Growing up I always seemed to have tummy problems and heatburn. It would feel sore and so as a result, I became a picky eater and often wouldn’t want to eat. Sound familiar?
Into my teens and early twenties, I had all sorts of digestion issues and I relied heavily on Milk of Magnesia and Gaviscon to tackle my heartburn and sore tummy. Both are disgusting in taste and would make me gag, but I knew that they would soon soothe my tummy and put out the fire that was blazing inside.
So, I resigned to the fact I’d always have to put up with tummy pain and that it was part of my daily life.
Fast forward to today, I’ve learned a lot about keeping the gut healthy. Stuff which wasn’t covered in my university human biology classes in the 90s.
It turns out that I was in pain because there wasn’t enough stomach acid to break down my food. Whereas I thought I was producing too much stomach acid.
So I took to the books to work out how to fix my sore tummy and to better manage what had become regular flare ups.
Firstly I worked out what my triggers were and how to limit those in my life. I soon realised these were things like raw peppers, onions, spring onions, too much coffee and stress.
Next was to encourage my tummy to make more stomach acid to function efficiently. I did this by taking probiotics regularly and eating fermented food like sauerkraut (I know it’s an acquired taste but I decided it was worth it).
Recently I’ve started to drink about 100 – 200 ml of Kefir each morning, it’s a fermented milk drink. I avoided it for years because it’s made with dairy milk (the one with coconut water doesn’t have the same bacteria makeup). However, I heard the owner of Nourish Kefir give a talk and she said that those that are lactose intolerant should give it a try because lactose (which upsets my gut) is broken down during the fermentation stage. After 6 weeks I haven’t had an IBS issues from drinking dairy milk kefir, and I’m stocking up on calcium, yay!
So if you’re struggling with acid heartburn and the regular medicine isn’t working for you, consider drinking some Kefir, eating some fermented food and taking a probiotic every day.