By Dr. Michael Wald
Most causes of heartburn caused by low stomach acid. Low stomach acid often makes its way into the esophagus through the gastro-esophageal valve (the valve between the esophagus and the stomach that normally prevents stomach acid from making its way into the esophagus). When stomach acid, virtually any amount, makes its way into the esophagus, it will cause varying degrees of inflammation of the esophagus or esophagitis; a person may have no symptoms to symptoms of heartburn, chest pain, nausea or coughing.
Too much stomach acid in the wrong place (i.e., the esophagus) can cause a wide variety of symptoms. Low stomach acid, resulting from continuous use of antacids (i.e. PPIs and H2-blockers), autoimmune conditions and other causes, can impair the use of calcium in the body. Calcium that is not properly ionized (activated) by stomach acid can accumulate in various tissues such as the breast.
Calcium-laden breast cysts are known precursors, meaning they commonly develop into breast cancer. Low stomach acid, which causes heartburn symptoms or no symptoms at all, has also been linked to a greater incidence of osteoporosis (loss of calcium in bone), atherosclerosis (accumulation of calcium in arteries) and arthritis (calcium accumulation in joints) – all of these conditions, like breast cancer, can be caused or perpetuated by impaired calcium metabolism.
When stomach acid has fewer hydrogen ions, elements in stomach acid, they make their way into the tiny blood vessels within the stomach lining and into general circulation. Fewer hydrogen ions in the blood circulation cause a blood pH higher than it should be. Normally, blood pH, or relative hydrogen ion concentration is around 7.3. With fewer hydrogen ions the in circulation, the blood pH increases (meaning that it is less acidic and more on the alkaline side) and this can cause calcium to come out of bones and form elsewhere in the body. The released calcium from various body tissues can then accumulate where it does not belong as in the breast, and other soft tissues such as the blood vessels themselves, tissues surrounding joints and out of bones.
In short, esophagitis is always an important health problem that deserves serious attention.
– Dr. Michael Wald, aka The Blood Detective, is the director of nutritional services at Integrated Medicine of Mount Kisco, located in Westchester New York. He has appeared on ABC World News Tonight with Diane Sawyer, Channel 11 PIX, Channel 12 News, CNN, The Food Network and other media outlets. Dr. Wald earned the name Blood Detective for his reputation to find problems that are often missed by other doctors. He earned an MD degree, is a doctor of chiropractic and a certified dietician-nutritionist. He is also double-board certified in nutrition. He has published over a dozen books with three additional titles due for release late 2013 including: Frankenfoods – Genetically Modified Foods: Controversies, Lies & Your Health and Gluten-A-Holic: How to Live Gluten Free and the Blood Detective’s Longevity Secrets. Dr. Wald can be reached at: www.intmedny.com or www.blooddetective.com or by calling: 914-242-8844.