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Home . Health Resources . Resources by Concern . Indigestion Basics

Indigestion Basics

Digestion is basically the process of reorganizing proteins fats and carbohydrates. The enzymes that help this process in the stomach need a strong acid environment provided mostly by hydrochloric acid (HCl). As we age, the bodyís ability to produce HCl decreases as does the ability to produce some enzymes.

Like I always say, the body is generally designed to go to about 40 without too much maintenance. You might get lucky and make it farther than that without working on your health but the odds are increasingly against you with every passing year.

To help your body better assimilate your food, you will need to be more selective in what you eat and using some digestive enzymes too.

We like the Cyrex Labs Array 3 and Array 4 tests. Array 3 looks at a wide spectrum of proteins and lectins that can cause celiac or non-celiac gluten sensitivity. Array 4 looks at common foods that gluten sensitive people tend to react to. These arenít allergy tests but tests to see what could trigger an autoimmune reaction. To learn more go to Gluten Resources: Gluten Sensitivity Testing.

You can also run allergy tests to see what could cause you digestive distress. We will discuss that another day.

We started talking about gluten because gluten sensitivity is a common source of digestive upset. The gluten antibody reaction targets some brain stem enzymes interfering with autonomic nerve system controls. The brain stem monitors basic activities like whether or not you have just eaten and what did that meal or snack consist of. The vagus nerve part of the autonomic system is appropriately activated and goes to work coordinating secretions from the stomach, small intestine, pancreas, liver and gall bladder along with increase in motility. Altering brain stem function interferes with that harmonious action and you can get symptoms of indigestion.

Sure you can take some pharmaceutical action but you know that this wonít correct the problem, only give you some relief. It is understandable that you want relief and want it fast from these symptoms. The problem with long term prilosec or nexium use is that it interferes with digestion and you can have decrease in blood proteins. The carrier proteins are essential for controlling blood pH (acid balance) and also for making hormone carrier proteins.

It is better to look for something you can do to prevent the problem and that might mean a gluten-free diet as well as elimination of other foods as indicated by experience or by testing.

If you get your diet totally fine-tuned you may need only small amounts of digestive aids. In the meantime, we recommend daily use of products that you see on the Shop By Concern:Indigestion Support page.

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