diet

Self-care for stomach problems

In a previous blog article we looked at a common gastric condition called hypochlorhydria, which relates to a decreased production of stomach acid. We learned that in many, if not most conditions where heartburn, acidity, reflux and indigestion occurred, it wasn’t likely that there was too much acid production, but rather, a weakening, thinning and loss of insulation of the stomach lining due to various factors such as stress, diet and medication. The compromised lining results in a vulnerability of the stomach to even modest amounts of acid, resulting in symptoms that make you feel like you are producing too much acid. In such situations therefore, taking antacids to neutralise acid levels, or drugs to block the production of acid may alleviate some symptoms, but they ultimately fail to correct the underlying problem and will result in further health problems down the line.

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Helicobacter Pylori – Controversy and Consensus

Helicobacter pylori is a common bacterial infection among humans. Some studies show it infects the stomach lining of over 60% of the world's population, and in some areas up to 90% of the population. Up until 1982, most scientists clearly saw a relationship between stomach ulcers and stress. Then it was suggested that maybe the ulcer was the result of a bacterial infection. Since then we have found that over 80% of people suffering from duodenal ulcers are infected by H. pylori, as well as 70% of people with gastric ulcers.

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Methylation and Histamine sensitivity

Do you have a sensitivity to pollen in the air at various times of the year? How about skin reactions to certain foods or things you touch that can respond to claritine or other antihistamine medications?  Watery eyes, runny nose or post nasal drip? Do you have a weak stomach? Maybe a history of panic attacks, depression or mental fatigue? If so, you might have a sensitivity to (or build up of) Histamine - a chemical naturally produced by the body, and consumed in foods. The problem is often a genetic limitation in processing and excreting histamine from the body, which is often linked to a process called under methylation. Undermethylation and its many consequences can cause a wide variety of symptoms in different people.

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Amine Sensitivity

Amines are naturally occurring chemicals caused by the breakdown of proteins especially in meats, fish and dairy, as well as in the fermentation of other foods such as vegetables, wines, beers, ciders, vinegars, and soy sauces. They are highest in concentration in the aging and curing of meats such as in salamis, prosciuttos, hams, etc.; when meats are cooked or grilled and in the production of cheeses. Amines enhance the flavour of food - think of the difference in flavour between a raw steak and a grilled one.  Proteins are necessary for survival, so the best way to ensure a minimal input of amines is to eat meats and other amine containing foods in their freshest possible state, as aging (such as with beef and pork packaging in supermarkets) will cause increased amine production even if the food hasn't "gone off". It has been noted that even freezing wont stop amine production, so the rule of strictly fresh is best to follow.

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Salicylate Sensitivity

  Salicylate Sensitivity Salicylates are chemicals that occur naturally in many plants. They are produced by the plant to regulate flowering, growth, ripening and they act as a natural pesticide against fruit fly and other destructive pests, as well as limiting fungus and mould growth. Some people have a sensitivity to moderate levels of salicylates which can either be genetically predisposed, or the result of foetal exposure to pesticides and other chemical irritants. While salicylates are naturally occurring, higher than acceptable levels in some people causes them to react and display any number of physiological and psycho-behavioural symptoms such as hyperactivity and "silliness". The symptoms can vary quite widely however, with other more common symptoms reported below:

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