Acid and Digestion

November 19, 2010

Alkaline Foods and Acidic Foods

If? you are one of the millions of American’s who suffer from acid reflux? disease, it is not news to you that a diet high in acidic foods will only irritate your condition and cause your symptoms to be more severe. There are many natural ways to help alleviate the symptoms that accompany this condition, and changing your diet is one of them. Knowing the difference between alkaline and acidic foods is a great way to help incorporate nutritional foods into your diet and a great resource for self managing your acid reflux.

An alkaline food is technically any food which is not acidic and whose pH level is greater than seven. Basically it?s any food low in acid. Not only do these foods help to neutralize some of the natural acids in your system, but they also have some other great health benefits for you to consider. Alkaline foods include almonds, grapes, cantaloupe and mangos among others.? Maintaining a diet that is roughly eighty percent alkaline based foods and only twenty percent acidic will help your body to better process the raw nutrients that are found in the foods you eat.

Maintaining a balanced diet can also increase function in your muscles and joints as well as improving oxygen levels. You may also see improvement in the regulation of blood sugar and this diet change can also help those suffering from high blood pressure. There are plenty of foods in this category that you can eat freely without worries of excess acids. These foods include most types of meats, most vegetables and leafy greens. Also, most foods that are high in fats such as seeds and oils are low in acid, and when part of a balanced diet can help manage acid reflux..

Acidic foods, although more condition-irritating than alkaline based foods, are still necessary for our body’s proper function. Essential fatty acids and other beneficial types of acids can be found in some foods and are helpful to the body. Overall however a diet that is high in acidic foods (these are any foods with a pH level lower than seven) can wreak major havoc on the body and can consistently irritate acid reflux.

Some of the more dangerous foods include citrus fruits, anything with caffeine and alcohol.. Most dairy products are also considered acidic and should be consumed sparingly. Also, with pH levels higher than twelve, condiments such as mayonnaise, mustard and ketchup are also considered mostly basic despite their slightly acidic taste. They are safe to use sparingly. You can never have enough resources when it comes to managing your problems with acid indigestion and heartburn. Knowing the difference between alkaline foods and acidic foods is just one of these methods. If you would like to learn more techniques for managing this condition naturally and safely you may want to consider reading Bob Barton’s Reflux Remedy Report. It is full of valuable information for managing your indigestion symptoms in safe and natural ways.

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September 15, 2010

Heartburn That Will Not Go Away

Attention all spicy food lovers! If you are like many people you love Mexican food, Chinese, and basically all if any, spicy and greasy foods because after all, ?they are simply delish ?. Even diet fanatics will dip into their secret cravings every now and then for some good old fashion burger and fries. So, what do you do when you when get that heartburn that won’t go away? Reach for your antacids, milk of magnesia, Tums, Maalox, Amphojel, Alternagel, Mylanta, Rolaids or Pepto- Bismol? These are just a few antacids that are intended to temporarily relieve heartburn, neutralize stomach acid, acid indigestion and upset stomach.

They are also recommended to relieve the pain of ulcers and some contain an ingredient called Simethicone that helps eliminate excess gas. These are some ?up sides? to antacids but take into caution the ?down sides?. Most of these antacids contain ingredients such as magnesium that causes diarrhea or aluminum for that feeling of constipation.

If Antacids work for you, great! But keep in mind that they are made for temporary relief and are not intended for long term use. On a serious note, if you are using antacids for heart burn you should take as directed by your doctor, according to the manufacturer’s directions. If you are using the tablets, chew them before swallowing for faster relief against heartburn that won’t go away.

Serious side effects can occur with an overdose or overuse of antacids which usually occurs because of long term use and a build up of tolerance to the medication. Side effects include constipation, diarrhea, changes in the color of bowl movements, and stomach cramps.

Where do you turn when antacids no longer do the trick and you are taking more than the recommended amount? You can always go to your good old doctor and tell him/her that you are taking too many antacids and suffering from constipation that is killing you more quickly than the acid reflux.

He will then do either two things depending on how severe your symptoms have become at this point, Prescription drugs, or H2 antagonists ?over the counter strength. More than likely he will try you take OTC antagonists first which is nothing but acid blockers for heart burn. These drugs relieve heartburn, acid indigestion, and sour stomach, with many different options that are available over the counter as well as prescription strength. Examples of H2 antagonists that are available over the counter include:

? Axid AR

? Pepcid AC

? Tagamet HB

? Zantac 75

The FDA has approved the proton pump inhibitors prevacid, Prilosec, and Zegerid for over-the-counter use to treat heartburn that won’t go away or occurs in more than two episodes per week, for 14 days. This drug also come in prescription strength and is intended to be taken in accordance to the directions provided by your doctor. You should consult with your doctor if your symptoms persists or get worst over a two week period.

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September 10, 2010

Bile Acid Plays a Key Role in the Stomach

Bile acid in the stomach plays a key role in the digestion of food in the small intestine. Two chief bile acids produced in the body include chenodeoxycholic acid and cholic acid. These acids assist in the creation of micelles, which aids in breaking down dietary fat, and is integral for the digestion of fat in the small intestine. Bile acid is a fluid secreted by the hepatocytes that flows into the canaliculi. From the canaliculi, it reaches the bile ducts, and is then transferred to the gall bladder where it is concentrated with time and the addition of other bodily fluids.

Bile acids are derived from the cholesterol inside of the hepatocytem, and are made up of hydrophilic or polar faces and lipid or hydrophobic faces. Cholesterol gets converted into chenodeoxycholic and cholic acids, which are two forms of bile acid. These are combined with amino acids and released into the canaliculi. This combined nature of bile acids enables them to perform two of the most important functions in the digestive system. The first one is the breaking down of fat globules into tiny microscopic droplets. This helps in fat digestion because the breaking down process creates more surface area for fats, which makes it accessible to the lipases for the purpose of digestion because the lipases cannot enter the droplets.

Bile acid in the stomach carries lipids, and is capable of transforming them into micelles, which are a combination of cholesterol, monoglycerides and fatty acids that can remain afloat in water. Fat soluble vitamins are transported and absorbed by bile acids as well.

Excess cholesterol in the body is also converted into bile acids and gets removed through bile each day. The concentration of bile acids is regulated in our bodies since these are potentially poisonous, and they are also present in the liver. These activate a hormone receptor of nuclear nature known as FXR. This activation resists the amalgamation of bile acid inside the liver when the level of bile acid is very high. Hence, these are also known as a ?signaling molecule?.

Bile acids are produced in large amounts inside the body. However, only a small amount is expelled from the body daily. Almost 95% of bile acids released are taken in by the blood inside the Ileum. Bile salt molecules are used and reused inside the body for at least 20 cycles. This occurs when bile acids are extracted carefully from sinusoidal blood by the hepatocytes. Some amount of it escapes from liver to systemic circulation. These acids again reach the canaliculi via the hepatocytes, reusing them for the process of digestion. Any kind of alteration in this process is an indication of hepatic diseases.

Just like acid reflux, bile reflux can also be caused inside the body which makes one?s digestive system weak. Overall, conducting a bile acid level test can help in the diagnosis of hepatic microvascular dysplasia, portosystemic shunt and cholestasis. Overactive bile acid in the stomach can cause extreme bodily conditions, and must be treated immediately.

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