WHAT IS THE TRUE CAUSE OF ACID REFLUX?
Your doctor has probably told you the cause of your acid reflux is “too much acid in your stomach and an esophageal sphincter that is not closing properly, allowing the overflow of acid to back-up into your esophagus”. You were then undoubtedly prescribed an acid blocker such as Prilosec, Nexium, Prevacid, Protonix, Zantac, Pepsid, or a handfull of other medications.
Well the true cause is actually not enough of the normal stomach acid (HCl). You see, your stomach makes HCl for a living (that’s it’s job), and there are 2 very common reasons many people don’t have enough of this very important digestive acid.
- Your stomach and esophagus receive vital nerve signals from your brain, controlling their every function. Any irritation to the delicate nerves in your body can interfere with those vital messages traveling through them. Spinal disc herniations, bulges, and even spinal sprains can cause pressure on those delicate nerves and affect how those nerves function. The malfunctioning nerves can in turn, cause abnormal functioning of the stomach and esophagus.
- The fast-paced, convenient lifestyle most people lead (junk food, fast food, processed food, refined sugars, hydrogenated oils, food additives, chemicals, preservatives, etc.) overwork your stomach and literally tire it out, causing a deficiency in HCl.
When your stomach is lacking HCl it cannot properly digest the food you eat, so the food begins to rot and ferment, producing organic acids. These abnormal organic acids are actually the ones that you burp-up into your throat and feel as heartburn or acid reflux.
HOW DOES YOUR NERVOUS SYSTEM CONTROL YOUR DIGESTIVE TRACT?
Your nervous system exerts a profound influence on all digestive processes, namely motility, ion transport associated with secretion and absorption, and gastrointestinal blood flow. Much of this control happens from the digestive system’s own, local nervous system referred to as the enteric or intrinsic nervous system. The magnitude and complexity of the enteric nervous system is immense – it contains as many neurons as the spinal cord.
The Enteric Nervous System
The principal components of the enteric nervous system are two networks or plexuses of neurons (nerve cells), both of which are embedded in the wall of the digestive tract and extend from esophagus to anus:
- The myenteric plexus is located between the longitudinal and circular layers of muscle in the tunica muscularis and, appropriately, exerts control primarily over digestive tract motility.
- The submucous plexus, as its name implies, is buried in the submucosa. Its principal role is in sensing the environment within the lumen, regulating gastrointestinal blood flow and controlling epithelial cell function. In regions where these functions are minimal, such as the esophagus, the submucous plexus is sparse and may actually be missing in sections.
Within these enteric nerve plexuses are three types of neurons:
- Sensory neurons receive information from sensory receptors in the mucosa and muscle. At least five different sensory receptors have been identified in the mucosa, which respond to mechanical, thermal, osmotic and chemical stimuli. Chemoreceptors sensitive to acid, glucose and amino acids have been demonstrated which, in essence, allows “tasting” of lumenal contents. Sensory receptors in muscle respond to stretch and tension. Collectively, enteric sensory neurons compile a comprehensive battery of information on gut contents and the state of the gastrointestinal wall.
- Motor neurons within the enteric plexuses control gastrointestinal motility and secretion, and possibly absorption. In performing these functions, motor neurons act directly on a large number of effector cells, including smooth muscle, secretory cells (chief, parietal, mucous, enterocytes, pancreatic exocrine cells) and gastrointestinal endocrine cells.
- Interneurons are largely responsible for integrating information from sensory neurons and providing it to enteric motor neurons.
Enteric neurons secrete an intimidating array of neurotransmitters. One major neurotransmitter produced by enteric neurons is acetylcholine. In general, neurons that secrete acetylcholine are excitatory, stimulating smooth muscle contraction, increases in intestinal secretions, release of enteric hormones and dilation of blood vessels. Norepinephrine is also used extensively for neurotransmission in the gastrointestinal tract, but it derives from extrinsic sympathetic neurons; the effect of norepinephrine is almost always inhibitory and opposite that of acetylcholine.
