Dr. Rajesh Singh
Jun 20, 2021
Food is one of the basic necessities of human beings and it stands first among the 3 basic needs – Roti, Kapda, and Makan. Without food, you can’t survive. Our Food is like fuel to our body. Our food affects every aspect of our being - that is our mood, our energy levels, our thinking capacity, our sleeping habits, our sex drive, and our general health. Good digestion of that food becomes very important. When you eat any foods, they are not in a form that the body can use as nourishment. Food and drink need to convert into smaller molecules of nutrients so that they can be absorbed into the blood and carried to cells throughout the body.
The digestion process breaks down food into nutrients, which the body uses for cell repair, energy, and growth. Healthy eating is key to well-being. And in today’s fast forward lifestyle our food choices have become unhealthy. The way we eat has changed. Especially for busy professionals, it becomes difficult to maintain a healthy food choice and food timing.
But today, even when we are surrounded by food all the time, the understanding of food is very poor. Most of us eat what comes in front of us. Most of us appreciate the taste and convenience and we focus on curry. There are hardly a few who really try to understand what it is made up of and what it can do after it enters our body.
What food you will eat is a choice. Earlier, what food will you eat was decided by someone at home like your mother, your wife, or someone who really cared for you. Things have changed over a period of time. Now, what you will eat is being decided by the technology and food delivery apps. Most of the time it’s being decided by your mood or the surrounding that you are in. Everything is focused on your convenience, availability because the whole problem is that you are too busy.
By default, you are consuming unhealthy foods most of the time. Everything you eat is mostly processed & refined – including your oil. Unhealthy and junk food has become part of our everyday diet. These all lead to indigestion, acidity, bloating, constipation, etc.
Today, ‘acidity’ is the 2nd most googled word after weight loss.
Most of crazy-busy people suffer from acidity.
Unfortunately, most of the people who suffer from acidity think that it is due to excessive stomach acid and they keep treating for the same. And in the process, they enter into the loop of disease. From just a gut, gastric, or acidity it loops into skin problems, hair fall, obesity, and so many diseases. And most people are completely unaware of this trap.
What do you do when acidity happens? You take antacid … right? Most people self-prescribe antacid and keep popping antacid tablets. So much so that, you can find antacid tablets or liquid in almost every home. I know a few of my friends who have it always at their office desk.
So, everyone thinks that acidity is due to the high amount of stomach acid. But, do you know that there can be low stomach acid also? And the symptoms are almost the same for both - it’s acidity, indigestion, bloating, gas, Acid reflux, constipation, etc.
People link any of these symptoms with high stomach acid and they start treating themselves with antacids and many other medicines. You should take antacid only when you need it and let your doctor decide whether you need an antacid. Self-medication is the problem. And if you really feel that you have excessive stomach acid then better get tested, there are medical tests that can confirm whether you have more stomach acid or you have some food allergy or food intolerance. But, when you start treating yourself with an antacid, even when you have low stomach acid then you get into the loop of chronic sickness and you never come out of it.
This human body is an amazing machine. The way it functions is simply incredible. When we chew and eat food, it sends a signal to produce stomach acid. Saliva is rich in mucus that acts as a barrier and protects the stomach wall from stomach acid. Gastric juice is made up of digestive enzymes, mucus, and stomach acid. You need them insufficiently for healthy digestion.
If stomach acid is low or not sufficient, then it will create the problem of indigestion, infection, etc. Low stomach acid creates more problems than high stomach acid. And Antacids create bigger problems. You have no idea what kind of damage you are making to your system by taking antacids.
Stomach acid is not ENEMY. It is bad only when it’s more than a limit. Very few people (not even 10%) would have high stomach acid.
The stomach is the only part of the digestive system that is sterile. There are billions of bacteria (good and bad) in our mouths, nose, and intestines. The function of the stomach acid is to kill anything that is unwanted which has traveled into the body as we breathe in or swallow. So basically, acid is in the stomach because it is supposed to be there.
The stomach acid is also responsible for deconstructing proteins into useable building blocks for the body to use, and for breaking down vitamins and minerals in order for them to be absorbed by the body and carry out their function. Some of these vitamins and minerals include vitamin B12, folic acid, zinc, calcium, and iron. Once the stomach acid breaks down the nutrients, it goes into the intestines to be absorbed.
Stomach acid is required for you to live, survive and digest your food and keep your health perfect. If it was not needed then the body will not produce it. It breaks your food into small molecules so that body can absorb it, it kills bacteria, infection, and parasites. But when you take antacid, it reduces your stomach acid. Antacid actually works by stopping the production of your stomach acid. And if you are taking antacid in already low stomach acid then it is going to make acid production even lower. You already have low acid and by taking antacid you are making it further lower.
Now you don’t have sufficient stomach acid to break down your proteins and minerals. So, your stomach has to work really hard and the result is indigestion, gas, bloating, and heartburn. In low stomach acid, you will not be able to digest meat, pulses, chana, mung, rajma, thick cellulose leaf veggies, vitamins, etc. And you get the indication in form of burp or acidity. This tells you that the food didn’t break down in your system and now entering your small intestine and is going to create problems for you there. It can lead to SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth) because fermentation feeds the wrong bacteria yeast.
It may create an issue of the leaky gut syndrome and then it enters into your blood. The body then identifies that food molecule as a threat to the body and you can develop intolerance to that food. This way auto-immune changes your entire system. It starts identifying your food as your enemy and starts attacking those food molecules and creates auto-immune conditions. So even your food intolerance has a direct connection with low stomach acid. It puts you into a loop of diseases - skin rashes, skin irritations, eczema, rheumatoid arthritis, etc. This becomes the root cause of so many diseases including Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), H-Pylori etc.
Popping antacid in low stomach acid can lead you to one more danger. If you are with low stomach acid then eventually you are going to be in deficiency of vitamins and minerals. This is because your food is not broken down properly and the nutrients are not absorbed by your body. On the other hand, the undigested food is getting rotten inside your intestine, getting toxic for your body, and leading to harmful bacterial growth. The result can be toxic accumulation, bad odor, visceral fat, obesity, vitamin deficiency, dry skin, hair fall, constant constipation or frequent diarrhea, etc.
The solution is taking a holistic approach with a healthy diet and healthy lifestyle. Calm down when you eat. Chew well before you gulp down. Always make healthy food choices with sufficient fiber intake. Home Remedies & Natural Treatment are better way. There are so many great herbs and spices that can work wonders for you. Ginger, Lemon, Azwain, Dhania, Saunf, etc. are the natural ways to overcome acidity without any damage to your system. Supplements like GoYNG Dizest are an easy and convenient alternative to those harmful antacids.