Cool Off Heart, Mind, AND Stomach! Plus: Acidity – with Dr Teitelbaum; and more! – your SV Ayurveda Newsletter Sept 16, 2021 – #36, Vol 11

Feeling Sad AND Angry? Hot and Bothered?
Throbbing Headaches? Sour Stomach?
End-of-Summer Excessive Pitta Imbalance May be What You Got!

It’s Autumn! But don’t just jump onto the detox bandwagon yet. Just because it’s a new season. And just because everybody is doing it. If you detox without addressing pitta and amlapitta imbalances reaped through the summer, you are wont to make things worse – you will further aggravate your vata dosha and surely catch that seasonal cold that preys on the physiology this time of year. There is one key factor we tend to overlook at the end of summer, and it’s the stomach. The stomach is a primary pitta dosha site, and at the end of Summer, with the increase of agni in the environment, pitta is always found in excess in our bodies. It makes us crave more sweet juicy fruits, or ice cold drinks, cake, cold salads, ice cream, heavy foods… Did we mention ice-cream yet? And sweets, sweets, and more sweets! If you’ve read up even a little on Ayurveda at the source, not through secondary sources that tend to mistranslate, you will learn that in the Fall, we do not only get Vata aggravated because the climate changes, and colder temperatures come in, but because our pitta dosha is so high that it actually unsettles Vata dosha. And here’s the trick: if you start to pacify Vata dosha with warming and heating protocols as Vata needs to get pacified through heat, you are only going to make and already aggravated pitta go more out of balance, and hence create a vicious cycle to keep Vata out of balance. When Vata goes off all other doshas follow suit and compromise immunity. What’s more, your craving for heavy and sweet things will go out of control, and here you go, suddenly you are sick with that bad autumnal cold. Surprised? But it’s inevitable at this point…. So what do you do? Pacify pitta, or more correctly amla pitta – sour pitta. Pitta that has accumulated and reduced the pH of your body too.
By addressing and pacifying your primary pitta organ or locus, the stomach and digestive system, you can actually pave your way to a healthy Autumn and a pacified Vata that will keep things in check. But what is too much pitta? 
It can be as simple as craving too many cold and sweet things, to a feeling of heaviness in the stomach; or also the feeling that no matter what we eat, we feel hungry, never satiated. In extreme circumstances, amla-pitta appears as heartburn, acid reflux, bloating, gas, burping, and a sour feeling in the digestive system, sometimes accompanied by diarrhea, also burning in the recto-anal area are all symptoms of “amlapitta.” Amla means sour, and pitta stands for the fiery metabolic element in our body according to Ayurveda. Amlapitta, is described to be an excess of sour gastric juices, a sure sign of an imbalanced environment in the stomach. Amlapitta can manifest in different parts of the physiology, giving different symptoms either in the stomach, the ano-rectal pathways, or even the skin, the eyes, the emotional heart.
Once in a while, we might all have experienced mild cases of amlapitta depending on what we ate, how stressed we were, how old the food was, how much ketchup we douzed it in! If stomach acidity is recurrent, it should not be ignored or taken lightly. When things become chronic, amlapitta can cause lasting damage to the stomach, throat, colon, and ano-rectal areas, including bleeding. 

