Nena A.Wirth, BSFN, MASc. Nutrition

Health Ministry Team Leader

21 I weep for the hurt of my people; I stand amazed, silent, dumb with grief. 22 Is there no medicine in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why doesn’t God do something? Why doesn’t he help? 8:21-22 (TLB)

In July 2015, a community survey questionnaire has been conducted by the Seventh day Adventist Church in the City of Kitchener and Waterloo. The purpose of this survey was to ask the community what service they would like our church to provide.

People around the world are desperately seeking for alternative approach to put an end to their many years of pain and suffering. There is time to take dugs but time to stop. Unfortunately, many are depending on drugs as their permanent refuge because they have no other alternative. So in response to the need of the community and the church family, our health ministry teams have provided appropriate resources through health seminars that promote health and healing as wholeness, as a mission of a faith community to its members and the community it serves. Our team members are people committed to sharing the compassionate love of Jesus Christ.

I am Nena A. Wirth, (BSFN, MSc.) leader of the health ministry. I am a Diet and Nutrition Consultant and practices at my Eat To Live Learning Centre in Waterloo, Ontario. I am the author of three health books: Gutty Muffins Lactose and Gluten Free, Root and Rice Connection for Diabetic and Hypoglycemia: Lactose and Gluten Free; and Gutty Vegetarian Diet: Lactose Gluten and Soy Free. I published my latest book: FAITH NOT FEAR IN THE MIDST OF A STORM, a true miracle story at work. I have given many radio, TV and newspaper interviews on the subject of poor digestion here and abroad. I am passionate about helping others improve the quality of their lives and to encourage people that there is hope in natural and spiritual healing through our Lord Jesus Christ, the Master healer. I am honoured to share highlights of our health seminars the past 2 years. Thank God to have given me the opportunity to share my God given knowledge to many hurting people here and the community helping them to make healthy lifestyle choices.

The theme of our health seminar was: “ DIGESTIVE REVIVAL.” Topics were focused on the root cause of poor digestion and its role in disease development, common signs, and proven natural remedies to reverse and prevent the devastating effect of poor digestion. The stomach is the main digestive organ for protein and good digestion is the foundation of good health so let us begin here. Poor functioning of the gut (stomach) can be the source of many chronic health problems that can interfere with our quality of life. Digestion is the first step in transforming food into our body’s living tissues and into the fuel needed to keep those tissues functioning to keep us alive and well. Today, many people young and old are disabled from health conditions greatly impacted by the problem of poor digestion. Many diseases I believe might be prevented or better managed if we know how to manage our digestive system. Misdiagnosed and mistreated digestive disorders may explain many unknown cause of death. Because of a profound lack of knowledge about digestion among many people, many diseases are misdiagnosed and mistreated and may lead to more serious complications beyond healing. Even the bible says in Hosea 4:6. ” My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge.” Understanding digestion is the key to achieve good health.

Eating in a manner which enables perfect digestion is the pathway to over all health! To truly be effective at managing or hopefully overcoming a disease is to take a look at where this process starts is the key where it needs to be addressed on all levels and this begins in the stomach. The stomach is a critical organ that we need to start paying more attention to because it is the main organ for protein digestion. It produces the main acid called hydrochloric acid ( HCl ) and pepsin enzyme to completely break down protein into its simpler forms called amino acids (AA) before it passes through the small intestine for absorption. For example, the impact of digestion is critical to the functioning of our brain in relation to serotonin. Serotonin is a brain biochemical that promotes restful sleep, well-being, and satiety, a natural appetite depressant to prevent weight problems. Serotonin keeps the gut and the brain in constant contact with each other. When serotonin levels are low, people often experience depression, anxiety, insomnia, low libido in men, and the urge to overeat and gain weight. It is the amino acid tryptophan from protein ( the protein food we consume from both flesh and plant form ) that is needed to produce serotonin in the body. Without HCl in the stomach, protein will not be digested and absorbed, result is low serotonin and worsening of depression and all the above mentioned conditions. Sometimes in our lives, the stomach may not be producing enough HCl and or stop producing HCl, result is devastating to our overall health.

One very serious consequence of HCl deficiency in the stomach is the impact of poor digestion and absorption of protein causing Leaky Gut Syndrome (LGS). Research indicates that LGS affects millions of people worldwide. LGS is a chronic debilitating condition that often goes undiagnosed by most mainstream medical professionals and is considered a silent killer. Many people are not aware that what they are suffering maybe related to LGS that they have developed over time.

