How Your Stomach Affects Chronic Health Conditions

Dr. Adam Hughes
by Dr. Adam Hughes

Supporting chronic health conditions is complex; there are many pieces to the puzzle. If the body and its parts don’t work in unison, an array of health problems can occur. These problems have a drastic effect on the individual’s health especially if suffering from a chronic health condition. The traditional medical model treats chronic conditions on a sign and symptom basis, which often leads to an improper diagnosis of the problems source. Alternative medicinal practices aim to treat the body as a whole, and find the source in order to correct it. With many chronic conditions, the stomach can be the source of the problem, which is why evaluation is necessary, regardless of where physical symptoms are felt.

The stomach has important responsibilities in maintaining overall body health. 90% of people, who have GI dysfunction, have it because their stomach is not functioning properly. Among the stomach’s responsibilities, regulating the flow of hydrochloric acid is one of its most important duties. Hydrochloric acid (HCL) helps break down and dissolve food by activating enzymes. Enzymes must break down food so that it can be digested and passed into the blood stream. Through the blood, the body absorbs nutrients and maintains normal function.

Without suitable amounts of HCL in the stomach, the body faces serious health issues. When food sits in the stomach and is not broken down by enzymes, it continues to sit there, eventually rotting and putrefying. The putrefied food begins to produce harmful, acidic gases that travel up the esophagus and cause burning sensations to the throat. This is commonly referred to as acid reflux. Additionally, putrefied food destroys the lining of the stomach, due to its acidity, and can lead to stomach ulcers. Anyone with a preexisting chronic health condition will suffer from worsened symptoms if the stomach behaves erratically. Whether or not the stomach is the source a chronic health condition, it still needs to be evaluated to ensure it’s working properly.

The lack of HCL in the stomach can be caused by a variety of triggers. The most common occurrences are brought on by bacteria, poor diet, and the existence of an autoimmune condition. Diet needs to be changed by eating healthy, non-inflammatory foods and bacteria can be eradicated through a series of different procedures. If autoimmune disease is triggering stomach dysfunction, the treatment process becomes more difficult. The other organs of the body must be evaluated as part of the entire bodily system. Chronic health conditions are brought on by the domino effect – one organ triggers one problem, which causes another organ to trigger another problem and in turn worsens the autoimmune condition. Heightened autoimmunity can then lead to stomach dysfunction.

Traditional medical approaches towards a lack of HCL in the stomach treat only the symptoms felt by patients. Doctors frequently prescribe drugs (Nexium, Prilosec) to help decrease acid reflux caused by putrefied food. This method treats acid reflux symptoms yet neglects the problem at hand, which is a lack of HCL in the stomach. In this scenario, food will still rot in the stomach and cause further damage. Alternative medical approaches seek to restore the production and release of HCL in the stomach to ensure it works properly. Proper dieting, eradicating harmful bacteria, or introducing supplements that help produce HCL are all methods to promote a healthy stomach. The alternative method is centered on restoring normal body function by correcting the problem at its source, not simply treating symptoms.

Dr. Adam Hughes is a Chiropractor and Internal Health Specialist at Kingen Chiropractic Wellness Center in Brentwood. He can be reached at 314-646-0013.