 Here are some recipes and tips that are quick, easy and effective. 
If these simple above remedies don’t address your stomach imbalance, or if you’ve experienced long-term imbalance, watch Dr Teitelbaum’s video below. Her clinic number is: 1.856.786.3330. Schedule a one-on-one via phone or live video SV Ayurveda consultation – tip: book ahead as she has a long waiting listing from a global audience.
Acid reflux is very common with over 60 million Americans experiencing heartburn at least once a month and at least 15 million experiencing symptoms every day. Symptoms include burning pain in the chest that might worsen when you lie down. This is the most common symptom, but if you have a hoarse voice or a chronic cough, that could also be a symptom since if the throat or esophagus is burnt, the body reflexively makes mucus to lubricate it, causing a chronic cough. 
The underlying cause of acid reflux is said to be loosening of the lower esophageal sphincter, which is a band of muscle which acts as a valve that lets food into the stomach, but not back up into the esophagus. But when this valve gets weak then the stomach contents are regurgitated back into the esophagus causing heartburn.
While this may be true, let’s take a deeper look at WHY the lower esophageal sphincter might weaken. 
As usual, there is more than one underlying cause, and probably several going on at the same time in most people.
Now normally, once we swallow the food it goes from the mouth, into the esophagus, through the lower esophageal sphincter and then it enters the stomach. The stomach contains hydrochloric acid and it churns the food into a liquid acid. Once the food is liquid, it squirts through another sphincter, the pyloric sphincter, into the duodenum. The duodenum is the beginning of the small intestine. Just as a reminder, the small intestine feeds into the large intestine, then the food exits as a bowel movement at the end of the large intestine.
Once the food enters the duodenum, a signal is sent to the gall bladder to release the bile, which is an alkaline fluid which helps to not only digest the fats in the diet, but it also has the effect, since it is so alkaline, of alkalinizing the acids as they pour into the duodenum. This is important because the gut lining does not have the protective layer that the stomach has to protect itself from the acids. The bile also creates peristalsis, or little muscular contractions to move the food downwards through the gut. 
But there are many reasons why the bile might not squirt out even after receiving its signal to do so. And if it doesn’t squirt out, the acids move upwards back into the esophagus and start to burn the area. 

Now why would the bile not flow properly? 
Well, for one thing, if the thyroid gland is weak, the gall bladder gets weak at the same time. It turns out that the thyroid acupuncture meridian feeds directly into the gall bladder meridian. So if the thyroid is weak, the gall bladder automatically becomes weak. That’s why many people who have a weak thyroid gland develop acid reflux at the same time. So in this case you have to see what is causing the weak thyroid gland and address that, strengthen the thyroid and then use the herbs to fix the gall bladder. But that’s another discussion which I covered in my thyroid book, Healing the Thyroid With Ayurveda, if you want to delve into it more deeply.
Also, if the bile in the gall bladder becomes very thick, like a sludge, it might not flow properly. This could happen if you eat thick, heavy gunky goods, such as cream cheese, peanut butter or other nut butters, and it especially happens if you eat iced cold fatty foods, such as smoothies with heavy oils such as coconut oil, blended with frozen fruits, or if you eat ice cream or frozen yogurt. The cold congeals the fats, making it very hard for the bile to remain thinned out. A similar thing can happen if you eat deep fried foods or heavy red meats as these heavy fats are also hard to digest and can thicken the bile. The bile should be a thin liquid, like the consistency of olive oil, but if there are too many cold fats or heavy fats contained within the bile, you run the risk of forming a thick gunky sludge.
Another cause could be that the energy which resides in the lower intestinal region, known as Apana Vata, a downward flow of energy which pulls the food down, is moving up. Vata in our bodies controls the movements of things, such as the movement of food through the digestive tract. So if it moves up, then the food moves upwards instead of downwards, and it is this upward pressure which can over time loosen the lower esophageal sphincter, eventually causing the acids to move upwards.
In cases such as these, we have to teach the patient how to relax so that digestion can occur. All the digestive processes come to a halt if your Vata goes high from rushing through the day or going to bed late. In the West we call it “fight or flight” and in this mode the blood moves out of the digestive tract into the extremities, so you can run from the danger. The fight or flight response was made for an occasional huge stressor, but most of us are living in a constant state of fight or flight everyday as we work long hours and rush through our daily activities.

