Both causes together?
If you have only one of these as a cause (ie either a heating diet or Qi stagnation-producing emotions) Stomach Fire will take longer to appear.
Unfortunately, if stressed we tend to gravitate towards heating foods so the syndrome arrives faster.
And people who eat heating foods are more easily stressed.
So, usually, both exist as causes.
What can you do about Stomach Fire?
You probably already know about antacids. Many of these are based on bicarbonate of soda, which you can buy from your grocery as a powder and is much cheaper than the pills pharmacists like to sell you.
But taken frequently, antacids, which contain various minerals, easily unbalance your body’s metabolism. For example, excess sodium – as salt or as a bicarbonate – may eventually raise your blood pressure.
Aluminium, often used in antacids, is thought to be a factor in the development of Alzheimer’s disease. And maybe constipation too.
If you are taking antacids more than three times a week, you probably should see a doctor – or an acupuncturist!
Various drugs control, or suppress, how much stomach acid you produce. They include cimetidine (Tagamet), omepraxole (Prilosec/Losec) and ranitidine (Zantac). The technical name for these is ‘protein pump inhibitor‘.
Every medication under the sun has both a primary and a secondary effect, albeit not noticed initially.
A word on Omeprazole
“In an editorial, Ian Forgacs, of King’s College Hospital in London, said the drug may not be as benign as doctors believe. The drug group may be playing a part in increased cases of pneumonia, and it may also be doubling the risk of hospital-acquired infections such as C. difficile.” (Source: British Medical Journal, 2008; 336: 2)
In other research done by the University of Nottingham UK, ‘people taking the ulcer drug omeprazole face a 10-fold increased risk of developing gastroenteritis caused by the bug campylobacter, now a more common stomach infection than salmonella.’
Why do you tend to get more infections if you take one of these protein pump inhibitors? Because they suppress stomach acid, which is a potent protection against infection! Your gastric juices kill bugs! So if you suppress stomach acid, you get more bugs.
Acupuncture Treatment Strategy for Stomach Fire
If your condition was diagnosed as being due to Stomach Fire, (but notice that burning in your epigastrium could also be due to other syndromes, such as Stomach Yin deficiency or Stomach Qi Stagnation), the correct treatment is to
- drain the Fire and
- start your Stomach energy descending again.
That’s not so easy by yourself! See an acupuncturist!