Say Goodbye to Acid Reflux, Indigestion and Gas: The Upper GI's Key Role

acid reflux fatigue gas gut health heart burn nutrition symptom burden assessment symptom relief Jul 01, 2023

Welcome friend! If you've found yourself here, it's likely because your Symptom Burden Assessment has highlighted Upper Gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms as an area of focus. In this blog, we will explore the essential role this organ plays in your overall well-being and provide practical solutions to alleviate your symptoms. Let's get started!


​​What Does 'Upper GI' Even Mean?

Your Upper Gastrointestinal (GI) includes the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum. It is the gateway, the starting point where food enters your body to nourish and fuel you. Just like a well-organized team, the upper GI's components work together harmoniously to break down food, allowing your body to absorb essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids. When this system functions optimally, you experience increased energy, improved digestion, and better nutrient absorption, which can make a significant difference in your daily life. So, taking care of your upper GI is like laying a strong foundation for your health, ensuring your body receives the vital nutrients it needs to thrive. 


​​Symptoms that Speak Your Language:

Let's take a closer look at the common culprits and how they might be showing up in your world. 

  • That burning sensation creeping up your chest after a hearty meal or when you lie down to sleep. Constantly needing to carry antacids or find solace in ginger ale to ease the discomfort.
  • Experiencing discomfort, heaviness, and even pain in your upper abdomen after a meal. Or battling persistent belching and an uneasy feeling that your food is stuck in your chest.
  • Feeling the need to release frequent burps or experiencing excessive gas after meals. The embarrassment of unexpected burping or the discomfort caused by trapped gas.
  • Feeling uncomfortably full, as if you've overindulged, even after small or regular-sized meals. And that lingering fullness persists for hours after eating. Constantly questioning portion sizes and avoiding meals altogether to escape the uncomfortable aftermath.
  • Noticing that your symptoms improve or even disappear when you skip meals or practice fasting. Relishing the temporary reprieve from discomfort, but feeling caught in a cycle of restriction and uncertainty about when and what to eat.
  • Discovering pieces of undigested food in your stool, leaving you puzzled and concerned. Wondering why your body isn't properly breaking down and absorbing the nutrients from the foods you consume.
  • Feeling the urgent need to rush to the restroom after meals, interrupting your daily activities. Struggling to identify the triggers and longing for relief from these disruptive bouts.


If any of these scenarios resonate with you, you're not alone. Upper GI symptoms can be incredibly disruptive, affecting your work, relationships, and overall quality of life -- and I totally get it! I hated feeling so full I never felt sexy in the bedroom and only had enough energy to unbutton pants. My husband has told me that I used to burp like Homer Simpson, seriously! I swear my lips even made that cartoonish flapping motion. Soooo embarrassing. It's insane I used to just think it was me, and that's just the way I am. It's time to listen to these clues your body is sending you! They're not normal!



The Ripple Effect: How Upper GI Health Influences Your Entire Body

When it comes to addressing your symptoms, we take a "north to south" approach, starting with your Upper GI health. Why? Because your Upper GI system, including the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum, plays a vital role in the digestion and absorption of nutrients. When digestion falters, absorption suffers, leaving your cells deprived of vital nutrients. 

When this intricate system experiences dysfunction it can set off a chain reaction, affecting various systems downstream. 

  • Picture this: when your Upper GI system struggles, it doesn't just affect digestion. It disrupts the absorption of vital nutrients, leaving your cells gasping for what they need to thrive. This deficiency can drain your energy, fog your mind, and zap away your vibrancy, leaving you feeling like a mere shadow of yourself.
  • But that's not all. The intricate dance between your Upper GI system and your gut microbiota plays a crucial role in your immune function. A malfunctioning Upper GI system can compromise your body's defense system and leave you vulnerable to pesky infections, stubborn allergies, and even autoimmune woes.
  • Surprisingly, your Upper GI system has a hand in the realm of emotions too. It communicates with your brain through the mysterious gut-brain axis, influencing your mood, mental well-being, and even cognitive sharpness. Imbalances here can lead to a rollercoaster of anxiety, depression, and brain fog that no amount of positive thinking can fix.
  • And let's not forget the mirror to your internal health – your skin. When your Upper GI system is in distress, it can unleash systemic inflammation, wreaking havoc on your complexion. From acne to eczema, your skin becomes a canvas reflecting the internal turmoil that needs addressing.


