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  • Writer's pictureTim Errington, Chiropractor

Reflux, Heartburn, GERD?

Updated: Aug 15, 2023

It’s all the same and it’s time you knew. This is important, and in a country where colon cancer is rampant, it is certainly worth a little more understanding – if not for you then how about for your kids?

Business man with heartburn and reflux

Just what do you think is the driving force behind the food we see offered to us in supermarkets nowadays? Here’s a clue – it is nothing to do with health or nutrition. It is shelf life.

The corporations need to show a fat profit and so, in the name of efficiency, the food just cannot spoil. So, how do you make it last longer? You add chemicals as preservatives and you kill the natural enzymes found within the food itself that are there to help the food breakdown either to become nutrition for our bodies or to be absorbed back into the soil.

Not food recognised by our bodies – products created for profit

Most people don’t even realise that food must contain enzymes as it is not something we are taught. So we never find out that their removal makes the food less nutritious and actually, somewhat toxic.

What makes these enzymes so important? Well, they are probably the most important component in our metabolism and without them, the breakdown of food would just halt. They must be present in all living tissue and all food and they are absolutely necessary for the very life of the cell – they get literally billions of things done every second. Whether or not these enzymes are present in our food determines whether or not it is natural, nutritious, healthy food OR dead, processed food.

Enzymes must be present for food to be broken down and assimilated by our bodies

Burger and fries cause heartburn

Unfortunately, we can estimate that the best part of 80% of the food consumed in advanced countries like Singapore consists of processed food lacking the necessary enzymes for effective digestion.

Fast foods, packets and tins, pizzas and pastries, bleached rice, fries and chips, dairy pasteurized and homogenized, sodas and sweets – OMG where does it end? It doesn’t! Still more frankenfoods. Those lifeless foods are also tasteless (think cardboard) so now they add chemical flavours and yet more preservatives.

The science of making a non-food seem like food is sophisticated and well moneyed

Add the salt, add the sweet, give it some feel and something to keep bringing you back for more.

So, is this going to nourish you or simply clog you? Well?

Once these products (let’s not call them food as the body doesn’t even recognise them as such) are inside us, this is when digestion should occur. If there are any present, digestive enzymes will attempt to break down these ‘products’ to produce fuel and building blocks.

The trouble is, no enzyme ever invented in human physiology can break down creations like fries saturated in genetically-modified hydrogenated oil; or, complex snack foods with labels from a chemical lab; or, congealed hydrogenated pizza cheese.

Imagine the bolus; no chance of effective breakdown. It stays in the stomach, sometimes for days. You are feeling full and bloated and it’s time for your next meal. What is that going to be? The last meal is still in there as the body didn’t know what to do with it. But, of course, the clock says it is mealtime again so here it comes – more products go down the pipes. Inevitably there’s backup and overflow in the esophagus. This isn’t good as digestive juices are splashed onto its delicate mucosa where it meets the stomach. Here comes the pain -heartburn.

Heartburn tells us a lot about your overall health!

About 5% of Singaporeans suffer from an episode of heartburn once a week. As this can lead to esophageal cancer, this cannot be good. Of course, the usual method of dealing with the discomfort is to hit the Tums but how does this fix the cause? It doesn’t – so here we go again. The heartburn stops for a while due to the antacids but still there is no intestinal motility due to the absence of digestive enzymes. We are still full, really full and any more down the hatch is coming right back up.

The solution for heartburn

Now you understand the mechanism, it should be fairly obvious. Stop eating non-foods and increase your available supply of quality digestive enzymes. You can also take full spectrum enzyme supplements with the highest bioavailability possible i.e. the ones that work. A few simple changes and after a few weeks, you will be left wondering why you spent all those years in pain.

Perhaps a little like how you spent so much time with back pain before you tried chiropractic

So that’s it, now you know and once you know, you know!

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