This is inspired by a reader who linked to a fantastic Hawaiian Libertarian. If you haven’t read his blog, it may sound crazy at first, but he makes fantastic points and sees the whole picture. There is a cyclic dependency in the relationship between agriculture business (think cereals) and pharmaceuticals (meds such as Nexium, a proton pump inhibitor for GERD). I highly recommend reading this:
There are holistic treatments for GERD which are naturally less side effect and cheaper than Nexium. Nexium or proton pump inhibitors prevent the stomach from making a lot of acid. This is ideally to reduce excess acid from spilling into the esophagus (tube that connects the mouth to the stomach). Unfortunately the symptoms of GERD are often caused by low stomach acid rather than too much. I also think it has something to do with the digestion of carbs and bacterial byproducts, but I will have to get back to you on that. Why lowering stomach acid is a bad thing, it is used to kill off harmful bacteria and fungi. It also digests proteins breaking them down into amino acids. Nexium also has a host of nasty side effects which don’t help its cause.
The theory about the low stomach acid actually seems to work pretty well, especially on my tests on myself and my father. My father has gerd symptoms and I most likely have low acid. When he takes Betaine HCL after a meal (promotes acid production in the stomach) his symptoms reduce in severity. Ideally you take enough Betaine HCL to get a slight burning sensation, than cut back to find your right dosage. To kill the burning you would drink some baking soda, since bases cancel out acid reactions. For me the Betaine HCL helps me from feeling heavy after eating a lot of protein.
Another way of promoting more stomach acid is lemons which can be added to a drink before and after meals. When I come across more methods I will add them to this post.