Digestion - A Key to Good Health

The subject of digestion is an area of health in which the differences between allopathic medicine (standard orthodox medicine) and biological medicine are strikingly obvious. For example: A patient visits a medical doctor and complains of heartburn. What will the prescribed treatment be? "My doctor said 'Mylanta'" is what the ads tell us. Or acid blockers may be prescribed. The plan here clearly is to block or suppress symptoms. No time is spent trying to discover the root of the problem. No testing is done to see if the person actually has excess stomach acidity. If such testing were to be performed, the M.D. and patient would both quickly learn that such is not the case. Excess stomach acidity is not the problem. However, the "Mylanta" or "Tums" or an acid blocker is chosen. Now the hapless victim can no longer perform normal digestion at all. Minerals require acid for absorption. B-12 requires acid for absorption. Proteins require acid for digestion. Normal stomach acid also kills parasites and bacteria including H. Pylori, which is a factor in ulcers. Health is now certain to decline and aging will accelerate.

A biologically oriented practitioner (N.D., D.C. nutritionist, the occasional M.D. etc.) on the other hand, will try to find out what is really wrong and attempt to aid the body in performing its normal functions. This is not simply a different approach from standard medicine. It is a totally opposite approach. The goal is to help things happen, not stop things from happening. But before we talk about what the biologically based practitioner would suggest, let us briefly outline the main points of how the digestive system works. This is useful information and can save you and your family a lot of pain, sickness and grief.

When food is chewed, food is broken down into small particles and glands inside the mouth secrete amylase to begin carbohydrate digestion. This is why we generally do not drink liquids with meals - we need to chew food enough that it can easily be swallowed - not just washed down with liquid.

When food arrives in a normal healthy stomach, cells there release hydrochloric acid (HCl) and protein digesting enzymes. But there is a problem. Making HCl requires a lot of energy and production declines after age 35 or so in most people. Also, certain conditions such as low salt intake or food poisoning or certain infections can damage the cells that make HCl. So now when the food arrives in the stomach, there is little or no HCl to greet it. Proteins begin to putrefy and it may feel like they "just sit there". Carbohydrates begin to ferment producing gas and chemicals that are very irritating. Now we have heartburn. In some cases these irritating chemicals will back up into the throat and there will be "acid reflux". Correct treatment is to supplement HCl (betaine hydrochloride) during each meal. After trying this, people often report how good they feel and how they enjoy being free of pain. It is important to continue any prescription medications until your physician says to do otherwise, and ask your physician if there is any reason why you should not try HCl. It is also important to start off with a small dose as your stomach may not be used to having normal acid there. Stop immediately and take 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda in water if HCl causes pain.

As the food moves into the upper end of the small intestine, the pancreas releases enzymes to help continue digestion and bicarbonate to neutralize the stomach acid. The liver releases bile to help break down fats. Cells that line the small intestine also release enzymes to break down starches and sugars. Fermented and putrefied foods that arrive here can damage these cells further upsetting digestion and making a person very sensitive to carbohydrates.

When a person eats raw food, the food itself contains enzymes. It has been estimated that raw food contains, on the average, enough enzymes to do about 60% of the digestion of that food. Cooked foods contain no enzymes. Most of us eat most our calories as cooked food. The body then has to provide all of the enzymes needed for digestion. Eventually, supplies run low and fats, proteins and carbohydrates are not completely digested. Undigested foods can be absorbed and cause allergic reactions. Undigested proteins cause the red blood cells to stick together and this greatly reduces circulation resulting in everything from headaches to fatigue. Every cell in the body is affected. Undigested proteins can also form uric acid crystals that can collect in the joints and cause joint pain and gout. Correct treatment for all this is to take enzymes just before or during each meal. The Optimal Digestive System enzymes work very well to promote digestion. Ask your physician if there is any reason that you should not try this.

One probem with eating vegetables raw is that most of their nutrition is in the plant cells which are covered in cellulose. If you have ever tasted carrot juice, you know that it is not possible to chew carrots enough to release most of the juice. And humans do not make an enzyme to digest cellulose. Even cows and termites have to rely on single cell creatures to digest their cellulose. It is necessary to either juice or cook carrots to break up the cell walls. Raw veggies are a great diet food because you can't release many of the calories by chewing!

One other thing: Acid reflux is usually related to hiatal hernia. This condition very often exists even if it is not detected medically. The esophagus passes down through an opening in the diaphragm called the hiatus. A hiatal hernia is where part of the stomach has been pushed up into the hiatus so that part of the stomach is in the chest and part of it is in the abdomen where it belongs. This allows leaking to take place into the esophagus.

Ask your physician first if there is any reason why you should not try these methods to correct hiatal hernia:

Have the person stand with their back to a wall or a door. With your fingertips, find the bottom of their sternum. Gently push your fingertips up under the sternum. Ask them to take a deep breath and then let it out. As they let their breath out, you apply pressure toward their back and toward their feet at a 45 degree angle. Your fingers are pointing up, not down. We do not want them to feel like they are being stabbed. You should be indenting their skin an inch or two. They are allowed to breathe while you apply the pressure. Release the pressure after about 20 seconds. It may take a few hours for the irritated tissues to feel better.

If a small person wannts to do this for a large person, have them lie on their back and you kneel by their head. Place the bony spur on the heel of your right palm (near your wrist) just off the edge of the bottom of their breastbone in the soft area there. Place your left palm on top of your right hand. Have the person take a deep breath. As they let it out, apply firm pressure at a 45-degree angle toward their back and their feet. They are allowed to breathe while you are doing this. Hold this for half a minute and then relax the pressure.

There is a method for self-correcting a hiatal hernia that can produce good results. Drink a quart of water as quickly as possible. Then raise yourself up on your toes and drop down sharply onto your heels several times. Some people even jump off a stair step. Either method may jolt the stomach back down where it belongs.

It may also be helpful to take a dose of fiber daily between meals. Several psyllium husk capsules with a glass of water often helps keep the digestive tract healthy.

It is a good idea to do a parasite treatment once a year or so. Para 6 works good for this. Those with a mold problem do better with Rad Balm. This product was designed to deal with radiation stress, but those who use it report that they pass parasites.

Total Probiotic is a good product for replacing intestinal flora.

The digestive process should be free of pain and should go almost unnoticed. In most cases this can be achieved by helping the body do what it needs to do.

Order Supplements