HOLLY CARLING: Digestive misconceptions

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Our homes are being flooded with pharmaceutical propaganda, encouraging the listener, viewer or reader to buy these drugs. With images of joyful, skinny, perfect people with lives full of laughter and a spring in their step, they lure us into believing if we take their medications that our lives will also be perfect and nothing but fun. That’s rarely the case.

When it comes to medications we have to weigh the risks with the benefits. For example, acid-reducing medications basically incapacitate your digestive system. With the false premise that all acid is bad, they give medications to soak up the “excess” acids or stop the body from producing them in the first place. But not all acid is bad. We naturally have acid enzymes — we’re supposed to! However, our own acid enzymes do not damage the stomach lining. The stomach lining is intended to withstand the harshness of that kind of an acid environment. However, a deficiency of acid enzymes causes the food to ferment in your stomach, resulting in the release of organic enzymes, which cause the problems. The answer to heartburn and reflux isn’t in preventing the body from making acid enzymes, but encouraging it to make the appropriate amount.

While very occasionally it is appropriate to take medications, it is better to figure out WHY the body isn’t doing its job in the first place. There are multiple reasons why people have digestive disorders. The good news is they don’t have to resort to medications or surgery to manage the symptoms.

Every organ in the body is dependent upon minerals to function. Without minerals, function is altered. The acid-reducing medications prevent you from digesting properly, and especially the minerals are compromised. This means that your health starts to go downhill. Joints start to ache, fatigue becomes a normal part of your life, allergies kick in and a whole myriad of health issues worsen — but the heartburn is gone! We’ve traded one simple digestive issue for a myriad of other health conditions that may not be as easy to treat. We’ve traded poor health for worse health. What have we gained?

Of course to get well it takes work. You have to work on your stress levels whenever possible, you have to improve your diet, and you can’t eat things that worsen your condition. You have to take personal responsibility for getting well. That could include seeing some natural medicine practitioners, such as acupuncturists.

Acupuncture is one of the most effective ways of overcoming digestive disorders that I have ever experienced. Acupuncture restores function. It reduces inflammation and stimulates the healing process. Along with good nutritional and herbal recommendations you can eliminate your digestive problems, not just manage them. Because it works to heal, not just mask the symptom, if you continue to follow the good advice after your care is through, you can expect your symptoms to stay gone forever.

Learn more by attending our upcoming health class, Beyond Tums: Drug-Free Solutions for Heartburn, Reflux, Indigestion & Upset Stomach, at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 21, at Vital Health in Coeur d’Alene. Fee: $10. RSVP: 208-765-1994.

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Holly Carling is a Doctor of Oriental Medicine, Licensed Acupuncturist, Doctor of Naturopathy, Clinical Nutritionist and Master Herbologist with nearly four decades of experience. Carling is a “Health Detective,” she looks beyond your symptom picture and investigates WHY you are experiencing your symptoms in the first place. Carling is currently accepting new patients and offers natural health care services and whole food nutritional supplements in her Coeur d Alene clinic. Visit Carling’s website at www.vitalhealthcda.com to learn more about Carling, view a list of upcoming health classes and read other informative articles. Carling can be reached at 208-765-1994 and would be happy to answer any questions regarding this topic.

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