Water with lemon

You may have heard, "You are what you eat." Actually, you are what you absorb and assimilate. Hippocrates quotes: "All disease begins in the gut." Your second brain is through the gut.

Consider this: An inflamed gut equals an inflamed brain equals depression and dementia.

Many people with low stomach acid (hypochlorhydria) or no stomach acid (achlorhydria) often complain of bloating, belching, feeling that food sits in their stomach, and feeling full after eating only a small amount of food.

Many people with low stomach acid are constipated, but others have diarrhea. And then, there are those with low or no stomach acid who experience no symptoms at all. The main causes of poor digestion and hydrochloric acid (HCL) deficiency are aging and stress.

The older we get, the probability of hypochlorhydria or achlorhydria are more common than not.

Lack of HCL causes carbohydrates to ferment and protein to putrefy in your body.

HCL deficiency inhibits your body to breakdown and use food or your supplements to be absorbed at the cellular level creating an environment of malnourishment.

If you are not digesting your food properly, your risk for disease increases.

Advertising suggests that heartburn and indigestion are caused by too much stomach acid. This is hardly ever the case.

It's unfortunate that many doctors do not recognize how serious a health problem hypochlorhydria and achlorhydria are.

Conditions, symptoms associated with

poor gut health and

HCL deficiency:

• Alcoholism

• Anemia

• Asthma, allergies or food sensitivities

• Auto-immune conditions

• Candida; parasites

• Celiac disease

• Dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis and/or rosacea

• Diabetes

• Gallbladder dysfunction

• Gas, bloating and belching

• Hair loss

• Heartburn and/or acid reflux

• Hepatitis

• Lupus

• Osteo and rheumatoid arthritis

• Osteoporosis

• Thyroid dysfunction

Do you experience

any of the following?

• Bad breath, body odor and foul smelling stool

• Chronic headaches

• Feel like skipping breakfast

• Food sensitivities/intolerances

• Gas and bloating shortly after eating

• Heartburn, acid reflux or excessive fullness after meals

• Indigestion, constipation or diarrhea

• Loss of taste for meat

• Stomach upset by taking vitamins

• Undigested food in your stool

• Vegan diet (no meat, fish or eggs)

A simple remedy for hypochlohydria is to supplement with a quality HCL digestive enzyme, not OTC antacids or prescription drugs such as "the purple pill."

Antacids and prescription drugs neutralize stomach acid and reduce or block stomach acid production - exactly what you don't want.

Many commercial antacids contain toxic ingredients such as aluminum, artificial colors and sweeteners. Dr. Jonathan Wright said: "These chemicals disrupt digestion and alter the structure and function of stomach lining cells and cause side effects like headache, diarrhea and abdominal pain."

Tips to optimize digestion:

• Avoid eating while stressed out. Turn off the news or chaotic music while eating. Even stressful conversations during meal time can disrupt digestion.

• Avoid carbonated beverages.

• Do not lie down for two to three hours after eating.

• Drink a cup of water with the juice of half a lemon before meals.

• Drink plenty of water away from meals. Drinking water during meal time dilutes HCL and weakens digestion.

• Go for a walk after eating.

• Maintain a healthy weight (extra weight puts pressure on your abdomen and can encourage acid reflux).

• Slow down, enjoy and taste your food. Chew your food until it is liquefied before swallowing.

• Take digestive enzymes with HCL in the middle of the meal. Drink only enough water to wash them down.

Proper digestion and absorption are fundamental requirements for optimal health.

• Ahwatukee Foothills resident Paula Owens is a nutritionist, fitness expert and weight loss coach with more than 20 years of experience. Reach her at www.PaulaOwens.com.


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