Download Why Stomach Acid Is Good for You: Natural Relief from Heartburn, Indigestion, Reflux and GERD PDF

TitleWhy Stomach Acid Is Good for You: Natural Relief from Heartburn, Indigestion, Reflux and GERD
File Size1.6 MB
Total Pages220
Table of Contents
                            Preface Whistling Past the Graveyard
Prologue The “Gray Man”
Chapter 1 The Myth of Acid Indigestion
Chapter 2 Why Stomach Acid Is Your Friend
Chapter 3 How the Upper GI Tract Works … Basically
Chapter 4 Starving in the Midst of Plenty: How Gastric Acid Levels Affect Nutrient Absorption
Chapter 5 How Low Stomach Acid Can Make You Sick: The Bacteria-Cancer Connection
Chapter 6 How Low Stomach Acid Can Make You Sick: Asthma, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and Other Diseases
Chapter 7 Treating Heartburn and “Acid Indigestion” the Natural Way .
Appendix 1 Is Depression the Result of an Amino Acid and Neurotransmitter Deficiency?
Appendix 2 Are Our Faces Red? Acne Rosacea and Low Stomach Acid
Document Text Contents
Page 110

with asthma. After fifteen to twenty days, wheezing completely ceased in 83
percent (ten of twelve) of the study participants. Of the ten who were completely
relieved, two later had a relapse, which responded to a repeat of the vitamin B12

In 1957, the English physician JA Crockett reported on a study he ran
involving eighty-five people of all ages who had asthma.8 All were given
intramuscular injections of 1000 micrograms (1 milligram) of vitamin B12, first
at weekly intervals, and later at unspecified intervals up to four weeks. Using a
four-level scoring system (“no change,” “slight improvement,” “moderate
improvement,” and “marked improvement”) Dr. Crockett observed improvement
in 56 percent (forty-eight out of eighty-five) of his test subjects. He also found
that the ability to improve varied with age. It was extremely high in young
children (83 percent) but declined with age. Even in the fifth and sixth decades
of life, though, B12 injections resulted in nearly 40 percent improvement (see
Figure 6-3).9

Based on these and other medical reports concerning vitamin B12 therapy,
in 1976 we started advising parents to give their asthmatic children daily vitamin
B12 injections, 500 to 3000 micrograms daily (depending on the child’s age and
weight). We have found that within thirty days of treatment, 50 percent stop
wheezing entirely, and another 30 percent improve from a little to a lot. The
injections are then tapered according to response, resuming or increasing again if
the wheezing returns or becomes more severe again.

Parents understandably inquire about oral instead of injectable vitamin B12
treatment. If wheezing isn’t severe, there’s no reason not to try the “oral route”
first. If it doesn’t work (which is frequent) we can then proceed to injection.

Vitamin B12 does not work immediately to clear a particular wheezing
episode. (A relatively rapid intravenous injection of magnesium accompanied by
vitamin B6 is much more effective in clearing acute wheezing.) Parents usually
report improvement in chronic wheezing beginning after five to seven days of
daily B12 shots. “Full results” and a “maintenance level” are usually reached
after approximately thirty days.

Although vitamin B12 can eliminate or dramatically lessen the wheezing of
childhood asthma, it does not eliminate the allergies that trigger attacks, nor does
it repair the frequently underlying stomach problem, or restore the rest of the
nutrients not getting absorbed due to poor gastric function. All these possible
problems present in childhood asthma must be vigorously pursued or the
afflicted child won’t be as healthy as possible.

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Asthma and Gastric Reflux: What’s the Connection?

The success of HCl, pepsin, and vitamin B12 therapy suggests that the roots of
asthma lie not in the lungs, where the symptoms appear, but in the stomach,
where acid secretion and vitamin B12 digestion may be compromised. True to
form, though, the patent medicine industry has largely ignored this lead and,
instead, focused its considerable resources directly on symptom suppression in
the lungs.

The result has been the development and widespread use of powerful—and
dangerous—corticosteroids (e.g., prednisone, beclomethasone, triamcinolone),
bronchodilators (e.g., albuterol, ephedrine, theophylline), and other drugs that
are designed to suppress inflammation and dilate constricted airways. Thanks to
thousands of pharmaceutical industry-sponsored research studies and hundreds
of millions of dollars in advertising, promotion, and “education,” about the only
thing most physicians today know about asthma therapy is this kind of symptom
suppression. They are taught to view asthma as a sometimes-“incurable” illness
that can be “controlled” only by using anti-inflammatory and bronchodilator
drugs (as well as inhalant allergy control). The cause(s) of asthma are not
addressed by this approach. Although factors such as allergic reactions, airway
“hyperreactivity,” and a genetic predisposition are certainly important, the roles
of low stomach acidity and deficient vitamin B12 are completely “off the radar
screen” today.

Nevertheless, there is a growing awareness in conventional medicine that
what goes on in the stomach does have something to do with the symptoms of
asthma. In just the last ten years, more than four hundred scientific articles
concerned with the connection between asthma and gastric acidity have been
published. It turns out that one of the most common features of asthma, in
addition to wheezing, is gastroesophageal reflux, often a sign of low stomach
acid. It is estimated that between 30 percent and 89 percent of people with
asthma also have GERD. Compared with healthy people, those with asthma also
have significantly more reflux episodes and more acid-induced irritation of their
esophageal lining.10

What is the connection between reflux and asthma? No one knows for sure,
but it is certainly complex. It is unclear, for example, whether acid reflux causes
asthma, whether asthma causes reflux, or whether both result from a common
cause, such as low gastric acidity or activity in the vagus nerve, which serves

Page 220

and the acid barrier, 85
and dietary fiber, 81
and folate absorption, 67
and , 94
and histamines, 48
and reflux, 137
zinc, 38, 72, 73, 149
zingiber officinale, 143, 150
Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome (ZES), 96
Zoloft, 78

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