1

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Is this more pseudoscience?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created August 23, 2013 at 7:22 PM

A lot of people claim that nowadays most doctors have misdiagnosed most patients with GERD and that they have too little stomach acid and not too much stomach acid. They claim that proton pump inhibitors are doing the opposite of what should be used which are HCL supplements. Is this just more pseudoscience along with marketing techniques or is there any substantial evidence that may support these claims?

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on August 24, 2013
at 02:10 AM

My endocrinologist (and myself) think differently. By the way, there is a disease called Cushing's syndrome, not Cushing's disease, they are both diseases but one is called "syndrome".

4e40d2b9e1a762949a25b958762aa10d

(762)

on August 23, 2013
at 08:40 PM

Increased stomach acid is nowhere near the most obvious problem in someone with Cushing's. And, hyperinsulinemia is a symptom-- not a disease.

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4 Answers

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2
0f44d81f247518d6fc2de0403ff9a68a

on August 24, 2013
at 12:59 AM

Actually, I don't think the common theory of "too much acid = GERD" makes much such to begin with.

I mean think about the reasoning when it comes to heartburn: The cause of the heartburn is that stomach acid gets in contact with the esophagus. The esophagus is not protected against acid (like the stomach is), so it burns.

Why is the stomach acids able to leave the stomach and flow back into the esophagus. That is the real question. But that's not the conventional line of reasoning. The conventional line of reasoning is: Well, if we eliminate the acid, it can't burn.

Did that solve the original problem of stomach content flowing back into the esophagus? No! But because the pH of the fluid is a lot higher now, the symptom (burning) disappears. It's the typical "Let's eliminate the symptom"-approach. And because the symptom is gone people think the medicine is working. But what the people no realize is that the symptom is gone, but not the problem. Low stomach acid is not a good idea. It leads to problems with protein digestion, signaling for following digestive steps (digestive enzyme/bile release) and makes the stomach vulnerable for things like H. Pylori.

The thing is pretty simple: If you have GERD or frequent heartburn: Do a Heidelberg test and check your stomach acid.

I also think the "low stomach acid"-point makes much more sense. Most of our problems today are situations where our body is not doing enough, because we are missing nutrients. I doesn't seem plausible that our body would magically produce too much stomach acid (in most cases).

Also, what makes more sense: That the lower esophageal sphincter does not close because there is too much stomach acid or that it doesn't close because the low stomach acid does not have a low enough pH to signal the necessity to close it?

I think the low stomach acid makes more sense. I mean: Why would a certain low pH make the lower esophageal sphincter close, but a slightly lower one magically leave it open? It's not plausible.

Obviously those kinds of thought experiments do not prove anything. But considering how bad people are doing on PPIs long-term and given the fact that conventional medicine is only interested in treating symptoms and how often scientists have been wrong (especially in the field of nutrition and health), I would not bet on conventional medicine when it comes to heartburn and GERD.

1
F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on August 23, 2013
at 08:05 PM

Apparently this happens in patients with Cushing's and hyperinsulinemia. No, it is NOT pseudoscience, it is pure logic.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on August 24, 2013
at 02:10 AM

My endocrinologist (and myself) think differently. By the way, there is a disease called Cushing's syndrome, not Cushing's disease, they are both diseases but one is called "syndrome".

4e40d2b9e1a762949a25b958762aa10d

(762)

on August 23, 2013
at 08:40 PM

Increased stomach acid is nowhere near the most obvious problem in someone with Cushing's. And, hyperinsulinemia is a symptom-- not a disease.

0
A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on August 23, 2013
at 08:40 PM

I don't buy it. All of the common treatments for GERD have been acid reducing, like antacids, proton pump inhibitors, histamine receptor blockers, etc. which all reduce acid and raise the stomach acids pH. They even used to treat GERD by removing the vagus nerve, which brings GRP and acetylcholine to the cells of the stomach, stimulating HCl production. I've known a few folks with diagnosed GERD who all benefited from some form of acid reducing treatment.

I don't think too much acid should necessarily be blamed for GERD. I think most of the time it's probably necessary but not sufficient. It's likely easier to treat the acid than the root causes, so that's where the drugs tend to be focused.

0
C16e2e3642960bfaabee1c1c7fbf9df1

(384)

on August 23, 2013
at 07:35 PM

Pseudoscience? Might be, might not. Does it work? Did for me.

Research and try it for yourself if this is an issue that's been bothering you. You could label anything that's alternative to the mainstream medical way as pseudoscience.

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