The Autonomic Nervous System
The enteric nervous system can and does function autonomously, but normal digestive function requires communication links between this intrinsic system and the central nervous system. These links take the form of parasympathetic and sympathetic fibers that connect either the central and enteric nervous systems or connect the central nervous system directly with the digestive tract. Through these cross connections, the gut can provide sensory information to the CNS, and the CNS can affect gastrointestinal function. Connection to the central nervous system also means that signals from outside of the digestive system can be relayed to the digestive system: for instance, the sight of appealing food stimulates secretion in the stomach.
In general, sympathetic stimulation causes inhibition of gastrointestinal secretion and motor activity, and contraction of gastrointestinal sphincters and blood vessels.
Spinal misalignments (vertebral subluxations) in the mid thoracic region often cause continual stimulation of the specific portion of the sympathetic nervous system that connects to the stomach and esophagus; inhibiting the proper secretion of hydrochloric acid and slowing the movement of food through the stomach and into the duodenum.
When the stomach lacks HCl it cannot properly digest the food a person has eaten, so the food begins to rot, ferment, and putrefy producing organic acids and gas. This abnormal acid and gas fill the stomach causing bloating and irritation which eventually escapes, or refluxes, into the esophagus.
New Health Medical is the only clinic in the South Bay to specialize in the Gonstead method of chiropractic. This highly specialized and precise system of correcting vertebral subluxations is extremely effective in helping patients who suffer from acid reflux or constipation by eliminating or reducing the inhibitory nervous stimulation to the GI tract.
“MY ACID REFLUX WAS GONE AFTER 3 TREATMENTS!”
“I began suffering from acid reflux about four years ago. The heartburn at night became so bad that I would not be able to sleep and I would often vomit in the morning. I went to my family physician and he recommended that I take benefiber and some other supplements that helped a bit, but didn’t last long. I also tried natural remedies like apples and honey but that also was only temporary relief.
Then I was at the 2010 lobster festival in San Pedro and I met Dr. Grenda who said he could help with my acid reflux. I made an appointment for a consultation and took an x-ray. Dr. Grenda explained how he could help me, and then did an adjustment on my back. After seeing Dr, Grenda for three treatments my acid reflux was gone. It has been the best choice for permanent relief.
Besides acid reflux, I have also dealt with neck pain, back pain, and headaches. I enjoy sewing, scrapbooking, and origami, but sitting for a long period of time caused back pain and neck pain and there were times when I was in so much pain that I had to stop everything and just lie down. Since getting adjusted by Dr. Grenda, those days are gone.
It has been almost three months since I first saw Dr. Grenda and my health has improved dramatically. I feel great after each visit, my body feels more balanced, and my overall health feels better.
I hope that my experience will help others to consider Gonstead Chiropractic. It has been the solution to my acid reflux and my pain. I have recommended Gonstead Chiropractic to all my friends and family.”
Sincerely, Arisa Todoroki
“I WAS PRESCRIBED TONS AND TONS OF MEDICATIONS AND NOTHING HELPED. NOW I’VE BEEN A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT PERSON SINCE MY TREATMENT AT NEW HEALTH MEDICAL”
“I HAVE NOT HAD ACID REFLUX SINCE MY TREATMENT!”
“I came to Hew Health Medical for relief of indigestion and acid reflux. I would take over-the-counter antacids once or twice a week before bed. I would wake in the middle of the night once or twice a month because of acid reflux. Changing my diet or eating earlier in the evening didn’t help. My wife was concerned, and my acid reflux was disrupting her sleep as much as mine. She learned of New Health Medical at a local wellness fair and gave me a certificate for an initial consultation.