By understanding the impact of Upper GI health on these downstream systems, you can appreciate the far-reaching consequences of dysfunction within this crucial digestive gateway. It's not just about indigestion or acid reflux; it's about how these discomforts are connected to every corner of your body. It's time to give your Upper GI system the attention it deserves! 


But Why Tho? Unveiling the Culprits Behind Upper GI Dysfunction

So, you're wondering what led to the disappearance of your digestive harmony? Let's delve into the key culprits:

  • Stress: When stress takes the spotlight, non-essential functions, like optimal digestion, get sidelined. It's essential to find ways to manage stress to support a healthy upper GI.

  • Vegan or Vegetarian Diet: Our bodies need proteins, particularly from animal foods, to stimulate stomach acid production. Without it, or low intake, I often find these clients struggle with digestion. 

  • North Dysfunction: Your oral health plays a significant role in upper GI function. Dental issues like missing teeth, misalignment, or dental pain can disrupt chewing, impacting overall digestive health.

  • High Sugar and Carbohydrate Diet: Excessive sugar and carb consumption can wreak havoc on your upper GI. Balancing your diet is key to maintaining digestive wellness. If you focus on proteins, this will naturally fall into place. 

  • Alcohol: Excessive alcohol consumption can have detrimental effects on your health, including your digestive system. It can irritate the lining of the stomach and esophagus, leading to inflammation and acid reflux. 

  • PPIs, and Antacids: These substances are commonly prescribed to reduce stomach acid production and alleviate symptoms of acid reflux and ulcers. But the truth is, heart burn and acid reflux a due to a lack of stomach acid. The gate between your stomach and small intestine requires your food to be at a particular pH to allow food to move to the next stage. But when you don't have enough stomach acid the pH is not low enough to open the gate, but too acidic to stay in your esophagus, which is why you have that burning sensation.

  • Toxicity: Harmful substances in drinking water, food, air, and personal care products can put a strain on your upper GI. Minimizing exposure is crucial for digestive health.

  • Nutritional Deficiencies: Lack of essential nutrients like zinc, B1, B6, and salt can impair upper GI function. 

Understanding these causes can empower you to take charge of your upper GI health. By addressing these underlying issues, you can reclaim digestive balance and optimize your overall well-being.



Your Personalized Path to Lasting Relief: Taking the Next Steps

Close your eyes and imagine a life where you wake up feeling refreshed, ready to conquer the day, and indulge in meals without discomfort. Say goodbye to acid reflux, the need for antacids, and the nagging sensation of fullness. Picture yourself confidently savoring each bite, knowing that your body is nourished and harmonious. 

Check out these super simple, practical and effective solutions that will help you achieve these exact results!


Take Care of Your Oral Health

Taking care of your oral health is crucial for overall well-being. It's not just about having a bright smile; it directly impacts your digestion and overall health. Start by practicing good oral hygiene habits, such as brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing regularly, and using mouthwash to keep your mouth clean and free from harmful bacteria. It's also super important to remove any amalgam fillings as these can cause metal toxicity issues and create an environment for pathogens to thrive. If you have any, make sure to seek out a biological dentist to remove them. And of course, regular dental check-ups and cleanings are essential to detect any dental issues early on and maintain optimal oral health. Pro tip: find toothpaste, floss and mouthwash without a bunch of crap in it (ie sugar, sugar substitutes and random things you have to look up). I personally use Redmond's Toothpaste (unsweetened). 


