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What Your Doctor Won’t Tell You About Digestive Pain
By Sherry Brescia
Natural Health Researcher, President, Holistic Blends Inc., Author of the bestselling “Great Taste No Pain,” Editor of the digestive health newsletter “Pain Free Living”
I don’t think there’s anything that causes more embarrassment and discomfort than digestive problems. Yet too many people just accept them as a fact of life; something you just have to ‘live with.” They make us miserable and miserable to be around, too. When you’re the one suffering from a cranky gut, the last thing you want to hear from your doctor is that your gastric problems minor and they’ll say there’s “not much you can do”.
Digestive Distress is the #1 Health Problem in the USA!
Take a look at these shocking statistics: · · 95 million Americans suffer from some type of digestive problem Over 10 million people are hospitalized every year, due to a gastrointestinal problem Digestive diseases are the cause of over 200,000 deaths every year Direct medical cause of digestive disease run upwards of $20 billion annually Constipation is, by far, the most common chronic digestive problem Digestive diseases rank second among all causes of disability due to illness. They result in an estimated 200,000 absences from work each day. Diarrhea is the third leading cause of death by disease worldwide, claiming the lives of the most vulnerable: children and the elderly. 75% of people taking conventional treatments for digestive problems continue to experience symptoms as many as three or more times a week. 65% of people with heartburn may have symptoms day and night.
But Ignoring Digestive Problems Could Threaten Your Life!
Your gastrointestinal tract is, without doubt, the hardest-working soldier in your body. It absorbs the nutrients that keep us healthy and energized. It produces nearly two-thirds of our immune system’s total antibodies. It barricades harmful toxins and pathogens away from the rest of our bodies. And it contributes to our daily health, well-being, and longevity in ways we can’t even measure But what mainstream medicine fails to realize is this: when your digestive system isn’t in top-notch form, then your organs, blood cells, nerves, and muscles are NOT receiving the nutrients they need to function properly. That’s why poor digestion, left unchecked, can leave you open to some serious, even lifethreatening health problems. Research shows that
hepatitis, joint aches, gall bladder problems, kidney stones, allergies, even colo-rectal cancer have all been linked to digestive problems.
Mainstream Medicine = Few Solutions
When it comes to curing gas, bloating, intestinal cramps, acid reflux, and other forms of digestive distress, mainstream medicine has few real solutions. For decades, they have treated digestive problems with a patchwork of symptom-by-symptom remedies that ignore the root causes altogether. Antacids for heartburn. Laxatives for constipation. The pink stuff for diarrhea. Simethicone for gas. And you know what? They don’t work very well. There’s a good reason why they call these remedies “temporary relief.” In fact, one out of every five Americans still suffers digestive woes no matter how many pills they gobble down and how carefully they eat. And digestive problems are the number one reason people see their doctor – especially as they age. Why do digestive problems rear their ugly head as you age? For one thing, your organs simply don’t work the way they did when you were 20. Your vision and hearing is less acute. Your skin is less elastic. And you certainly don’t have the energy levels at 50 that you did at 25. Why should your stomach be any different? After 40, 50+ years of digesting everything you put in your stomachs -- not just food, but alcohol, medicines, grease, chemical flavorings, pesticides -- doesn’t it make sense that your stomach becomes weaker, too? Of course it does. It’s only natural that your digestive system slows down, just like the rest of your body. So it makes less acid, less pepsin, fewer enzymes. Things digest less efficiently. And while most people notice digestive problems as they get older, they can affect people of any age – even young children. Many people start to notice gastritis, colitis or Irritable Bowel symptoms as early as their late teens or 20s. What’s more, most of the digestive problems people suffer from today were virtually unheard of 75 or 100 years ago. Today’s high-stress, fast-paced lifestyle and on-the-go processed meals are the main culprit.
Another Hidden Cause of Stomach Pain: Could You Be a Victim?
The medical profession often blames your digestive pain on an overproduction of acid in the stomach. But this isn’t necessarily so! In fact, nearly half of all people over 50 with heartburn or indigestion actually suffer from a condition called hypochlorhydria, or low stomach acid. It’s difficult to diagnose, since the symptoms are very similar to acid overrun: gas, bloating, indigestion, and belching.
If you suffer from low stomach acid, your body can’t absorb nutrients well and your supply of important digestive enzymes is low. You also open the door to such health problems as irritable bowel syndrome, asthma, joint problems, even diabetes. Needless to say, taking conventional acid-lowering remedies when you suffer from low stomach acid can wreak more havoc on your digestive system. So with all the progress in mainstream medicine…
Why can’t they find a cure for your digestive problems once and for all?