The doctor examined me and explained how nerve compression in specific areas of my spine could impair autonomic digestive functions. He showed me specific areas on my spinal X-rays where the compression could be occurring and explained how these conditions can occur. He outlined some options for treatment which could help reduce or eliminate my symptoms. As a first-time patient, I chose a conservative and simple treatment program of a weekly thoracic spinal adjustment.
After a few months of weekly adjustments, it was clear to me that the treatment program was working. I have not had an acid reflux episode since I began treatments and I have used antacids only once. I’ve kept the same diet and eating patterns and I am comfortable at night. Weekly treatments at New Health Medical have been simple, comfortable and most of all effective and I have recommended him to friends and associates on several occasions.”
Sincerely, Eric Siess
“MY BABY’S COLIC WAS CURED!”
“When my son Jack was born, he suffered with colic and was diagnosed with reflux. Jack cried for hours in a day (sometimes all day). My husband and I could do nothing to comfort him. We carried him, we put his bouncy seat on the dryer, we drove him in the car, we tried homeopathic medication, over the counter medication, and prescription medication. We had tried it all!
Then I was referred to Dr. Grenda, who made us feel so comfortable, and expressed that he could help by adjusting areas in his spine that aid in his digestive and stomach area. We came for three adjustments and Jack was like a new baby. He was more content and the uncontrollable crying had subsided.”
Thank you Dr. Grenda!!! Sincerely, Lee Talevi
“FINALLY, NO MORE ACID REFLUX!”
“For years I suffered from acid reflux and thought it would never go away! That changed when I met the doctors at New Health Medical.
After going in to New Health Medical for just a few treatments, my acid reflux was nearly gone. I stopped taking my Nexium and have not seen that little purple pill for three years now! IT’S A TRUE MIRACLE!!!! I always feel 100% better after a treatment and walk out feeling like a new man.
I am so incredibly grateful to New Health Medical and their knowledge on today’s healthcare. It’s a breath of fresh air!! Ever since I have been seeing them I am able to live my life acid reflux free as well as hip and back pain free. I am just so pleased to have them as my doctors!
Thank you New Health Medical for all your outstanding work!”
Sincerely, James Howard
“I NO LONGER SUFFER FROM ACID REFLUX!”
“I have suffered with Acid Reflux for a couple of years. I tried taking several digestion-aid medications and supplements that didn’t work (I would try to name a few, but there were just too many). One day my mother found an Acid Reflux article in a local magazine written by Dr. Grenda. She showed it to me and since I had tried everything else, I figured I’d give Dr. Grenda’s treatment a try.
Dr. Grenda adjusted my middle back 3 times a week for about 3 months. My acid reflux went away early in the treatment and has stayed away since. I can now do the things I enjoy again (poetry, reading, going to the movies) without continually suffering from this terrible condition.
I always thought chiropractic was just for back pain, but since getting Gonstead chiropractic adjustments by Dr. Grenda, I no longer suffer from acid reflux, and I also have improved posture and overall health.
Never give up on improving your health. Give Gonstead chiropractic a try. It could help improve unexpected health problems you wouldn’t think could be helped by chiropractic.”
Sincerely, Chereese Bledsoe
“ACID REFLUX WAS RUINING MY LIFE!”
“My name is Harry Fishbeck and I would like to tell you about my personal experience with Gonstead treatment. I was being awakened in the middle of the night by burning acid in my throat and would have to use handfuls of antacid pills for about two hours before I could go back to sleep.
Before I came to see Dr. Grenda for this problem, I asked my cardiologist and neurologist what to do and was told by my neurologist that it was a valve in my stomach that was out of line sending acid up to my throat. Both of these doctors prescribed tons of medication for me.
Dr. Grenda took X-Rays of me, gave me a sensible answer to my problem, and after two or three treatments I was able to sleep all night without the use of antacids. After seeing Dr. Grenda, I no longer have acid problems.”
Sincerely, Harry Fishbeck
“I CAN ENJOY THE FOODS I LOVE WITHOUT GETTING HEARTBURN!”
