Let’s either laugh or cry together. Recently in the WSJ (you know I read that) I found this article http://tinyurl.com/cu3976j. The first sentence foreshadowed the rest, of course. “When MEDICATIONS aren’t enough to control the unpleasant symptoms of heartburn and acid reflux, SURGERY is sometimes necessary.”(CAPS mine!) Yes, I kept reading.

Here’s what’s sad. It’s in the definition of the problem. GERD / heartburn is defined here – “when a sphincter muscle in the lower esophagus stops working properly.” At a glance, that certainly seems to be the case. As we know, this is actually a huge issue for Americans with 20% of the population having weekly bouts of GERD. Logically, though, do you think it’s possible that 20% of Americans all have dysfunctional esophageal sphincters? Isn’t it much more likely that something that they are all doing regularly might be creating what seem to be dysfunctional esophageal sphincters? You know where I’m going with this. What are they putting into their mouths that the unsuspecting stomach and esophagus must dutifully handle to the best of their abilities? Apparently, American esophageal sphincters are uniting, and they’re going on strike!

I know I’m being silly, but please! Lip service is barely paid to eating habits with “Losing weight and avoiding problem foods can help.” And then we’re onto those oft prescribed deadly PPIs that suppress acid when many times acid is too low to begin with! And next we have this “less aggressive” procedure that seems at least to reduce the frequency of the awful surgical side effect of abdominal pain caused by trapped gas. Nearly 50% of a study group who had the traditional surgery were still experiencing gas and bloating 15 years later. 15 years! Trading one awful symptom (heartburn) for another (gas-bloat syndrome). Oh my.

The clue at all points – gas and bloating equals fermentation. Do you think something might be out of balance somewhere along the long and winding road called the intestinal tract leading to fermentation, gas, bloating, and that original heartburn? Friendly bacteria, fiber to trap toxins, enzymes for digestion – no mention is made.

Are we laughing or crying yet? Let’s just laugh, knowing that Americans are waking up and are indeed beginning to listen to their bodies a bit – not as complaining, difficult, annoying workhorses that need surgical intervention to barely maintain, but as intelligent, meaningful guidance vehicles, capable of natural healing when provided good fuel and willing to deliver vibrant wellness as thanks.