Last Updated on August 4, 2020
The lower esophageal sphincter (LES) is a round muscle and contracts and closes off down at the bottom of the esophagus that leads into the stomach.
The LES stop the contents of the stomach from coming back up again. If it’s not working well, people can run into problems with swallowing, burping, bloating, heartburn, and feeling sick to their stomach. A poorly functioning LES can result in GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease).
The LES works best in people who are not highly stressed, aren’t overweight, and aren’t drinking massive amounts of coffee each day.
People who smoke, who eat lots of chocolates and mints, drink lots of coffee and are larger, are at risk of having a problem with their lower esophageal sphincter. The LES can become saggy, loose, and stop closing correctly, resulting in acid reflux.
What are some of the critical things you can do to strengthen the LES?
To begin with, you need to eat the right kinds of foods.
In my book, Candida Crusher, I review the importance of not eating too fast and throwing everything down the throat like it’s some kind of cement mixer.
Some people will have a cup of coffee, then ice cream, followed by a piece of chocolate, a glass of wine, and a slice of pizza. They seem to think that everything will magically digest properly.
Going to the doctor’s is not going to help because you’ll only get put on a proton-pump inhibitor like Nexium. That’s not the answer.
When you have a digestive problem, think about what might have caused the problem.
Maybe it was the big piece of pizza and a couple of cans of beer. Perhaps you got stressed out and upset.
Years ago, I had a problem with my lower esophageal sphincter. We had three young children, I was quite stressed, and I was eating too fast.
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I can remember having reflux and other digestive problems at the time.
When the body is in a fight or flight mode, it’s not going to digest food properly. When it’s in a relaxed mode, what we call the rest and digest, or the parasympathetic dominant part of the autonomic nervous function, you’ll digest very easily.
That’s why it’s important not to watch bad news when you’re eating. I recommend that you put all screens aside and just sit there, relax, and chew your food.
The other step you can take is to get an assessment of your level of stomach acid production. A baking soda or betaine hydrochloride test will tell you how much acid your stomach is making.
You can get your stomach prepped up in making acid, and train it to work better, by adding Swedish Bitters, lemon juice, or some apple cider vinegar to your diet. I recommend Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar.
Acidic foods will help tone the LES and get your stomach in better shape.
Lastly, a digestive enzyme-probiotic formula like CanXida Restore can help get your upper GI tract in great shape.