All disease begins in the gut.
I am reading through the latest edition of Wise Traditions, Published by the Weston A. Price Foundation. One article in particular is quite fascinating to me. It’s by Kathryne Pirtle and entitled Acid Reflux: A Red Flag with the sub title A Precursor to Chronic Illness.
The following are excerpts from this amazing article. If you wish to read the full length version (what I share here barely scratches the surface!) you can write and request it directly from the Weston A Price Foundation. I also highly recommend anybody who is able to subscribe and become a member so that articles like these are delivered straight to your door! =)
“In the United States, sixty million people have acid reflux, or one in five. Acid reflux and related digestive disorders now constitute an epidemic, and no age group has been spared. In fact, 50% of infants suffer from acid reflux in the first months of life, and during the last few years, there has been a 56% increase in sales of medicine for acid reflux and digestive disorders in infants and children from birth to four years old!”
“The medications for acid reflux have a poor track record. In 33% of the people taking them they don’t work at all. Sixty percent of those taking these medications continue to have problems three times a week, and 75% are double up on over-the-counter drugs.”
“According to Hippocrates, ‘All disease begins in the gut.’ An underlying principle in Chinese medicine is that good digestion is the key to good health. As a corollary Dr. Weston A. Price noted that the principle cause of disease is malnourishment.”
Acid Reflux and Asthma
“Interestingly, 41.1 percent of non-smokers who have a chronic cough and 60% of those who have asthma also have acid reflux. Asthma in children and adults is increasing at exponential rates. In 1995, almost fourteen million people were diagnosed with asthma while today that number has jumped to over thirty-four million.
How does acid reflux lead to asthma? First, acid reflux may cause people to breath tiny drops of hydrochloric acid into their lungs, which can irritates the delicate pulmonary lining and cause spasms in the airways, triggering an asthma attack. Second, frequent episodes of acid reflux may cause digestive acid to damage the esophageal lining and expose some of the nerves that are connected to the lungs. Irritation of the nerve endings may initiate a constrictions of airways, thereby causing an asthma attack. Additionally, the acid can cause inflammation of the throat and larynx.
Surprisingly, asthma medications that dilate the bronchial tubes can trigger acid reflux symptoms, as they may cause the cardiac sphincter to relax, allowing acid to escape up through the esophagus. Regrettably, the conventional treatments for asthma merely address the symptom of narrowed breathing passages. While this is a very necessary step, such treatment does not address the underlying causes.
Seven Million people suffer from ear infections every year. Acid Reflux may cause persistent ear infections as refluxed liquid enters the upper throat and inflames the adenoids causing them to swell. The swollen adenoids can block the passages from the sinuses and Eustachian tubes, and fluid can build in the sinuses and middle ear.”
Program for Recovery from Acid Reflux
STEP ONE: The first step to recovery is eating foods that are easy to digest, end the candida cycle, heal the digestive tract, and offer superior nutrition. Start with bone broth soups exclusively for the first week. Make soups with homemade broth containing a variety of vegetables and a little chopped meat or liver.
STEP TWO: The second step to recovery is inoculating the gut with foods that will build a healthy intestinal flora. This is the time to add full-fat cow or goat milk kefir or yogurt – kefir has beneficial yeasts that literally “eat” candida, and contains other probiotic bacteria that will colonize in your intestinal tracts. Ideally, you should make your own kefir or yogurt out of whole raw milk, but if you cannot find raw milk you can purchase a high-quality, organic plain whole milk yogurt such as Traderspoint, Brown Cow, Seven Stars or Stoneyfield. If dairy is not tolerated, try other fermented foods and beverages such as homemade sauerkraut or pickles, coconut kefir, beet kvass, lacto fermented sodas and kombucha.
STEP THREE: The third step to recovery is to consume a diet consisting solely of nutrient-dense, easy to digest foods that continue to heal the intestinal tracts and support a healthy flora. Your diet should include:
– High quality fats – for nutrient absorption and healing the gut lining- including raw butter, coconut oil, palm oil, and lard, goose fat, duck fat, and tallow from pastured animals. Take cod liver oil for Vitamins A and D.
– High quality animal foods including liver and other organ meats, eggs (especially the yolks) from pastured hens, wild caught seafood including fish eggs and shellfish and dairy foods like raw whole milk and cheese.
– Bone Broths in soups, stews and sauces.
– Cultured vegetables and beverages-saurerkraut, pickled beets, beet kvass, kombucha.
– Vegetables- limit vegetables, at first to those you consume in bone broth soups or saute or steam- always add butter or coonut oil.
These are just the highlights that I found easiest to pass on. Do you or someone close to you suffer from acid reflux? Have you found any products that have offered long term relief? Do you know of anybody who has tried an acid reflux healing diet like this? Please share in the comments section! =)