We are inundated with a slew of advertisements for antacids and acid-suppressing drugs, including the “purple pill” (Nexium), Prilosec, Prevacid, Pepcid AC, Zantac, and numerous other medications that lower stomach acid. Understandably, you may be under the impression that the symptoms of heartburn, indigestion, and gastrointestinal acid reflux disease (GERD) are caused by too much stomach acid. As acid-suppressing drugs are among the most commonly used prescription and over-the-counter medications, the pharmaceutical companies are banking on acceptance of the idea that stomach acid is something that needs to be kept in check. However, in reality, it’s much more likely that your symptoms are being caused by low stomach acid, instead of an overproduction of stomach acid.
Low stomach acid is a common problem in developed nations. According to Jonathon Wright, MD (author of “Why Stomach Acid is Good for You”), approximately 90% of Americans produce too little stomach acid. He arrived at this conclusion after measuring the stomach pH of thousands of patients in his clinic. (While conventional medical doctors sometimes measure esophageal pH levels in particularly difficult cases of acid reflux, they never measure stomach pH levels. Any amount of acid in the esophagus is abnormal and will cause symptoms.)
Individuals suffering with stomach and intestinal problems most frequently assume that heartburn, indigestion, gas, and reflux are caused by overproduction of stomach acid. This common misconception has been strongly re-enforced by our conventional medical profession, whose practitioners routinely prescribe stomach acid blocking medications at the slightest sign of stomach dysfunction, failing to properly diagnose the digestive problem by first monitoring the stomach’s acid producing function, using scientific methods and neglecting to provide patients with common sense dietary recommendations.
Strangely enough, the symptoms of stomach acid (hydrochloric acid, HCL) over-production and under production are virtually identical. It is therefore unwise to jump to conclusions regarding what’s occurring in the stomach without actual testing.
The pharmaceutical firms with their considerable influence on the medical profession have, through advertising, incentives to doctors and various other forms of indoctrination, made it an almost reflex reaction on the part of most physicians, even many gastro-enterologists, to jump to the conclusion that a majority of gastric problems can be easily treated by the use of acid blocking medications. Because the American public over-consumes unhealthy food at an alarming rate, the routine use of acid blockers is highly profitable for pharmaceutical firms, provides instant relief for many sufferers, but can bring about long-term health problems for many misdiagnosed users.
Please watch the short video below in which Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum offers some advice for people with indigestion or other digestive issues. Find out why standard heartburn treatments don’t work and can often cause more problems. He also offers some natural steps to help get your digestion back on track: