaches the stomach, your food activates the release of hydrochloric acid, which stimulates the enzyme pepsin into action, which digests approximately 15% of the food before it passes into the small intestine. So if you suffer from low acid, one of the first results is that the food will literally start to ferment.
Our bodies permit the growth of a certain amount of bacteria and yeast to aid digestion. It is our acid and enzymes that keep them in check from any dangerous expansion of their colonies.
Stress inhibits enzyme production and allows yeasts to flourish. Low hydrochloric acid leads to lowered pepsin, which is one such stress. If the yeast colony become metabolically overactive and causes fermentation, large quantities of carbohydrates are turned into alcohol; and for some becoming drunk on carbohydrate foods.
Like alcoholics needing a drink, they simply cannot live without eating lots of carbohydrate foods.
Digestive problems can often be traced back to a yeast problem in the intestines, and that low stomach acid levels are directly responsible.
Many stomach upsets are believed to be a result of acid indigestion (too much acid in the stomach), but actually, can be the result of yeast fermentation, and too little acid. The most common course of action is to take antacids, which reduce stomach acid, making things worse; sending undigested fermenting food into the small intestines.
The pancreas sends enzymes to complete digestion, but when the body is under stress from depleted stomach acid, the pancreas may not be able to cope with the increased quantities of undigested foods. Much of the food just sits there in the intestines and putrefies, releasing potentially harmful substances.
Treatment for digestive problems
Glutamic acid with betaine hydrochloride (hydrozyme), produces glutamic acid HCL, a quick way to raise stomach acid. Glutamic acid itself has several important digestive functions. For people who have a high carbohydrate intake and fermentation in the intestines, it helps to regulate fluctuating blood sugar levels. This eases the stress on the pancreas, allowing it to secrete the necessary enzymes into the small intestines.
Refined foods lack fibre (undigestible part of food), which is needed in our diets to help muscle contractions in the intestinal wall (peristalsis), to draw food through the alimentary canal. The time it takes for normal high-fibre food to pass through the body is between 24 – 48 hours. The less fibre you have in your diet, the longer it will take; and for many they suffer from low transit times of four days and more.
This is a cause in itself of serious intestinal disorders. First, as faeces slowly moves, it causes a loss of water through the intestinal wall, causing them to become harder and more irritating in the process. Physical friction can occur, resulting in small pouches forming on the intestinal wall (diverticulosis). The longer the food remains in the intestines, toxic by-products can cause more damage. They can cause anything from varicose veins to colon cancer. Also undigested proteins start to leak through the intestinal wall, causing allergic reactions.
If you feel bloated and sluggish, long after you have eaten; and are excreting hard stools, suffer from headaches and experiencing joint pain, this could be the problem.
Bacteria and toxic by-products may be responsible for abnormal anxiety, tension and depression. Are intestinal problems a cause or an effect of many body and mind health issues?
Amino acids such as tryphtophan work as powerful neuro-inhibitors, involved in various brainwave activities, including your body’s parasympathetic nervous system, that’s involved in digestive function; such as pumping blood to the intestines and stimulating peristalsis. Tryphtophan as the precursor of serotonin is needed to soothe your mental activity; so when stress occurs, it helps your body to cope more effectively, ensuring that blood, which is needed for digestion, will stay in the intestines rather than being diverted to the heavy muscles as part of the stress response.
Quality food choices, complete protein sources, aided with good digestive function, good bowel transient will make a big difference to your well-being.
Looking for natural treatment for digestive problems? Speak to our experienced natural health team today on 07 3857 8887 or complete the appointment request form online.