A Holistic Acupuncture and Wellness Center serving the Frisco/Breckenridge Area since 2004.

Breckenridge Residents…Suffering from Heartburn?   The Surprise Cause and 5 Natural Solutions

Natural Solutions for HeartburnNearly 40% of the US population suffers from acid reflux at one time or another.

For an increasing number of people it has become a chronic health issue.  Although Breckenridge residents are generally healthy, heartburn is still a problem I see in my office.

Prilosec and Nexium are western drugs used to treat this upsetting problem.   The marketing of these products can lead you to believe it is your only option.  Fortunately there are effective all natural options to address the cause of acid reflux without side effects.  Employing these options can eliminate or reduce your symptoms depending on severity.

Strangely enough most cases of heartburn and acid reflux are actually from a lack of stomach acid!  Yes, you heard me correctly too little HCL (hydrochloric acid)!  The symptoms of too much stomach acid vs. not enough are very similar.  Some symptoms are heartburn, bloating, indigestion, constipation, diarrhea and the list goes on. Poor diets full of processed foods, stress and aging contribute to a problem with stomach acid HCL production.

These days, compromised digestion is more the norm unfortunately due to factors listed above.  As a result low levels  HCL  production is common.  The stomach requires a certain acid PH level for the pyloric sphincter, the muscle valve that opens and closes into the stomach to work correctly.  HCL is necessary for many essential aspects of digestion.  So if you don’t have enough HCL to start and then your muscle sphincter doesn’t close properly the problems starts.  When the stomach attempts to churn food or you lay down, undigested sour food and/or the little HCL present will cause the distressing symptoms of heartburn.

Western medicine views acid reflux to be the result of too much acid (HCL). Based on this theory, drugs that neutralize acid in the stomach are prescribed.  The problem here is completely shutting off the HCL sets you up for health problems that can be serious in the long term.

Hydrochloric Acid performs these important functions:

  • Breaking down proteins into the essential amino acids and nutrients your body needs in order to stay healthy.
  • Stimulating your pancreas and small intestines to produce the digestive enzymes and bile necessary to further breakdown the carbohydrates, proteins and fats you eat.
  • Preventing disease by killing pathogenic bacteria and yeast normally present in food.

Without sufficient stomach acid you become protein malnourished and your first line of defense against pathogens is weakened.  Minerals and vitamins cannot be properly absorbed.  Both of these issues set the stage for a host of aging related diseases.  Of course this problem is amplified by the use of drugs that completely neutralize the little amount of acid that is being produced by the body. Eventually these medications can turn off all acid production in the body.

What can be done to reverse this problem?  Production of hydrochloric acid (HCL) must improve to support strong digestive function.

The 5 suggestions below have helped many of my patients to feel better and be healthier.

  1. Greatly reduce or eliminate sugar and refined carbohydrates.  While coffee, alcohol, tomato sauce and citrus are problematic in many cases,  gluten often plays an even bigger role.
  2. Get into the habit of taking a quality probiotic and eating fermented food.  Miso soup that hasn’t been overheated (this kills the beneficial bacteria) and Rejuvenate (brand) sauerkraut, both found Natural Grocers Vitamin Cottage are good examples. Avoid mass produced yogurt as the dairy is hard on an already weak digestion and probiotic content is questionable.
  3. Get enough exercise.  Make sure it is a good balance of cardio and  yoga, meditation or Qi Gong.
  4. Try drinking Braggs unpasteurized apple cider vinegar (2 tablespoons) in 1/3 cup of water before meals.  This can naturally encourage the body to produce more hydrochloric acid (HCL) and restore digestive health.  An option is supplementing with HCL.  Both of these are best done while working with a healthcare practitioner who is knowledgeable about problems with heartburn.
  5. Consider acupuncture.  It effectively helps to restore digestive health and reduce the chronic stress that inevitably accompanies acid reflux. If stress is not reduced it is very difficult to make any long term improvements.  The digestive system is recently been called the ‘second brain.’  We literally experience negative emotions in directly in this area which highlights the importance of stress reduction in the treatment plan.  Acupuncture is amazingly effective for stress relief.

Aren’t you ready to get lasting relief from heartburn and acid reflux?   The first step is to download the free eBook “How to Thrive in the Modern World” . Next call Kathy at 970-333-9027 to discuss your specific situation.





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Kathy Castrigno, L.Ac., MS is a licensed acupuncturist and coach who has helped hundreds of people with chronic pain, stress and emotional blockages, and deeper life challenges.

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Kathy Castrigno L.Ac. MSOM

(970) 333-9027
1000 N. Summit Blvd. Suite 200
Frisco, Colorado 80443
(located in the Bank of the West
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