Tag Archives: digestion

Ways to Improve Stomach Acid

You may say, my stomach has acid! Yes, you and I are a walking chemical factory.  We all have it but for some people their stomach acids (which comprises of hydrochloric acid (HCL), potassium acid and sodium chloride) do not have the proper levels of acidity or have the proper levels of HCL.

A typical human will secrete between 1.2 – 1.5 litres of stomach acid per day.  The stomach acid should have a pH level between 1 – 2.  We need stomach acid to:

  • kill harmful bacteria
  • digest protein
  • absorb vitamin B12 (for brain, nervous system and blood formation)
  • reduce food into small particles for the intestine to absorb nutrients
  • initiate the rhythmic contractions of the intestine that crush and move food through the GI tract

Because of high stress, processed foods, antibiotic or prescription use, many people tend to have a deficient supply of stomach acid; this can result in many health implications.

Here is a simple test you can perform at home to test your stomach acid. I purchased organic baking soda that does not contain aluminium to do this test.  If you have stomach ulcers do not take this test. You will need to find the source of the problem and heal the ulcer.

StomachAcid_BakingSodaTest

If your stomach acid is at the proper level, you should belch between 2 – 3 minutes.  If it takes you longer than 5 minutes and you have not belched or burped, then your stomach acid is insufficient. If you have early and repeated belching this may be due to excessive stomach acid.

You can also do a stomach acid test to measure the amount of acid in the stomach.  It also measures the level of acidity in the stomach.

Your stomach acid must be acidic and levels sufficient enough to breakdown proteins for absorption and perform many other functions in the body.  How can you determine your needed HCL amount and maintain the proper levels of stomach acid?  Here is a very informative article  “Determine Your HCL Amount” which has a strategy how to increase your level of stomach acid using betaine HCL with pepsin.

A normal response to taking betaine HCL after a meal is a feeling of warmth in the stomach. If you feel nothing then you may have improper levels of stomach acid.

Note: If you are taking any sort of NSAID medication such as ibuprofen, tylenol or aspirin then do not take betaine HCL.

Here are some other ways from to improve your stomach acid pH levels to aid digestion.

StomachAcid_ImproveStomachAcid

If you would like to know more about the mechanics of this marvelous body organ watch this one minute video from www.britannica.com (scroll to the bottom of page).

When I did the baking soda test, it took me 2 minutes to burp.  I concluded that my stomach acid was average.  Can my stomach acid levels or acidity be improved?  Can I improve my bile productions? Are there other things I should also know about aiding digestion? Yes.  My motto is: Knowledge knows no boundaries.

My next blog will provide you with some useful information how to maintain your digestive health.

If you like what you have read, I would like to hear from you.  Also, please share with your friends.

 

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The Forgotten Organ – The Gallbladder

The gallbladder – a small, pear-shaped organ that sits underneath the liver.  The prevalence of gallstone disease often involves the removal of the gallbladder.  In the past it was said it was an organ that was not essential.  How wrong, they were!

This pear-shaped organ has a very important function in the digestive system. The liver makes a dark green bile (a detergent-like substance that comprises of water, bile salts, inorganic salts, bilirubin and fats), which is stored in the gallbladder.  The liver produces between 500 – 1000 ml of bile per day.  According to  Erin Gilbert, MD, an assistant professor of surgery at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland. “It concentrates the bile into the form that’s best used for digestion,” Dr. Gilbert says. “When you eat, the bile is squeezed out of the gallbladder and goes into the first part of the small intestine, the duodenum, through the common bile duct.

When food with fat content is eaten and passes through the intestine, a hormone is released to stimulate the gallbladder and the bile (detergent like fluid) from the gallbladder to emulsify the fat and help digest the fat.  Frequent intake of fatty foods puts pressure on this organ, which results in excessive concentration of bile juices that manifests itself as gallstones.

Bile helps to lubricate the colon to do its job.  Bile also helps to neutralize hydrochloric acid (HCL) in the stomach, which has a very low pH level between 1 to 2. This strong acidic concentration helps to break down foods, release enzymes, digest proteins present in the food, kill germs and bacteria that you may ingest.

In the United Starts there are over 300,000 gall bladders removed annually.  By doing a full body cleanse of the organs (liver, gallbladder and colon), it will not only increase bile flow but also greatly improve digestion and help prevent gallstones buildup.

Read the blog Body Cleansing 101 which focus on the methods to use for a full body cleanse of the liver, gallbladder and colon.  You  will find also find out a little more about the stomach acid and how to improve it.

Love Your Liver

A review of some vital organs will remind you that our organs work in tandem to complete a process that starts at the mouth and ends, well you know where!

In my last blog I provided information on  the first of the “three amigos”, the colon and why we need to keep the engine clean.  The second “amigo”, the liver plays a major role in the digestive system.

Our liver is a work horse (besides the heart) of the body.  It  works 24 hours a day and weighs just over one kilogram.  Situated under the diaphragm in the upper right part of the abdomen, the liver is the largest internal organ in the body.  Everything that enters our mouth, every breath through our nostrils and lotions rubbed our skin  are filtered through the liver.

