Gastroesophageal Reflux Disorder (GERD) is classified as a Functional GI Disorder, in which stomach acid (HCL) backs up (refluxes) into the esophagus. This is due to an imbalance in the neuroendocrine system, which causes both a loss of contractile ability in the esophagus and its openings in the stomach and diaphragm, as well as an overproduction of HCL (hyperchlorhydria) and unbalanced secretions of the hormone serotonin. This imbalance leads to irritation of the esophageal tissue and a decrease in motility and tone of the entire esophagus and its opening in the diaphragm.
The cause for this unbalanced neuroendecrine system could well be lesions in the spinal disks. Studies have shown intervertebral disk lesions to negatively affect the nervous system1. In the early 1980s, using specially designed BEV and CCT tests, Dr. Brice Vickery found that 100% of his GERD patients also had dorsal disk lesions, very often with no back pain symptoms. Instead, their symptoms included stomach and esophageal inflammation along with weakness in both the esophageal/stomach valve and the diaphragm and its opening for the esophagus. This weakness can lead to the stomach pushing up through the diaphragm in the condition known as hiatal hernia. The nervous system is closely linked to the endocrine system, and so this system that secretes chemicals such as HCL or serotonin could also be affected by any changes that occur due to disk lesions.
It is common knowledge that amino acid deficiency does affect the body’s ability to make protein. If even one essential amino acid is missing from the diet, the body can not make allt he proteins it needs on a daily basis. It could well follow that one cause of GERDs is a general deficiency in amino acids (the building blocks of protein), resulting in a deficiency in the spinal disks, the neuroendocrine system and even the make up of the proteins involved in the production of stomach acid and serotonin. It is interesting to note that Dr. Vickery also found once he cured his GERDs patients of protein deficiency, their symptoms disappeared. Systemic protein is made up of essential (EAA) and non essential amino acids. EAAs can only be obtained if dietary protein is fully digested . Dr. Vickery also found that 9 out of 10 of his patients did not fully digest their food. A lack of essential amino acids leads to an insufficiency in about 3000 enzymes, which cannot be synthesized without these amino acids . Enzymes play a big part in the secretion of HCL and serotonin. Hypochlorhydria (too little stomach acid) and hyperclorhydria could both be caused by the inability to digest and transform dietary protein into systemic proteins.
The essential amino acids must be present in the body or malfunctions will occur in the system2. If we cannot digest our food into these essential amino acids, then we cannot make systemic proteins. GERD could be just another symptom in a large list of protein deficiency caused diseases and infections.
If people, because of diet, aging, environmental factors and stress are unable to produce sufficient enzymes to digest their food properly, then regular maintenance processes such as upkeep and repair of the spinal disk material will be compromised due to a lack of the systemic protein needed to keep the disks strong and flexible. As lesions begin to appear, the nervous system becomes affected and then the neuroendocrine system. Stomach motility and secretions could very well be affected.
Two focal points of GERD research in medical science are HCL production by the stomach cells and the effects of serotonin on GERD symptoms. Let’s take a look at these chemicals and the proteins that are involved in their production HCL secretion in the stomach is dependent on an active transport system that is made up of proteins. A large portion of those proteins are essential amino acids: