Welcome to part six of our blog series and your journey to better digestion & nutrient absorption.
Up until this point, you’ve learned about the three major phases of digestion which take place in the mouth, stomach, and finally the small intestine. All these digestive areas are powerfully related and connect to each other.
Today their interconnectedness is made evident when we look at the true cause of G.E.R.D. also known as Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease. (You can find all the scientific literature for this post at iMag library’s digestion section.)
What Is G.E.R.D?
If you suffer from GERD or severe heartburn, you may have been told that the cause is stomach acid. It’s not. (That’s simply bad science perpetuated by a fundamental error: making the assumption that just because two things occur together, that one of them causes the other. That’s literally the single worst error that can be made in science.)
The reality is that yes, during G.E.R.D, your stomach acid is in fact entering your esophagus and causing you pain. However the stomach acid itself is not causing the problem. (In fact humans can’t live without stomach acid. It’s essential to life.) The real cause of G.E.R.D. leads to the stomach acid entering the esophagus. In other words, the acid reflux is only the symptom of G.E.R.D, not the cause.
What Causes G.E.R.D?
The real cause of G.E.R.D can be found by asking this question:
“Why is your stomach acid entering your esophagus in the first place, when it belongs in your stomach?” It’s because your lower esophageal sphincter (LES) is not working properly. What is the LES? It’s the zone that separates your stomach and esophagus and prevents acid from leaving your stomach and entering your esophagus.
The only time this entrypoint should be open, is when food is dropping down into your stomach from your esophagus. As soon as the food enters your stomach, the LES should close again and stay closed, preventing the possibility of any stomach acid entering your esophagus.
What do experts say causes this esophageal malfunction? Intra-abdominal pressure in the stomach, which stems from bacterial buildup in the small intestine (SIBO or Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth).
In otherwords, too much bacteria in your gut and eventually your stomach, can stop your LES flap from preventing acid reflux. At this point, you’ve got G.E.R.D.
What Leads To G.E.R.D. Bacterial Overgrowth?
The four major contributors to this bacterial overgrowth are:
- High iron in the gut (all bacteria feed on iron to survive).
- A weak intestinal immune system which allows bacteria to thrive.
- Undigested carbs which generate hydrogen gas that feeds h.pylori bacteria.
- LOW stomach acid: stomach acid is the body’s very first defence against bacteria – most bacteria cannot survive stomach acid. “Wait, but if I have low stomach acid, how can it be the cause of all this pain in my esophagus? Isn’t too much stomach acid the cause of G.E.R.D?” No! GERD is not caused by too much acid. It’s caused by acid being in the wrong place! Even if you have low stomach acid, the tiny amount that comes up into your esophagus is MORE than enough to cause serious pain, so it’s very possible that you can have low stomach acid production and still experience serious heartburn and GERD.)
Magnesium Deficiency & G.E.R.D
All four of the above factors which contribute to G.E.R.D’s bacterial overgrowth, are less likely to occur if you have enough magnesium. This is because of magnesium’s roles in all these bodily systems:
- Magnesium regulates iron levels via the enzyme ceruloplasmin, to prevent the buildup of excess iron that otherwise feeds bacteria.
- Magnesium fuels your leukocytes (immune cells) and activates vitamin D which is your immune system’s most powerful helper. In other words, magnesium strengthens your intestine’s immune system to also keep bad gut bacteria from overgrowing.
- Magnesium is essential for every major aspect of carbohydrate digestion. Low magnesium thus leads to undigested carbs in the intestine which create the hydrogen gas that feeds h.pylori bacteria.
- Stomach acid production is impossible without magnesium, thus low magnesium can result in low stomach acid, which is insufficient to kill the overgrowth of bacteria caused by the above 3 factors (while still being enough acid to cause serious pain in your esophagus).
All these factors add up to a bacterial overgrowth in the intestine and eventually the stomach, and this can lead to pressure, inflammation and the eventual malfunction of your stomach’s lower esophageal sphincter.
At this point, stomach acid is free to enter your esophagus because it does not have anything blocking it.
Conclusion: Avoid Drugs, Eat Smart, Mind Your Gut
Instead of taking debilitating PPI drugs that destroy your stomach’s ability to make antibacterial, protein-digesting stomach acid, you should focus on solving the root problem of G.E.R.D.
Take the necessary actions to strengthen your gut’s immune system, and enhance carbohydrate digestion. There are three powerful steps you can take to move towards these goals:
1. Safe, Natural Magnesium Supplementation – Use a pure natural magnesium supplement that is transdermal and can pass through your skin when you spray it on, so you avoid the typical digestive issues of oral magnesium supplements. See why so many people use iMag: the world’s purest natural magnesium to enhance their digestion and help relieve G.E.R.D.
2. Proper Food Combinging – Avoid mixing starchy and heavy carbs (potatoes, rice, bread, pasta, wheat etc) with animal proteins including meat, fish and eggs. When they are in each other’s presence, they inhibit each others’ optimal digestion because carb-digestive enzymes and protein-digestive enzymes in the intestine both need different pH environments! This leads to undigested carbs which create the hydrogen gas that feeds h.pylori bacteria.
3. Natural Digestive Aids – Consume organic ginger root (either raw or steeped in hot water) with your meals. Ginger has very powerful digestive properties and aids with stomach function as well as the intestine’s control of bad gut bacteria.
These natural approaches are more effective at resolving the root cause of G.E.R.D, than taking PPI drugs which don’t solve anything but instead destroy your stomach’s most import function, forever!
We’ll see you in the next post where we review your digestive health and how magnesium is critical to maximizing nutrient absorption and preventing digestive diseases.
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Anything not referenced/cited here can be found on iMag Library (magnesiumhealth.org). This is our sister website that we created for you with all the scientific literature about magnesium and the human body.
(We assume no responsibility and/or credit for any of the graphics used in this post. All credit goes to the various and individual creators of graphic and visual content.)