Liver Size

According to Organs of the body.com there are 500 vital  functions of the liver which includes:

  • cleansing the blood
  • manufacturing essential body proteins
  • balancing the hormones
  • regulating cholesterol in the body
  • excreting bile for digestion

Liver Function

So as you can see the liver has a big job to do, filtering, converting and processing and can easily become overworked and burdened with toxins.

The bile secreted by the liver is of utmost interest to those of us, especially those with gut issues.  Bile helps to eliminate toxic substances from the body and aid digestion.  Bile is a green-yellow fluid, which contains detergent-like substances essential for digestion.  It is stored in the gall bladder, which contracts after eating and discharges bile into the small intestine.  So you see why I call these organs the “three amigos” (liver, gallbladder and colon).  They each have a role to play in the digestive system.

As for the liver, it has the unique ability of restoring itself.  We have this marvelous organ but pay little attention to it.  If you feel sluggish in the afternoons, suffer with headaches, bruise easily and have less than 2 bowel movements a day, then you may have a sluggish liver. You may consider doing a full body cleanse which includes the liver and gallbladder.   A healthy liver supports digestion.

See the blog about the gallbladder, which is sometimes viewed as an unnecessary organ in the body but should be considered as a vital component of the digestive system.

 

 

 

Colon Detox – Why Necessary

When I purchased my car several years ago I remembered the car dealer’s last parting words of advice “make sure you do your oil change regularly“.  I acknowledged his advice and parted ways.  That was 10 years ago and I still drive the same vehicle, even though the body is showing signs of aging the engine still revs like a new v6.  Every 3 months for the past 10 years (sometimes I go longer on synthetic oil) I get my scheduled oil change and they slap a sticker on my car window to remind me when the next service is due.

Well, I thought about this recently and can equate the digestive system to the engine of  a car.  If the oil, oil filter and spark plugs, for example, have not been changed for a while, the car will be sluggish and will not perform optimally.  Likewise, if the liver, colon and gallbladder are not working optimally your body will be sluggish and the intestine will not operate smoothly.

The small intestine is the longest part of the digestive system. The primary function of the small intestine is to absorb the nutrients from the food for use in the body. Its other jobs include physical breakdown, chemical digestion, secretion of mucus and hormones, packaging of waste products, and so on“. (Organs of the body.com)

Small Intestine Location

The colon is the final stage of digestion and its main function is to get rid of waste. “The colon is also known as the large bowel or large intestine. It is an organ that is part of the digestive system (also called the digestive tract) in the human body. ……A healthy colon will rid your body of the leftovers it no longer needs. Your stool is filled with bacteria, so it is important to pass this out of your body. If your colon isn’t working the way it should, you will experience problems such as bloating, gas and pain“. (American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons)

When I take my car to get an oil change, the technician don’t simply add more oil to the engine and away I drive.  No, they drain and discard the old oil and replace it with the new one. Likewise we need to clean and detox our organs as a full body cleanse (liver, gallbladder, colon or as I like to call them “three amigos”) before engaging in a maintenance program.

See my blogs about the liver and the gallbladder, and their role in the digestive system. You will find also find information on products to use for a whole body cleanse. There are also many natural aids to help keep your stomach happy, which we will explore.

 

Digestive Health

I am an avid reader of health facts and information. I discovered that I have a passion for helping people live their best lives so I have begun the journey to become a health coach with Dr Berg – a well known  health educator specializing in weight loss through nutritional and natural methods.

Though not often welcomed, I always seem to have tips and advice for friends and family relating to living healthy through natural cures, foods and supplements.  One topic of particular interest to me is that of the digestive system and keeping it healthy and functioning.  Like many folks, I have had issues with constipation and bloating.  My aim is to share with you information and tips I have gathered, products I have discovered and much more.  I guess as I got older I have become wiser and need to share my knowledge with others. Is that not how life is supposed to be? To pass on your life’s secrets before moving on.

There are a plethora of information on the web but how does one assimilate all this information into relevant bite-size portion and not become overwhelmed? How do you know if they really work. My aim is to help you to gain control over your digestive issues.

Life is very busy and even though we try our best to eat healthy we do not always accomplish this. I will provide you with information, tips, products and natural cures to keep the digestive system functioning.  This blog aim is to keep you informed, without having to scurry the internet searching for information, which can be time-consuming. It is a step-by-step approach starting with a clean slate and then to maintenance for a healthy digestive system.

Image result for digestive blues

These are the steps I took and I hope you will join me in on my journey as we learn to build a healthy digestive tract and banish bloating and constipation issues.   In my next blog I will start with some fundamentals on the organs that make up our digestive system.  This blog is about the digestive system, so anything that I discover to help you and I to maintain better digestive health will be shared – knowledge knows no boundaries.

If you would like to know more about the mechanics of this marvelous organ, watch this funny 5 minute video.