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If you’re one of the 25 million or so people in the US with acid reflux, you know all too well the misery it can cause.
This can go WAY beyond a 5-alarm heartburn fire in your chest and can include other symptoms that you might not necessarily attribute to acid reflux like bloating and gas, chronic cough, angina-like chest pain and even laryngitis.
But there’s another consequence of acid reflux that is far scarier than an acidy burp or having to sleep propped up on pillows.
It’s called Barrett’s esophagus.
Let’s take a look at this sneaky, scary and possibly deadly condition, as well as explore some ways that you can help keep it far away from you, or keep it quiet if you’ve got it.
What is Barrett's esophagus?
Barrett's esophagus is a condition where the color and the type of cells lining your lower esophagus change, becoming more like the inside of your stomach or intestines instead.
This process is called intestinal metaplasia and is most often the result of repeated exposure to stomach acid -- in other words, acid reflux or GERD (and also sometimes hiatal hernia). Obesity (especially around the abdominal area) can also be a risk factor.
It is three times more common in men than in women, and 55 is the average age at diagnosis. Approximately 1 in 10 acid reflux/GERD sufferers will develop it.
Although Barrett's esophagus symptoms are usually the same as acid reflux/GERD, it's also possible to have NO symptoms at all...
This can be especially dangerous because people with Barrett's esophagus have an increased risk of developing esophageal adenocarcinoma – one of the most rapidly increasing cancers in the United States.
So to not even know you have Barrett's esophagus means it can quietly exist and manifest into cancer.
Barrett's esophagus and cancer
Once cancer occurs, depending on the degree of severity it can result in losing your esophagus.
The surgery is called an esophagectomy. This involves removing your esophagus and the top part of your stomach. A portion of your stomach is then pulled up into your chest and connected to the remaining un-diseased portion of your esophagus.
To say this is traumatic is a vast understatement.
The procedure has a very high mortality rate (I.e.: death risk) and even if you do survive, possible complications of esophagectomy include:
- Breathing problems
- Increased risk of dangerous infection
- Lowered immune system
- Permanent damage to your larynx (voice box)
- Difficulty swallowing
- Frequent vomiting
So understandably, many people with Barrett’s have gotten the you-know-what frightened out of them and are desperate to do whatever they must to avoid its worst consequences.
Now, the typical suggestions for Barrett’s are the same as acid reflux/GERD--avoid spicy foods and tomatoes, and take acid reducing drugs for life.
Well, let’s talk about that for a moment.
If avoiding spicy foods and tomatoes and taking acid reducers works SO well, then tell me, why did the acid reflux progress into Barrett’s in the first place?
And how in heaven’s name will those measures do anything to address the Barrett’s once it has occurred?
Answer: They won’t. As a matter of fact, they can make things even WORSE.
Why acid reducers can worsen Barrett’s esophagus
The most common "treatment" for acid reflux/GERD and Barrett's is acid reducing drugs -- PPIs (like Nexium "the purple pill," Prilosec or Prevacid), or H2 Blockers (like Zantac, Pepcid or Tagamet).
Now these drugs work by interfering with your stomach's acid secretions. PPIs shut down the acid “pumps” in your stomach, and H2 blockers suppress the hormones that signal your stomach to create and secrete acid.
But acid digestive enzymes are CRUCIAL for your body to properly digest proteins!
So when your stomach secretes acid when you eat protein, it's doing its job and should not be interfered with.
But that's precisely what the drugs do.
As a result, your digestion can be greatly slowed and even halted.
Now, your stomach is smart—it senses when this is happening and tries to secrete more acid to kick-start digestion again, but it's eventually stopped again by the drugs.
This cycle can go on for 8-10 hours or more and result in a blob of badly digested, putrefied (rotting) food sloshing around with the acids in your stomach.
Now, guess what happens later, especially as soon as you lie down?
Up, up, up it comes into your throat.
This can create the perfect environment for Barrett's esophagus to flourish.
But your misery won’t necessarily end there, by the way.
Because this poor digestion can also lead to trouble "down south." When your foods are not broken down like they should be, it creates a big mess for your intestines to handle once everything moves down. As a result, you can also experience gas, bloating, constipation and diarrhea.
Those are common side effects of many acid reducing drugs and now you know why that is so.
