Food Intolerances Heartburn and Acid Reflux

At some point in time we all may have had an experience of belching, heartburn or acid reflux.  This may be due to eating too much food, alcohol or simply from lying down too soon after a large meal.  Prolonged stress or long term use of anti-inflammatory drugs can also add to stomach problems.

How much has our eating habits changed from our natural eating environment.  Take a look at the good old roast dinner and you will see how complex and unnatural the mixture is. Do you think a meat eating animal would oil the vegetables before consuming them.  And what about roasting the potatoes or spicing up the meat.

Have you ever heard of a nutritionist say eat lots of fresh fruit and vegetables.  This is because raw fruit and vegetables have their own enzymes to digest themselves.  Cooking food tends to destroy what nature naturally supplies us.  Also acid and alkaline foods in the stomach at the same time retards digestion and can lead to fermentation.  The stomach cannot recognise different foods to know what type of media it requires to digest it.

Being one of 13 siblings and the 2nd youngest in the family I learnt at an early age to eat fast or miss out on all the good bits of food.  I still hear the voice of my mother telling me to slow down and chew my food properly.  Even now I still have a bad habit of gulping down my food as quickly as possible.  Inadequate chewing of food means the digestive enzymes in the mouth gets little chance to chemically break down substances.

Our digestive tract does not handle crunchy foods too well either.  Crunchy foods like chippies, biscuits, toast and fried foods were never part of our normal diet.  This is another reason why we chew our food properly and slowly.  The digestive enzymes in our stomach have to work a lot harder to process hard substances.  Of course when you are young you think you know better and everything will be alright.

My husband grew up on meaty meals followed by a creamy dessert.  Of course this is accompanied by wine or beer.  Now he has a fatty liver and an oversize stomach that sends out signals of objection because of heartburn or acid reflux.  He takes what I call the traditional approach.  For stomach relief he has added an extra tablet to his daily list of medication.

The foods I scoffed down in any order in my younger years have now come back to haunt me.  Now whenever I eat melons I make sure I eat them at least half an hour before or after other foods.  I try to eat foods rich in sauces or fried foods at lunch otherwise in the evening I have difficulty sleeping because of reflux.  Of course I can take what I call the intermediary approach and stay away from food intolerances.  The difficulty is to apply the discipline to discover by elimination what foods I have an intolerance to.

Now an advocate on alternate methods for stomach relief likes to see if there is a cause and effect relationship.  The alternative person believes in getting down to the underlying cause of why the stomach is misbehaving.  This may mean the stomach needs a good cleanse to get rid of sores.  It may also mean the body may be lacking in certain nutrients.

Stomach problems are not just from inadequate chewing, overeating or bad food combinations.  Prolonged stress and excessive alcohol consumption can damage the lining of the intestines as well.  So what is the answer?  I guess it depends on what school of thought you favour.  The traditional approach would simple be to take a tablet to hold the acid down in the stomach. The intermediary answer would be to just stay away from food intolerances and allergies.  The alternative person would probably persevere to search out a natural cure.