Digestion and indigestion are becoming hot topics of discussion in the medical community. The Standard American Diet (SAD) is causing intestinal problems for an increasingly large number of people. Here you can learn about your digestive system, how it relates to your immune system and what you can do to ensure that you keep your self in good digestive health.

Heartburn Medicine Danger: Kidneys

Woman grabbing her stomache in pain
In these pages, I’ve said again and again that acid reflux, heartburn, and GERD—gastroesophageal reflux disease—usually shouldn’t be treated by acid blockers. Doctors are very quick to prescribe acid blockers—usually proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs)—but the problems with them are enormous. For one thing, most heartburn isn’t caused by excessive stomach acid. And even when acid is […]

Four outdated medical treatments to skip

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Doctors don’t know everything. Most people know that—but when that white coat starts speaking, we assume they are an absolute authority. We have a tendency to respect the uniform, without question, no matter what he or she is saying. But good healthcare means good communication. If you aren’t acting as your own advocate, sooner or […]

GERD causes inflammation

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I wrote recently about gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). It’s when the burning sensation in the gut—commonly called heartburn—is chronic. And dangerous. I warned you about Big Phama’s billion-dollar babies— Proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs), which neutralize stomach acids and H2 blockers, which block production of the acids—that claim to relieve GERD. I repeat that warning. Trust me. […]

Natural Heartburn Relief

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Q: When is “just a little heartburn” not just a little heartburn? A: When it’s a lot of heartburn—happening twice a week or more, with the symptoms growing worse. Maybe it’s waking you up at night. And, especially, when those symptoms are accompanied by chest pain, chronic cough, or asthma. These are all symptoms of […]

FODMAPS causes Wheat Problems and IBS

man standing in front of a stall of bread
Here’s one of the quirkier acronyms I’ve seen—FODMAPS, for: Fermentable Oligosaccharides Disaccharides Monosaccharides Polyols Also known as short-chain carbohydrates, FODMAPS are present in varying degrees in an astonishing variety of our everyday food. And they’re well-known troublemakers for many people, linked to Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). As the name suggests, IBS is a very unpleasant […]

Wheat Problems: Celiac, Gluten Sensitivity, and Roundup

man standing in a wheat field
I’m sure you’ve noticed a growing number of products in the supermarket advertised as “gluten free.” Maybe you think the whole “gluten is bad” issue is silly for anyone who doesn’t have celiac disease. People have been eating wheat for centuries. How could gluten—a protein that’s always been part of wheat—suddenly be bad for us? […]

Cure Gallstones

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If you’re like most of my patients, you probably don’t think about your gallbladder very often. And that’s fine—there’s no need for you to fret over it. This small, pear-shaped organ stores bile produced in the liver, then releases it when you eat to help digest fatty foods. Unless your gallbladder isn’t functioning properly. And […]

Proton Pump Inhibitors Hurt Your Digestive System

attractive older man smiling in the woods
A patient I’ll call Al came to my clinic last year, and he was not doing well. Al had been diagnosed with gastro-esophageal reflux disease, better known as GERD. Al had been prone to digestive problems for most of his adult life. He’d tried self-medication with over the counter indigestion remedies. But when those stopped […]

Prevent Diverticulitis with Simple Diet Changes

woman in pink sweater clutching her side
If you’ve had a colonoscopy, the doctor may have told you about “pockets” in your colon. These small pockets or pouches, known as diverticula, in the digestive tract are very common, especially after age 40. Straining to pass hard stools creates the little pouches. The pressure applied to the colon during a difficult bowel movement […]

Ulcers: Causes and Cures

woman lying down using her computer
You may be familiar with the story of Dr. Robin Warren, the Australian physician who ingested H. pylori bacteria and followed up with antibiotics to prove that most ulcers are caused by infection. He won the Nobel Prize for this important work. But did you know that about one in six stomach ulcers are actually […]

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