The answer is simple: profits. The pharmaceutical giants have built entire fortunes on medications that soothe the GI tract. They’re so commonly prescribed, that digestive remedies rank in sales second only to cholesterol lowering drugs. If mainstream medicine was able to solve the real cause of your digestive distress, the drug giants would be out of business! Annual sales of both prescription and over-the-counter digestive products are well over $15 billion a year – and the numbers are growing: ANNUAL SALES OF DIGESTIVE REMEDIES
Laxatives Anti-hemorrhoidals Anti-diarrheals Antacids Proton-pump Inhibitors (Prilosec, Nexium, Prevacid)
$900 million $250 million $100 million $ 2 billion $13.6 billion
As you know, over-the-counter remedies can relieve painful symptoms but do nothing to treat the underlying problem. And here’s something else you should know…
In the long run, these medicines do more harm than good!
Regular antacid use can cause your stomach to produce even more acid, a condition called acid rebound. It can make the pH in the intestines friendlier to bad bacteria. It can also open the door for the Helicobacter pylori bacterium that causes ulcers, and even play a role in “leaky gut syndrome.” Likewise, regular laxative use can decrease your colon’s ability to contract and worsen constipation. It can damage your intestinal tissues in the long run and cause dehydration.
They can make you susceptible to Gastrointestinal infections, too. In June, 2006, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) published an article in linking popular acid blockers and Clostridium dificile – an infection of the GI tract that causes watery stools, swelling and irritation of the large intestine. Back in 1994, only one person in 100,000 got what was then a rare infection. By 2004, the occurrence rate had jumped to 22 times higher than what it had been. Scientists concluded that people taking proton-pump inhibitor acid-blocking drugs, such as Nexium, are three times more likely to get infected by Clostridium dificile than people not taking these drugs. And believe it or not, the news gets even worse. Your risk of other serious health problems skyrocket, too. For example…
CNN: Top Ten Most “GUT”Wrenching Cities
CNN released the “G.U.T. list – for for Gastrointestinal Upset Tracker – the top 10 cities where people seem to suffer the highest rates of digestive problems. The rankings are based on a year’s worth of spending per person for stomach-soothing medications. 1. Los Angeles, CA 2. New York, NY 3. Houston, TX 4. Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX 5. San Francisco, CA 6. Chicago, IL 7. Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN 8. Phoenix, AZ 9. Washington, DC 10. San Diego, CA
Researchers in the Netherlands did an antacid study of 500,000 patients. They found that people who had taken acid-suppressive drugs were 4.5 times more likely to get pneumonia than those who hadn’t taken the drugs. Without acid in the stomach, bacteria from the intestine may be moving upstream to reach the throat and then the lungs to cause infection. These drugs may also increase the risk of other milder types of lung infection.
A study published JAMA says that proton-pump inhibitors almost triple the risk of hip fracture. People taking high doses of proton-pump inhibitors for longer than a year were 2.6 times as likely to break a hip as were people not taking an acid blocker. Those taking even modest doses of PPIs regularly for one to four years were 1.2 to 1.6 times as likely to break a hip. Fracture risk rose with duration of use. (Ever wonder why osteoporosis drugs are the biggest thing to hit the airwaves lately?) One of the most common side effects of bone-building medications such as Boniva or Fosamax is reflux. Patients may be prescribed Nexium so they can tolerate the side effects of the osteoporosis drug. But in the end, the benefits of these medications may cancel each other out.
Some researchers also suggest the acid blocking medications prevent the osteoclasts---those are the bone-building cells--from generating the acid they need to dissolve old, weak bones. This would slow or stop natural bone turnover, making your bones more prone to fracture.
What about taking antacids as calcium supplements?
It’s true that calcium helps neutralize stomach acid and protect your delicate stomach lining. And its role in bone health is common knowledge. That’s why many mainstream doctors and big drug makers promote antacids like TUMS® as calcium supplements. But they don’t tell you these popular antacid tablets deliver calcium in the form of Calcium Carbonate. Calcium Carbonate is only good for making chalk and concrete. It’s the lowest-quality, least-absorbable form, more suitable for lawn care than healthcare! In fact, about 40% of post-menopausal women, the age group most susceptible to osteoporosis, are severely deficient in stomach acid and can absorb a mere 4% of the calcium in this form. Calcium carbonate also greatly increases the risk of kidney stones.
For chronic digestive problems, doctors often prescribe antacids for long-term use. However, many popular, over-the-counter antacids contain aluminum hydroxide—a toxic chemical that’s been linked to memory problems! In one fiveyear study of people 65 and older, those who took a kind of antacid called histamine2 receptor antagonist (such as Axid, Pepcid, and Tagamet) were 2-1/2 times more likely to have cognitive problems than those who did not use antacids.
