Heartburn Heresies and Autoimmunity

Commercials for heartburn relief medications haven given stomach acid a bad rap. What these advertisements don’t tell you is that too much stomach acid and too little stomach acid have the same symptoms. Studies show that 50% of the people with Fibromyalgia are too LOW in hydrochloric acid production. If you have an autoimmune disease, you are more likely to be too low than too high. This is especially true if you have had a problem with yeast infections.

Consistent use of antacids favors yeast growth, bad bacteria in the stomach, inflammation, and stomach cancer.

Furthermore, most minerals, like magnesium, and vitamin B-12 require adequate stomach acid for absorption.

A magnesium deficiency is considered to be one of the most common, but treatable causes of disease. An estimated 72% of Americans are not getting enough magnesium. (To learn more: http://www.mgwater.com/articles.shtml#Americans) Low magnesium levels are associated with several autoimmune disorders including Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, arthritis, Raynaud’s phenomenon, and asthma. Reduced levels are also thought to be the reason for muscle pain in SLE (Lupus) patients. A magnesium deficiency is connected to a host of other health conditions including: migraines, heart disease, mitral valve prolapse, sleep disturbances, over-sensitivity to light and noise, autism, depression, anxiety, PMS, and kidney stones. Insufficient magnesium causes an increase in a body chemical called substance P, which is responsible for pain perception. In other words, you will hurt more if you don’t have enough magnesium. Fibromyalgia sufferers have on average three times more Substance P than normal.

Besides being anti-inflammatory, vitamin B-12 is required in the process of making myelin sheathes, which are being attacked in MS, Lyme Disease, autism, ALS, and possibly Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. In one study, researchers found that low B-12 levels were associated with the early onset of MS.

Adequate hydrochloric acid production is also necessary for the body to be signaled to produce secretin, which is needed for myelin sheath repair.

Niacin, magnesium, and Vitamin B6 help stimulate the stomach’s hydrochloric acid output. Drinking lemon juice in water or a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar water before meals also helps. This should be done 30 minutes before a meal.

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