If you want stomach cancer, take Antacids. | Integrative functional medicine blog

If you want stomach cancer, take Antacids.




A recent
study found regular use of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) for acid reflux raises the risk of stomach cancer. PPI users (Prilosec, Prevacid) in the study had twice the risk for stomach cancer compared to those who used H2-receptor acid reducing drugs (Tagamet, Pepcid).

About 20 percent of Americans suffer with
acid reflux and heartburn. Most people attribute acid reflux to excess stomach acid. Most often this is not the case. Generally, the problem is too little stomach acid.





A recent
study found regular use of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) for acid reflux raises the risk of stomach cancer. PPI users (Prilosec, Prevacid) in the study had twice the risk for stomach cancer compared to those who used H2-receptor acid reducing drugs (Tagamet, Pepcid).

About 20 percent of Americans suffer with
acid reflux and heartburn. Most people attribute acid reflux to excess stomach acid. Most often this is not the case. Generally, the problem is too little stomach acid.

How does low stomach acid cause acid reflux?

The stomach is highly acidic by design so that it can quickly break down foods and kill bacteria, fungi, and other pathogens. It starts the digestion process and acts as a first line of defense for the immune system. Good stomach acidity also helps absorb minerals and signal the rest of the digestive tract to release the right hormones, enzymes, and emulsifiers.

Sufficient stomach acid is an important first step in ensuring overall digestion runs smoothly and that you are less susceptible to heartburn, indigestion, belching, gas, food allergies, bacterial infection, and abdominal pain.

What causes low stomach acid?
Common factors that cause low stomach acid include stress, bacterial infection, poor diet, and nutritional deficiencies. However, an H. pylori infection, which is linked to stomach ulcers, is one of the the most common causes of low stomach acid. If you have any type of pet, this is a common route of transmission. So don’t let them lick your face unless you are absolutely sure they don’t have it and was your hands. With regular soap, not triclosan antibacterial soap.

Other factors that play a role in low stomach acid include hypothyroidism, pernicious anemia, and deficiencies in zinc B12, magnesium, or chloride. People who have been
vegetarians or vegans for a long time may be deficient in zinc and B12, which are abundant in meats.

How low stomach acid causes acid reflux
In order for the small intestine to receive food from the stomach, the contents must be acidic enough to trigger that passage. When this fails to happen, the In order for the small intestine to receive food from the stomach, the contents must be acidic enough to trigger that passage. When this fails to happen, the food shoots back up into the esophagus.

Although the food is not acidic enough for the small intestine, it is too acidic for esophageal tissue. This is what causes the burning of acid reflux, or heartburn.

Why antacids worsen acid reflux in the long run
Antacids or acid blockers bring temporary relief but can cause bigger problems in the long run. Without stomach acid to trigger the release of enzymes, digestive hormones, and emulsifiers, nutrient absorption suffers and the digestive tract is more prone to infection, inflammation, and damage. It starts a vicious cycle that is often hard to break.

SEE MY PREVIOUS POST ON HOW TO TEST FOR LOW STOMACH ACID

How to improve low stomach acid
The first thing to do with low stomach acid is address the root cause. As we age, stomach acid naturally decreases. You can boost stomach acid by taking a supplement that contains betaine hydrochloric acid (HCl). However, if you have stomach ulcers or stomach autoimmunity (when the immune system attacks and destroys tissue), supplementing with HCl could make you worse. In these situations you need to address the existing condition first.

Also keep in mind that many times, if you are acid deficient for long enough or severe enough, when you do a test with betaine HCL you can sometimes have the test results come back as if you have too much acid. This is basically caused by the stomach lining becoming “thinned and irritated” thus you then become intolerant to normal stomach acid levels. This is a difficult case to deal with. But not impossible.

If this is something you need help with please give my office a call and I would be happy to assist you in any way I can.

I’m Dr. Craig Mortensen, an anti-antacid doctor.
Be healthy, be happy!


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