And believe it or not, there are numerous herbs which can move the energy back downwards through the digestive tract. These usually have to be given to our acid reflux patients along with herbs, foods and teas which promote the flow of bile out of the gall bladder.
I remember when I first started reading books on herbs when I was a teenager I noticed right away that on every other page of my herb books were herbs which promoted bile flow. I wondered why nature decided to give us so many herbs for bile flow. And then when I started seeing patients in my busy practice, it soon became apparent that just about every other patient had problems with the flow of bile out of the gall bladder.
And just about every case of acid reflux I saw had the gall bladder as the main cause of the problem, not too much stomach acid as we are led to believe.
Which brings me to the next point: is taking the acid reflux medicines the best mode of treatment for acid reflux? Is it safe? Is it the right way to treat this? And what are the side effects?
Well, after seeing my thousands of acid reflux patients over the years I have come to the conclusion that in some severe cases, acid reflux medicine might be necessary to alleviate more burning of the esophagus. But they should only be used temporarily, as they have too many side effects. Plus, I have also found that promoting the flow of bile out of the gall bladder, combined with healing the gut lining from the acids flowing through it, and regrowing the friendly bacteria in the gut, usually alleviates the acid reflux symptoms. So many times I have been able to help our patients avoid the acid reflux medicines in the first place, or slowly wean off them as our herbs kicked in. And yes, you must slowly wean off these medicines because if you just stop them abruptly more than likely you’ll have a rebound of acid, requiring you to go right back on them.
And are these acid reflux medicines safe? I remember when they first came out years ago, patients were told that they could only stay on them for a few weeks, as they were dangerous for the liver. But now it seems like most people are on them for extended periods of time, even years.

Also, many people are now developing bone loss as a side effect from these drugs. 
And then many people started reporting dementia as a side effect. In 2016 the first study was finally done to see if these drugs can cause dementia. At the beginning of the study 0% had dementia. But the group who were given the acid reflux medicines developed a 44% increased risk of developing dementia.
It was then further studied to see why that was, and it turns out that these medicines cross the blood brain barrier, which normally seals off the brain from chemicals. Then in May 2020 they were finally able to discover how they cause dementia. A study was published in the Alzheimer’s & Dementia Journal demonstrating how the proton pump inhibitors, the other name for the acid reflux drugs, affect the synthesis of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. 
It turns out that these medications decrease the production of acetylcholine so signals can’t be sent in the brain, which predisposes you to both dementia and Alzheimer’s. 
And here’s the other very important thing: nature made it so that when we eat the food, the first place it goes is into the stomach for good reason. The stomach acids kill any bacteria that might be coming in from the food. This is very important because the small intestine, which is where the food goes after leaving the stomach, should not have much bacteria in it. It has to be fairly sterile, since this is where our food is being absorbed into our blood stream.
So now, if we take away the stomach acids by using a proton pump inhibitor or other acid reflux medicine, guess what could happen? Yes! Infection can grow in the small intestine, which is starting to happen at alarming rates now that so many millions of people are on these medicines. This is called small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, otherwise known as SIBO — and is a very very difficult thing to treat.
So, it would be a better idea to first identify the underlying causes of the acid reflux, address those, promote the flow of bile out of the gall bladder, pull the apana back down, teach the patient how to get out of fight or flight and then heal the lining of the gut with mucilaginous herbs which can heal the gut lining by regrowing the thick mucus lining which should normally be found in the gut. And finally, it is important to regrow the friendly bacteria which grows within this thick mucus lining. Always remember that the gut has two basic layers — a layer of mucus with friendly bacteria growing in it, and the combination of these two give the gut a nice protective barrier, much like your front lawn has a nice thick turf of grass growing into the topsoil. If a heavy rain comes, the grass prevents the topsoil from washing away. This is a good analogy to help you visualize our gut lining of mucus and friendly bacteria protecting the gut from all kinds of invaders, such as bacteria and other pathogens.
By following the guidelines outlined here I have been able to save many people from the side effects of these drugs by getting to the root cause of their acid reflux and showing them through diet, herbs and teas, how to regrow the mucus layer back in the gut and heal both the burnt digestive tract and the gall bladder, preventing both gall bladder disease and long-term infections in the gut, such as SIBO.
I hope you found this information useful as you attempt to seek out alternatives for your acid reflux condition. Thank you.
Dr. Marianne Teitelbaum
Cinnaminson, New Jersey

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Autumn Dinacharya Course?
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We concluded our course yesterday with Dr Teitelbaum’s presentation followed by Q&A. We had in-depth conversation about many aspects of health – thank you to all who attended and participated. Those who missed the live session can watch it in our virtual classroom – access is open and an email was sent out. If you would like to sign up you will be able to watch the materials as well. CLICK HERE TO ENROLL Autumn!
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