Relaxed Eating Habits:

Embrace a more relaxed approach to eating, allowing your body to digest food more effectively. Practice mindful eating, savoring each bite, and taking time to chew thoroughly. Remove distractions such as your phone, TV, reading, or multitasking - this is a stress-free zone. Be the slowest eater at the table, avoid rushing through meals, as it can contribute to digestive discomfort. By adopting relaxed eating habits, you can reduce stress on your digestive system and support optimal functioning. Often, we can speed up the healing process and avoid unnecessary supplements by simply sitting down and chewing our food better.


Pace Your Beverage Consumption:

Sip beverages, such as water or herbal tea, minimally during mealtime to avoid diluting digestive juices. Consume the majority of your beverages between meals to preserve the effectiveness of your digestive system. This simple adjustment can make a significant difference in promoting optimal digestion. Don’t underestimate this incredibly simple and effective habit.


Embrace the Salt Life:

Did you know that adding high-quality salt can improve nutrient absorption, reduce bloating, and promote a healthy digestive system? Salt (NaCl) is an essential micronutrient that supports stomach acid production (HCl). If you're experiencing symptoms like undigested food, excess fulness or acid reflux, try incorporating "sole water" or salt shots into your routine. Sprinkle a pinch of mineral-rich unrefined sea salt or Himalayan pink salt in your water and meals for a delightful taste experience. Your body knows when it's had enough, so don't be afraid to savor the benefits of this vital nutrient.


Optimize Nutrition with Animal-Based Foods: 

Prioritize animal-based nutrition to fuel your body with essential nutrients. Aim to include a minimum of 30 grams of protein from animal foods in each meal. Animal-based proteins are highly digestible and provide the building blocks your gut needs for repair and maintenance. If you've been struggling to digest animal foods or have been avoiding them, it's a clear sign that your Upper GI system needs support. Explore my DIY course, Healthy Belly Nutrition, to learn more about utilizing the simplicity and effectiveness of animal-based nutrition to heal your body.


Foundations Protocol:

Your Starting Point for a Healthy Reset!

At the heart of our approach lies the recognition that supporting foundational aspects of your health is the first step towards achieving optimal well-being. We believe that addressing key elements like liver and gallbladder function, regular bowel movements (2-3x/day), efficient digestion, optimal nutrient status, and effective toxin removal can lay a solid groundwork for overall health. These pillars are often sufficient for significant improvements, alongside nutrition and lifestyle changes.

Think of our Foundations Protocol as a cleansing, purifying, and resetting experience—a spring cleaning for your system. By prioritizing these essential aspects, we create the ideal conditions for your body to thrive and naturally restore balance. Whether you seek to boost energy levels, promote glowing skin, or address chronic health concerns, this protocol is designed to serve as your starting point towards holistic well-being. 

  1. Start with our Foundations Protocol
  2. Upper GI healing: if you have wicked heartburn, acid reflux, ulcers, or on PPI's or antacids, make sure to include these healing agents in your protocol


Dive Deeper with Me: 

Work directly with me for a comprehensive approach. Together, we'll dive deeper into your specific concerns, conduct functional lab testing if needed, address gut health issues, create personalized protocols, design customized meal plans, and provide ongoing guidance and support. With our collaboration, you'll not only address Upper GI symptoms but also tackle the underlying root causes for lasting health and vitality. See our services here


By implementing these solutions and following our customized protocol, you are taking significant steps towards healing your gut and reclaiming your energy! 


Remember, this information is for educational purposes only and doesn't replace personalized medical advice. It's always best to consult with a qualified healthcare professional for a thorough evaluation and individualized guidance based on your specific needs.


Here's what some of my one-on-one clients have to say about these exact strategies and tips I'm sharing here:



Don’t have your own Symptom Burden Assessment yet? Grab yours HERE and gain exclusive access to my in-depth symptom assessment, unveiling the areas where your body needs the utmost support.