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Home . Health Resources . Digestion Basics

Digestion Basics

Our ability to digest our food depends on having all systems “go”. That means that your stomach and intestines are in good shape but also you need to have optimum brain stem function. Digestion is primary controlled by our autonomic system and that is largely from the vagus nerve that gets its instructions from the brain stem.

As time goes on most people gradually lose integrity of the stomach and small intestine. The chemical environment gets more difficult to maintain. We make less and less hydrochloric acid and some say to balance the pH we make more phosphoric acid instead. The phosphoric acid can be the source of acid indigestion. Ultimately this is all part of the autonomic controls mentioned above. As the brain stem winds down it is not able to direct the digestion process so effectively.

One factor that is prominent in digestion problems is gluten intolerance. If you have read other articles on OVitaminPro.com you have seen other references to gluten intolerance. This is because gluten intolerance or gluten sensitivity is key to about 100 clinical disorders including acid reflux.

This doctor noticed that after being gluten free for about 6 months that the acid reflux pattern was pretty much gone. I can tell when I get some gluten in my diet because I get a kind of indigestion that I recognize as serious. Fortunately it doesn’t last for more than one night.

The reason is the gluten induced antibodies attack enzymatic pathways in the brain and brain stem interfering with normal operations. Symptoms can include brain fog but also digestive upset.

Also important to digestion is the intestinal flora. These synergistic bacteria are essential for maintenance of membranes and for absorption of nutrients. I use the word synergistic because they are more than friendly. They are essential for optimum health. If you have been on antibiotics and/or cortisone therapy, you probably have a bacteria problem and will need some help. We recommend probiotics in fairly large doses for recovery (maybe 10-20 capsules per day) and then at least 4 per day of maintenance. It will take months to recover from even a routine antibiotic run and a year or more to recover from extended antibiotic therapy.

Another factor is Heliobacter pylori or H pylori. This is a bacteria that has been associated with ulcers of the GI tract. Some researchers say that this is one of the most contagious infections known. It is easily passed from person to person and even cats and dogs to people.

Most people are asymptomatic but as the infection persists, general symptoms of stomach distress develop such as gas, bloating and acid reflux. The H pylori bacteria responds well to antibiotic therapy. Problem is that unless everyone in the household is treated too, the probability of reinfection is very high.

If you are not gluten free and suspect an H pylori infection, I would first get checked with Array 3 of Cyrex Labs. Could be you do have an H pylori infection but going gluten free might give your body the tools it needs to control it. You can certainly opt for the testing and treatment. Apex Energetics makes some excellent products that will help your body’s immune system get the upper hand over the bacteria. Look for Apex Energetics H-PLR and Apex Energetics Immu-Zyme.

For basic upper digestive support we recommend Apex Energetics HCL-ProZyme. Return to Shop By Concern:Digestion Support.

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