My tummy hurts!
Stomach pain. That’s just one of the symptoms of gastropause. Wow, sounds like menopause or andropause. Very similar in a way. Anyway, this term was coined by one of the doctors I really admire. He’s the well-respected author and physician Dr. Eric Bravermerman of PathMed. Gastropause is basically a period in one’s life when the functions of the intestinal tract begin to decline (similar to ovarian function decline in menopause and testicular function decline in andropause). Gastropause may manifest with symptoms such as gas, bloating and indigestion (or heartburn). This usually happens during our 30’s, making the class of drugs called PPI’s or acid-blockers some of the best-selling drugs for this age group. What triggers the onset of these symptoms? Possibly, factors such as eating cooked (dead, devitalized) food majority of the time, eating mindlessly (eating fast and not chewing food properly), and eating the wrong kinds of foods (highly refined or processed foods with artificial ingredients and preservatives). Ways to relieve these symptoms include taking plant (or animal-based) enzymes and betaine HCl. Eating more raw foods is definitely helpful as well. For acute situations, the drug alternative may be used but only for a short period. However, what ends up happening, is that most people stay on these drugs indefinitely, without making the necessary dietary and lifestyle changes to address the problem. In fact, there’s an article in the latest issue of Scientific American on the overuse of acid blockers and how it poses long-term health risks such as nutritional deficiencies, hip fracture (buy inhibiting calcium absorption) and an increased risk of bacterial infection (by increasing the pH of the stomach). One thing the article stresses is that there’s a need to re-evaluate the use of PPI’s as a prophylactic agent (for hospital patients with serious injuries to prevent gastrointestinal bleeding and stress ulcers) since only one intensive care patient is saved from serious bleeding for every 900 treated. Therefore, to prevent or relieve the symptoms of gastropause, try these things. Eat slowly, chew thoroughly, in small (frequent) portions.