Overcoming Acid Reflux

Righting What’s Upside Down

By: Max Stanley Chartrand, Ph.D.

If I were speaking to a room full of adults and asked those who suffer from acid reflux to raise their hands, about a third of the hands would reach for the sky. If I were to ask them if the problem is too much or too little acid, like a Gregorian Chant I would hear “too much”. And my reply would be, “Oh, really? Welcome to the Twilight Zone.” For in today’s dietary world, too little, not too much acid is the problem for at least 95% of sufferers of GERD/GORD/GRD (gastroesophageal/gastroesophageal/gastric reflux disease).

Lost in the world of microwaved, genetically modified, synthetically fortified, de-germinated, chemically preserved, and artificially colored & flavored food, is that nothing about the recent changes to the food we eat is good for the human body. Nothing. Our children are not developing, as increasingly more suffer from developmental disorders. Even our pets die an early death when fed what we eat. So, now we ask those who raised their hands to read on. Learn how to change your life—the SIRCLE way!

Not Enough Acid, You Say? 

Yes, you see, the healthy stomach has an acid-alkaline balance of  pH 1.0-2.0 (on a logarithmic scale of 1.0-14.0). It was meant to be a veritable cauldron of acid to:

1) Create an “acid barrier” to kill the bacteria & viruses we ingest each day, without which we would become ill with the slightest amount of same.

2) Help us absorb vital nutrients, such as iron, copper, zinc, calcium, folic acid, B-12, and various proteins.

3) Break down food components to a fine puree (created from sufficient HCL, citric acid, pepsin, and bicarbonate) so that it can emptied through a pencil-sized pyloric sphincter into the duodenum within 25-minutes of entering the stomach.

In the duodenum, bile acids  are sprayed onto fatty lipids to maximize HDL, minimize LDL for their specialized purposes in your body. When food reaches the small intestine, differentiation then occurs to sort out energy, nutrients, and waste (food-to-nutrition synthesis) until we achieve that balanced state called homeostasis.

Description of the Reflux Cascade The reality is that today’s modern stomach boasts a puny pH 3.0, acidic enough to scar the esophagus during reflux events, but not acidic enough to kill bacteria, absorb nutrients, and breakdown half-chewed, over-processed nutrient-starved “food”.

In truth, since the majority of illness in the US today suffer from acid- based conditions (poor digestion, IBS, Crohn’s disease, Celiac disease, hypertriglyceridemenia, alkaline liver, diabetes type 2, neuropathy, arthritis, cancer, etc.). Hydrochloria, or low stomach acids, contributes mightily to these conditions, and causes many sufferers to also suffer frequent food poisoning because of lack of acid barrier. These episodes are mistaken for “stomach flu”, which is a really rare form of flu! 

The reason so many think they have too much stomach acid is because the food stays in their stomach for 2 hours or more and never really digests. This causes a “stenosis” of the duodenum, which causes the food to reflux back up into the esophagus, especially when lying down. As stated earlier, the acid & partly broken down food is strong enough to burn the esophagus, even the pharynx/larynx, yet it is nowhere near acidic enough to break down the food enough so that nutrition can be extracted by the time is reaches the upper intestine.

Max Stanley Chartrand, Ph.D. (Behavioral Medicine
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Max Stanley Chartrand, Ph.D. (Behavioral Medicine

SIRCLE: Righting What’s Upside Down

As in all chronic conditions, the objectives are to repair unhealed injuries, make sure infections and inflammatory states are corrected, and restore the bio-markers of cellular acid-alkaline balance to pH 7.45, oxygen to 99-100%, A1C below 5.0, CRP below 1.0, Gelactin-3 below 17.1%, electrolytes in perfect balance, and cartilage, bone, and cardiovascular state is normalized. These markers tell us how close to “homeostasis” we have come with diet and lifestyle. Now, let’s set upright what has turned our lives upside down by observing a few simple but important rules:

1. No more microwaving, not even to warm up your food. Read the labels, avoiding Aspartame (in sugar-free gum and most diet sodas), MSG, high fructose, bromulated vegetable oil, canola oil, and, as much as possible, avoid GMOs, caffeinated drinks, and foods with gluten.

2. Start meals with fresh vegetables and fruits before eating any meat; eating meat sparingly. Drink no more than 1/2 glass of anything during the meal—finishing the remainder at the end of the meal.

3. Chew your food to a paste, mixing saliva thoroughly before swallowing. This neutralizes acids and prepares the food for quick digestion. It also brings earlier satiation, so you will less inclined to overeat. Lack of satiation is the #1 reason for weight gain.

4. Take (1) or (2) Apple Cider Vinegar Capsules at the start of at least two meals per day for 30 days, overlapping with your acid reflux meds by about a week. Then, as you phase out your reflux meds, you will find you will digest your food better and overcoming the deficiencies caused by the reflux medications.

5. Eat at least 3 hours before retiring for bed. Never eat and lie down right afterward. In fact, avoid eating for at least 3 hours at a stretch so that your body can regain its pH and digestive efficiency.

6.The best reflux medicine is ionized alkaline water. It is quicker, at lower cost, and will allow you to regain your health!

More Resources

Chartrand, M.S. (2013). How to Raise Your Body’s pH & Overcome Chronic Disease. Casa Grande, AZ: Digicare Behavioral Research.

Hofmann, A., and Mysels, K. (1992). Bile acid solubility and precipitation in vitro and in vivo: the role of conjugation, pH, and Ca2+ ions. Journal of Lipid Research. http://www.jlr.org/content/33/5/617.full.pdf

Thirteen Foods That Fight Acid Reflux (2013). http://www.health.com/ health/gallery/0,,20440834,00.html.

Tips for Overcoming GERD (2013). http://www.gibay.com/articles/ houston-acid-reflux-3-tips-to-overcoming-gerd.html.

NOTE: This monograph is strictly educational, and not intended to diagnose or treat any individual’s specific condition.

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