Tonawanda News

May 19, 2013

NATURAL HEALTH: Stomach pain gone for good

The Tonawanda News

Tonawanda News — Stomach pain can easily be mistaken for chest pain and may have you visiting the local emergency department to check it out.

Once the imminent heart attack is ruled out, the diagnosis of GERD, gastritis, reflux, hiatal hernia, ulcer or esophagitis is most likely to be made.

The outcome will be a prescription for Prevacid, Protonix, Nexium, Zantac or omeprazole. These are just some of the protein pump inhibitors or acid blockers that will put you on the slow road to malnutrition and a B-12 deficiency. These drugs put a band-aid on your symptoms but do nothing to reverse or cure you. You will like them at first, as they will help ease the pain, but did you ever consider trying to find a reason that the reflux or pain happened in the first place? Do you believe you suffer because you lack a pill? Think again.

These drugs were meant to be used short term, but because we didn’t fix anything, people cannot come off them. Withdrawing off these drugs is usually a very uncomfortable experience, but I assure you it is well worth it. Many individuals state that the pain of withdrawal is worse than the pain that started it all. Many do not realize how long term use predisposes the individual to osteoporosis.

Sadly and shockingly, I see a large number of infants and children placed on these drugs. Unfortunately, this is an all too common scenario in our health care system. These drugs prevent digestion and the absorption of nutrients. Why not try removing dairy from the diet instead? Frequent colds, earaches and mucous conditions are likely to disappear.

It may have started with an intolerance to dairy — but most will suffer through it in order to drink their supposedly “good for you” milk and enjoy their summertime treat of ice cream. But the more you expose your body to offending foods (mostly wheat and dairy), your body becomes weary and eventually can’t buffer the blow any longer. 

Then the list of foods causing this feeling will eventually grow, sending you to your doctor. He or she may test you for Celiac’s disease, but unless you are a severely gluten-intolerant person, things may not look so bad and nothing is found. Pain is something, don’t blow it off.

When I remove wheat and dairy from the diet, I usually get an email within a week or two stating there has been a miraculous cure. Sounds so simple and yet when it comes to your health and well being, the diet is ultimately ignored.

A common misunderstanding is that you are producing too much acid when in fact the opposite is usually true in almost 80 percent of people who suffer from stomach pain. By further inhibiting gastric acid production, you are unable to breakdown foods properly, leaving you at risk for B-12 deficiency and a general state of malnutrition.

Here’s what I recommend:

• Eat more raw foods.

• Consider eliminating wheat and dairy products for at least two weeks. You will most likely have your answer.

• The most common offenders for “A” blood types are wheat, while dairy is a no for the “O” type blood group.

• Eat for your blood type. This will eliminate the food that causes digestive difficulties.

• Take digestive enzymes with all cooked meals (and raw if you have a hard time digesting them).

• Consider betaine HCL tablets or raw organic cider vinegar to assist you in digesting meals.

• Avoid beverages while eating, as this slows or “dilutes” the digestive process.

• Fix the problem; don’t just put a band-aid on it hoping it will go away.

• Eat real food. Avoid diet, sugar-free, fat-free, man-made foods. Nothing you put in your mouth should have a long ingredient list.

• Wean yourself off of the drugs. You are only promoting malnutrition and osteoporosis by using them.

Before the aches and pains, before the diagnosis of high blood pressure, before the auto immune disease or cancer, was a digestive system that was giving you some warning signs. Were you listening or were you ignoring them? The human body is built to endure at least 80-90 years or more of health if cared for properly.

The person you will be 5 years from now will be largely dictated by the foods you place in your mouth from this day forward. It is your choice.

Catherine Stack is a doctor of naturopathy and a certified nurse midwife. Her practice is located at Journey II Health in Niagara Falls. She can be reached at 298-8603 or at her website at