Think Yogurt is a Healthy Way to Eliminate Digestive Ailments? Think Again.
You’ve no doubt seen the wave of advertising for yogurts that claim eating their product for 2 weeks can help with constipation and bloating. And since these brands contain probiotics or “friendly bacteria” that support a healthy digestive tract, the claims do have some merit.
However, Dr. Stephen Wangen, chief Medical Officer at the IBS Treatment Center in Seattle states that many of his patients with flare ups of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and other digestive problems frequently report having tried regular yogurt or one of the new high bacteria products such as Activia®. Unfortunately, many of these patients reported these products did not help them; in many cases, it made them feel worse. According to Dr. Wangen, many patients who experience IBS are actually suffering from a dairy allergy but don't realize it. Yogurt is still a dairy product and can be a potent trigger of their digestive problems. That’s why he tells his patients to stay away from all yogurt— even brands with high probiotic bacteria content.
What You Can Do Right Now to Solve Digestive Distress Naturally
If you are suffering from gas, bloating, constipation, or other digestive pain, there are several herbal and homeopathic remedies that can soothe your cranky gut and relieve your discomfort fast: Betaine Hydrochloride: This beet-based source of hydrochloric acid increases stomach acid and is one of the most effective supplements for indigestion caused by hypochlorhydria (low stomach acid). Most common in those over the age of 50, low stomach acid causes poor nutrient digestion and absorption and leads to fatigue. Carbo vegetabilis: this popular homeopathic remedy relieves bloating, flatulence and indigestion and helps soothe a cranky digestive system. Chamomile: Used as a tea, chamomile is an excellent home remedy for heartburn, indigestion, colic, nausea and general stress. It also has mild relaxant and sedative properties. Dandelion: The dried roots and fresh greens are both used traditionally as an overall digestive and liver tonic. This remedy works best in a simple tea. Deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL): This herbal extract soothes the digestive tract by increasing the mucosal lining. The best form to use is a chewable tablet that can provide quick relief. Fennel: this culinary herb is also known as a carminative, which means it helps expel gas from the intestinal tract. It helps relieve abdominal cramps, gas, and bloating. Fennel seeds can be used in cooking or made into a tasty licorice tea. Ginger: This wonderful digestive aid alleviates nausea, strengthens the lining of the upper gastrointestinal tract, and protects against ulcers and parasites. Nux Vomica: This homeopathic remedy is often given to people who suffer stress-related digestive problems. It helps relieve indigestion, heartburn, abdominal cramps, nausea and diarrhea. Peppermint (and spearmint): Like fennel, peppermint is also a carminative that helps ease gas, bloating , IBS and nausea according to some studies. It’s an overall digestive aid that’s soothing, refreshing, and quick acting. You can steep peppermint leaves for tea. Peppermint oil is also available in capsule form.
3 ways to cure long-term digestive problems at the source so you’ll never suffer again Digestive Enzymes
Digestive enzymes help break down carbohydrates, fats, and proteins so your body can absorb glucose, amino acids, and fatty acids. When you don’t have enough enzymes, you can suffer nutritional deficiencies, food cravings, and poor immunity. Indigestion, heartburn, irregularity, gas, bloating, and constipation are often the result. A shortage of enzymes also deprives your cells of much-needed energy—energy you need to stay healthy and vibrant. Enzymes are divided into three categories: protein, carbohydrates, and fats:
Protease enzymes digest proteins. This includes bromelain, papain, pancreatin, and pepsin. Amylase enzymes digest carbohydrates. This includes lactase (specific to digesting dairy products), invertase (for digesting sugar), and cellulose (for digesting fiber) Lipase enzymes digest fats. This category primarily includes lipase and pancreatin.
Mainstream medicine tends to scoff atthe idea of digestive enzymes, just like they do regarding vitamin supplements and herbal remedies. But there is a lot of scientific evidence that shows if you have problems digesting steak, dairy, or rich foods, enzymes can help. Choosing the most appropriate digestive enzymes depends largely on the types of foods that trigger digestive difficulties. For people with lactose-intolerance, supplementing with lactase tablets is a safe and easy way to enjoy dairy without the nausea, bloating and discomfort. Pregnant women, too, may find themselves feeling nauseous after a meal or first thing in the morning. Taking a mild digestive enzyme such as papain, a proteolytic enzyme extracted from papaya, can sometimes help quell the nausea. Papain is helpful for motion sickness as well. Most people find that a multiple enzyme formulation is most effective. These formulas contain a wide spectrum of enzymatic ingredients, some of which support the action in the stomach and others that boost the enzymatic action taking place further down the digestive tract.