”Dr. Grenda has changed my life. For as long as I could remember, I could not enjoy the foods I liked without being scared of having heartburn afterwards. It has given me plenty of sleepless nights, restricted me from eating certain foods, and negatively controlled my life. Previous doctors have sent me for many tests, thinking I might have an ulcer.
I tried everything to make it go away. I was prescribed Nexium. However, I read studies that showed Nexium could cause liver problems. So, I tried to control it on my own. I took Pepto Bismol, Zantac, My-Lanta, Tums, and every other over the counter medication to control my heartburn. Doctors told me to avoid alcohol, nicotine, fatty foods, fried foods, foods high in sugar, caffeine, and many other foods and beverages.
I started seeing Dr. Eric J. Grenda, DC about a month and a half ago. He explained to me that nerves are attached to your muscles as well as to your organs. I knew they were attached to your muscles but had no idea they were also attached to your organs. After my initial exam, the doctor told me my heartburn could be due to a disc that is not properly aligned in my back. Dr. Grenda told me he would begin adjusting my back to shift the disc back into place.
After only one adjustment I could feel the difference. After about four adjustments, my heartburn was completely gone. I have even eaten foods that I knew would give me heartburn and braced for the worst, but it never came. I can now enjoy the foods and drinks I was scared of having before with no ill effects.”
“Thank you, Dr. Grenda, for changing my life!”
Sincerely, Yalisa Sanchez
“THANKS FOR GIVING ME MY LIFE BACK!”
“I have been in the medical field for about 20 years and I would say about half of those years I have suffered from acid reflux. It would wake me up at night, I couldn’t sleep, and I would be so tired in the morning from not sleeping because of my acid reflux. I started to self medicate myself with the usual over the counter remedies like Mylanta, Tums, and Rolaids which helped for awhile but the reflux would just not go away.
I finally went to my doctor and he prescribed me Pepcid, which didn’t work, then Protonix, which worked only for a little while. He also advised me to stay away from spicy food, chocolate, alcohol, and eating too late at night. After a few months, still suffering from heartburn, he ordered an endoscopy that showed that my chronic acid reflux was starting to eat away at my esophagus, so he prescribed yet another medication: Nexium. I started taking that and again it work for a short time, but soon I was suffering again.
THANK GOD I came across Dr Grenda’s ad for a chiropractic assistant. I applied for the job and I was hired; as an employee one of the benefits is to receive chiropractic care. During my first week he treated me like a patient; he did a consultation, full exam, x-rays and explained to me what Gonstead chiropractic care was all about. I explained to him about my chronic acid reflux and all the medications I have tried that did not work. He explained to me that my acid reflux was being caused by a pinched nerve in my mid-back and he showed me on my x-rays that my vertebra was out of alignment in that area and that it was easily fixed by having a precise adjustment and some rehab to strengthen the muscles along that area of my mid back. Dr. Grenda started adjusting my mid-back and ever since I have not had any problems with my acid reflux; I can eat whatever I want, as late as I want and the best part is I no longer have to take any medications!!!!
I have referred all my family members to Dr. Grenda and all have had similar results due to his expertise in Gonstead chiropractic. I would recommend Dr. Grenda to all people that are serious about getting rid of their acid reflux. I just want to thank Dr. Grenda again for basically giving me my life back!!”
Frank Marquez EMT-P
“ONE TREATMENT CURED MY ACID REFLUX”
“I’ve always been proud of myself for taking care of myself by exercising regularly, eating right, and dealing with stress constructively. I’ve also never smoked and I don’t drink. Despite this, for the last couple of years I’ve had acid reflux attacks that had progressively gotten worse.