Now let’s take a look at a safer, natural approach…in other words:
What DOES work for acid reflux/GERD and Barrett’s
If you want to help minimize your chances of developing Barrett's esophagus (or help prevent it from worsening if you already have it), the key is to...
Make sure your digestion is efficient!
When your digestion is accomplished thoroughly and completely, there is no putrefying mass of food or acid to rise into your throat.
In other words, you can help eliminate a primary source of Barrett's (and acid reflux/GERD too!).
This can be accomplished in two easy steps:
1- Through your diet
This means eliminating some acid-creating foods and meals that are causing digestive disaster and replacing them with some alkalinizing foods and food combinations that can be digested more easily.
Note that alkalinizing foods include spices and tomatoes -- they can actually be GOOD for you and your system!
And here’s an important point--even the best, most nutritious foods can be acid-creating to your body IF they are eaten with the wrong other foods. It's not just the foods you eat that counts -- it's what you eat TOGETHER that can be an even bigger issue.
The Great Taste No Pain system will show you step by easy step exactly what to do.
The GTNP manuals spell right out which foods are acid-forming vs. alkaline. They also show you exactly what foods can digest better together and what combinations to avoid.
Nice and easy!
Once you start making these few modifications to your diet chances are excellent you’ll start seeing a difference in how you feel very quickly. Overproduction of acid can ease as fast as within the first few days.
And that's great news to people with acid reflux/GERD and especially Barrett's!
Now, if you have gluten issues, I’ve got you covered too. Great Taste No Gluten is for you instead.
Great Taste No Gluten gives you the same food-pairing advice as Great Taste No Pain, plus guides for gluten free living and a collection of tasty gluten free recipes.
2- With enzyme supplementation
If you've eaten typical acid-forming, hard to digest meals for a long time (or your whole life), chances are excellent that your body's ability to produce adequate enzymes for digestion is reduced, impaired or even non-existent.
This is especially true if you've been on acid reducing medications (like the purple pill), and heaven knows that includes millions of people!
That’s why supplementation with an enzyme formula like Digestizol Max can be so helpful to so many people.
Digestizol Max contains enzymes that target any kind of food you can eat—proteins, carbs, fats, dairy, fiber, etc., plus 5 herbs to help soothe an inflamed GI tract.
Digestizol Max can help give your body a much-needed boost to keep your digestion nice and smooth -- and help make acid reflux, GERD and Barrett's a thing of the past for you.
Other helpful suggestions
Other safe, natural measures to help soothe an inflamed GI tract and enhance digestion can include:
- Chiropractic treatment
- Antioxidants like Vitamin C (500 – 3,000 mg. per day is the typical recommended dose)
- Chewing deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL)—available at health food stores
- Omega-3 essential fatty acid supplements like VitalMega-3. - http://www.bluerockholistics.com/product/vitalmega3.asp
VitalMega-3 can help with this very important task, as well as help encourage lower blood pressure and fewer aches and pains too!
(Always remember to let you doctor know what supplements you are taking.)
You CAN fight and WIN
If you have Barrett’s esophagus, or if you have acid reflux/GERD that you want to help PREVENT from progressing into Barrett’s, see what a HUGE difference it can make when you take safe, natural measures to help encourage sound digestion and ease the inflammation in your GI tract.
To your health,
I have been on your Great Taste No Pain plan since 2009 and it is a God sent plan for me.
I was diagnosed with gastritis in early 2009 after having a horrible stomach virus that landed me in hospital. I took meds for a few months but would still have times of extreme pain. After much prayer, I found your website, ordered the books, and have been passing your message along ever since.
At the last trip (and it was the very last trip) to the gastro doctor I mentioned that I was better because I was doing food combining. He looked at me like I was crazy and told me he had never heard of that. I told him maybe he should look it up!
Thank you for sharing your story and knowledge. I give the website address to anyone I think will benefit. I'm sure most forget about it right away and continue to take pills and more pills. But I'll never forget the first week back in 2009 and what a difference it made in my life. No pills, just good, healthy food combined correctly.
Thanks again and I love all your newsletters. They are right on the money.
Cindy in Georgia
Haven't taken the Great Taste No Pain test drive? Why not? Get over to
- http://www.greattastenopain.com/freereports/ and feel the power of Great Taste No Pain.
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