Clinical studies now reveal that a major cause of digestive discomfort is usually an excess of harmful bacteria in your colon and GI tract. The healthy colon should contain at least 85% lactobacillus and 15% coliform bacteria. However, the typical colon bacteria balance is the reverse, resulting in gas, bloating, pathogenic organisms, constipation, and malabsorption of nutrients. How do you restore this digestive imbalance? With probiotics. Probiotics are health-enhancing good bacteria that play an integral part in healthy digestion. These beneficial microorganisms are essential for your overall good health. They break down the food we eat and help your body absorb key vitamins and minerals. They crowd out harmful bacteria like e. coli and salmonella so they can’t proliferate and do harm. They keep the lid on fungus, mold, and other pathogens so they, too, can’t gain the upper hand and run wild. In a very real sense, probiotics work around the clock to keep your digestive system in healthy balance and to keep your essential life processes working smoothly. But as you age, your levels of friendly bacteria decline – and that triggers a wide array of digestive problems. If you one of the tens of millions of people who are fed up with digestive woes and the toll they take, then a high-quality probiotic can provide you with a real chance to live better and feel better — in just a matter of weeks or even days. However, when you purchase a probiotic, be a label reader. For best results, a probiotic supplement should: · Contain multiple strains of several bacteria – ideally a balance of both the Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria species. It should contain at least 5 billion CFUs per dose. This is the minimum amount you need to feel any benefits. Have a pharmaceutical-grade enteric coating to protect the bacteria inside. Probiotics should be stored in a refrigerator to guarantee maximum effectiveness. Store-bought probiotics that have sat on a shelf for month will likely contain dead bacteria, and won’t be effective.
One of the best researched,probiotic formulas available meets all this criteria is Super Shield, now available from Blue Rock Holistics. Super Shield multi-probiotic contains 13 powerful “Super Strains” proven by science for their potency and effectiveness. Find out more about Super Shield right here. http://www.bluerockholistics.com/wp/gtnp.asp
FOOD COMBINING: The Scientifically-Proven Secret to Pain-Free Digestion for Live
Have you ever thought about the possibility that it's not so much what you're eating that could be the problem but how you're eating? Steak and potatoes, tuna-noodle casserole, scrambled eggs with toast... these classic American meals are also classic examples of why the standard American diet is making us fatter and more prone to disease. And if, after eating one of those traditional meals, if you experience bloating or feel gassy, dehydrated or tired, you’re not alone. They violate all the principles of food combining. Food combining was developed almost 100 years ago by Dr. William Howard Hay, a prominent New York physician, in a successful effort to cure his own struggling health. He then used it to cure a wide range of illnesses. The Hay Diet, as it was called, was enormously successful and Dr. Hay went on to become a famous author and lecturer on the topic. Unfortunately, the technique of food combining got swept away by the wave of pharmaceutical drugs and surgery that came to dominate medicine by the mid-20th century. Antibiotics and instant cures took preference over Dr. Hay’s common sense approach to healthy eating. However, it’s now finally gaining the attention it deserves. Authorities like Dr. Herbert Shelton and Dr. Stanley Bass are tireless advocates for this safe, natural, and incredibly effective method for solving digestive problems without drugs or surgery.
Eat What You Want – Love What You Eat.
According to Dr. Hay, digestive problems begin when you eat mis-combined foods day in and day out. This stresses your digestive system beyond its ability to function. That’s when serious digestive conditions like diverticulitis, gastritis, colitis, IBS, Crohn’s, ulcers, and other chronic problems emerge. Different types of foods trigger the release of different types of digestive enzymes, some acidic and others alkaline. Alone, each type of enzyme does a fabulous job breaking down foods as nature intended. But when both types of digestive enzymes are released at the same time, that’s when trouble can develop. Why? The alkaline and acid enzymes neutralize each other to the point where neither type of enzyme can do its job. Digestion is greatly impaired and your meal does not get broken down, getting stuck between the crevices located in the intestinal track, causing the toxic wastes to
ferment and putrefy. These toxic particles will then pass into the bloodstream where they can cause allergic reactions in the form of various health related problems. In addition, the undigested food particles become food for unhealthy bacteria to feed upon. This opens the door to intestinal cramps, acid reflux, nausea, constipation, indigestion and a host of other health problems. Simply put, food combining is a way of eating foods so that they do not work against each other and cause pain. Specific food groups, such as carbohydrates, proteins and fats, each require different digestion times and digestive enzymes, in order to be broken down and utilized by the body efficiently. So you should only consume foods that have approximately the same digestion times and use the same or similar digestive agents to break them down. For example, protein foods (meats) need a very acidic environment in order that they can be digested appropriately. Carbohydrates (starches and sugars), on the other hand, require a much more alkaline medium to digest, as do fats. If you eat a meal that consists of meat, vegetables and a dessert, you have, in effect, neutralized your digestive system. In doing so, you have slowed the digestive process down to almost a complete stop. But food combining is actually quite simple, because it categorizes all foods into three distinct types: • Type A foods are relatively neutral and pass through your stomach with little or no digestive enzymes required to break them down. • Type B foods require alkaline digestive enzymes to break down, beginning in the mouth with the enzyme ptyalin and continuing in the stomach and small intestine. Type C foods require powerful acids to be broken down, namely hydrochloric acid and pepsin in the stomach.