It started very mildly and was very tolerable for about 2 years. I guess I put up with the condition thinking that it if I would continue to eat right, exercise, and deal with my stress constructively, it would go away. So I continued my lifestyle but my acid reflux didn’t subside and it actually felt worse. I became worried so I finally went to see a doctor about it just to be sure it wasn’t some type of cancer or some symptom to something equally bad. The doctor said it’s just a case of acid reflux so I felt relieved. But, I also knew that for acid reflux, a medical doctor would probably prescribe some drug. Since I’ve heard and read too much about the side effects of drugs, no way was I going down that path. So, I searched online and read about the natural treatment of baking soda, apple cider vinegar, and water. This DID provide relief BUT it didn’t CURE me: my attacks would still occur. And though I had to keep drinking this, at least to me it was better than the prescribed medication that many people take.
Through observation, I’ve noticed my attacks would predictably be triggered by certain foods like bananas, pork, and particularly the second cup of coffee per day which I love.
Okay, so now this problem was taking some of my freedom from me which goes above beyond living my healthy lifestyle. So, I recently went to the Lobster Festival in Redondo Beach, CA and I saw the booth with Dr Eric Grenda and the Gonstead Chiropractic Clinic. Their ad said a cure for Acid Reflux. This I thought was odd. How could a chiropractor cure acid reflux? But maybe I should see and investigate anyway. There were the testimonials there for anyone to read. Seemed sensible and since the initial fee was at a large discount, why not?
So my first consultation was GREAT!! Eric clearly explained the importance of the spine with respect to the spinal cord. He also demonstrated to me some weight training tips to avoid undue stress to my back. While my X-Ray was on screen, he spoke specifically about my spine and the corrections that needed to be made and some possible implications of the blockages.
This first correction to my T6 (I think) was the biggest adjustment and it was on the same horizontal plane as the top of my stomach. I don’t think this was a coincidence. It was painless. It was quick. It was loud. I definitely felt a distinct change the rest of that day. I actually had TWO cups of coffee just to taunt my acid reflux to see if it would show itself: it never did. Some ancillary reactions to this adjustment included better sleep, more energetic, more alertness, and the DISAPPEARANCE of a weakness I’ve had in the middle of my back whenever I bench pressed (I never knew this would go away).
OK, so now I had to find out more about what other corrections along my spine would do for me. It was mentioned to me that I may need to correct the curvature on my neck along with some adjustments to C4 and C5 (I think). Only time will tell about what’s coming next so stay tuned. To me, my health is of the utmost importance and I believe one’s health is priceless
Sincerely, Tony Lew
“I WAS A SKEPTIC, BUT NOW MY ACID REFLUX IS MUCH BETTER”
“I had suffered from upset stomach / indigestion and what I thought were heart pains for six years. One time when I experienced chest pains I went to the hospital to see a specialist for heart conditions. They did an EKG, Ultrasound, and then finally ran a camera through my artery to take an actual look at my heart. They found what they thought was a slow valve and suggested that I was suffering from an onset of the heart conditions, so they prescribed Lipitor and other pharmaceuticals.
My symptoms continued though, so I went to a few other doctors, one of which said that I just had severe heartburn and that at my age it is common. He prescribed Zantac. Again, the symptoms persisted.
Luckily on my birthday this last year, my lovely wife took me to the Redondo Lobster Festival where, very much by chance, I got to meet Dr. Grenda from the Gonstead Health Center. After encouragement by my wife, I decided to make an appointment to see if he could help me. At my appointment in his office, Dr. Grenda pointed out on my x-rays a slight case of a curvature of my spine and explained how he could help me with my acid reflux.
He adjusted me one time and what a difference! Immediately I started to feel better. After starting a weekly therapy, I noticed a definite difference within three weeks. Now, after several weekly visits, my acid reflux is almost completely gone and I have lost almost 20 pounds as well, without even trying.
I am much happier and feel healthier now than I have in years. The heartburn is practically a non-issue now and I don’t have the chest pains either. I am totally a believer now in Gonstead Chiropractic, after being a skeptic for so long.”
Sincerely, Kent Schumaker 1-25-11