With proper food combining, you can still eat any type of food you wish either alone, or in compatible combinations so you can enjoy what you are eating, without any pain for discomfort. Unlike restrictive diets, food combining allows you to eat even great volumes of luscious, delicious food as long as you combine it according to a few simple guidelines. It truly requires very little willpower. Plus, it works fast – as little as 24 hours – or less. And your digestive system will truly run like clockwork.
Where to Learn More About Alkalizing & Food Combining
Great Taste, No Pain by Sherry Brescia is the most comprehensive, and simple, resource ever written on food combining. Ms. Brescia is a medical researcher who has compiled a tremendous amount of information into a food combining system that anyone can follow. In fact, her scientifically proven method has already helped thousands of people worldwide quickly reverse chronic digestive problems. Sherry, a lifelong IBS suffer, endured constant pain that eventually landed her in the hospital. But she turned her health around practically overnight once she learned the principle of food combining. She never suffered from cramps, bloating, gas, constipation, or other digestive problems ever again. From that time on, Sherry devoted her career to researching the science of food combining. Why it works. How it works. What foods work best together and what food combinations are absolute nightmares for someone with digestive problems. Sherry meshed a number of philosophies to come up with a program specially designed to dramatically reduce the acid pH measure in a person’s entire body — not just in the stomach. Her Great Taste No Pain system shows you, step by step, how to combine foods in a way that radically decreases the amount of acid digestive juices in the stomach and small intestines required to break down foods. When you begin following Sherry Brescia’s Great Taste No Pain system, you'll be amazed at the amount of energy you have, even late into the evening. You won't have any discomfort, no bloating, no need to eat again within an hour and no need for caffeine after meals. There’s no guesswork involved, either. Great Taste No Pain includes delicious recipes for tasty breakfasts, lunches and dinner. You get a comprehensive list of every possible food you can combine with meats without suffering. Most people will suddenly be able to eat beef, chicken, fish, pork, turkey and any other type of meat they want. As long as you combine it right... no pain at all! And broccoli, lettuce, cucumbers and other veggies that can create havoc suddenly will not. You will also learn why eating certain fruits can trigger problems, and how you can easily stop that from happening (Yes, you CAN eat fruit again. It just depends on what you eat it with…) If you want more energy, better sleep, relief from food allergies … if you want to put an end to gastritis, acid reflux, constipation, and painful cramps … the Great Taste No Pain system can help end your misery in as little as 24 hours or less. You can order the Great Taste No Pain system online at http://www.greattastenopain.com/great.asp or by calling 1-315-295-1236
· Digestive statistics: http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/statistics/statistics.htm http://www.mynht.com/acidreflux.shtml Natural Remedies Products: Your Digestive Problems and Food Combinations Guide - Issues to Remember http://www.naturalremediesproducts.com/digestive-problems.php Naturopathy Digest: The Downside of Acid-Blocking Drugs http://www.naturopathydigest.com/archives/2007/apr/schor.php Dial S, Delaney JA, Barkun AN, Suissa S. Use of gastric acid-suppressive agents and the risk of community-acquired Clostridium difficile-associated disease. JAMA, Dec. 21, 2005;294(23):2989-95. Activia and Other Yogurt Touted as Digestive Cures May Make Digestive Problems Worse: http://www.prweb.com/releases/yogurt/digestion/prweb569059.htm CNN: 'GUT list' ranks cities with stomach woes http://archives.cnn.com/2000/HEALTH/12/06/indigestion/index.html Natural remedies for digestive problems: retrieved 4.20.09 from: http://www.quickandsimple.com/diet-weight-loss/health/natural-tummy-remedies Natural digestive aids: Retrieved 4.20.09 from: http://www.alive.com/3563a5a2.php?subject_bread_cramb=222 Food Combining: http://www.healingdaily.com/detoxification-diet/food-combining.htm