Figure A: Figure B

When stomach is underactive that is, it is not producing enough HCl, protein will not be completely digested before it enters the small intestine. When partially digested protein passes through the small intestine that is lined with hairy projections called villi, (Figure A) they will wipe away the villi leaving the intestine lining flat and smooth. See Figure B. The function of the villi is to increase absorption of nutrients. With out the villi, our body will become malnourished. Furthermore, when there is a continuous passage of undigested protein through the smooth lining (Figure B) of the intestine, they will irritate the smooth gut lining and make holes between gut cells, making them more permeable leading to Leaky Gut Syndrome LGS. Most common signs are: abdominal pain, heartburn, fatigue, depression, migraines, loss of mental clarity, insomnia, bloating, anxiety, gluten intolerance, malnutrition due to absence of the villi in the small intestine, muscle cramps low libido, premature ageing, pains, poor exercise tolerance, food allergies/ intolerance. Consuming too much wheat and wheat products can worsen leaky gut because wheat protein gluten makes the body produce excess zonulin , a protein that will make the holes wider in leaky gut when the body produce too much of it. Normally zonulin keep the holes in the intestine tight together. If you experience abdominal distress after consuming wheat and wheat products, AVOID it to save your life.

LGS AS CAUSE OF Autoimmune Diseases

When you have LGS, undigested protein, bacteria, virus and toxins will enter the bloodstream through these holes and there, they will stimulate allergic reactions. Too many allergies will cause the immune system to overreact and may become confused and begin to attack its own normal tissues as if it were an enemy (or autoimmune). Leaky gut triggers inflammatory process throughout the body. Simply put, poor digestion and absorption of protein is the major cause of LGS causing all autoimmune disorders and this problem began with an underactive stomach or HCl deficiency. Consuming even the best protein in such a time as this when your stomach is not producing enough or not producing HCl will do more harm than good. It is like adding fuel to the fire

Here are some conditions out of many that are autoimmune disorders caused by LGS:

  1. Rheumatoid arthritis is when the immune system is attacking the body’s own healthy joint tissues. Arthritic Drug blocks ( not treat the root cause of ) the inflammation

  2. Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease is when immune system attacks the arteries/veins.

  3. Bronchial Asthma: when immune system attacks the bronchial airways that carry air to and from your lungs.

  4. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, cause of hypothyroidism. The immune system attack its own thyroid gland tissue.

  5. Type 1 Diabetes when the immune system attack the pancreas and unable to make insulin. ( insulin is protein)

Skin disorders, erectly dysfunction and many more are all autoimmune.

Another very serious complications of underactive stomach is food putrefaction. When food remains too long in the stomach due to lack of HCl, food will ferment and not digested. It then become food for the bad bacteria. causing an overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine called Small Intestine Bacteria Overgrowth or SIBO. SIBO is now implicated in worsening of CAD, Coronary Artery Disease , diabetes, GI and more. Many have SIBO but not aware of it. The bible declares in 1 Corinthians 6:13 this: “”Food for the stomach and the stomach for food, and God will destroy them both.” NIV. An underactive stomach will destroy the food by fermentation and undigested food from the stomach will destroy the lining of the small intestine as in LGS. In fulfillment of the above scripture, both food and stomach are destroyed.

Cause of underactive stomach or Hydrochloric Acid ( HCl ) deficiency

AGE: As a person age, the stomach’s ability to produce HCl declines. This may start as early as mid twenties Many people at age 55, are no longer producing HCl and this is the beginning of ill health, more aches, pains, depressive mods, hypertension, low libido, prostate enlargement etc.

Lack of HCl can also impact children with autoimmune diseases:

Research studies have shown that asthmatic children under 7 years old, children with Attention deficit syndrome and Autistic children are not producing enough or not producing hydrochloric acid in their stomach. This explains the importance of proper digestion of protein not only the older people but also children under these categories. This explains lack of serotonin, and dopamine from protein among children with the above conditions.

Most common symptoms of hydrochloric acid deficiency or underactive stomach are:

Bloating, belching and gas immediately

after meals due to food fermenting


Indigestion, diarrhea, or constipation

Undigested food in stool

A tendency to Candida, dysbiosis

Proven Natural remedies to prevent and reverse LGS (All Autoimmune Diseases will benefit from improving digestion to prevent further damage)

  1. First and foremost: Improve digestion of protein by.

Supplementing with betaine HCl. Use those that are made with V-Capsule or tablets if you are vegetarians. People with weight problems or gallbladder problems or surgically removed gallbladder, I suggest using a digestive supplement that contains betaine HCl, bile, and pancreatin or use both.


Take 1 betaine HCl before and 2 or more after a meal. The larger the meal containing protein, the more HCl is required. Experts suggests from 500 mg. to 3,500 mg. per meal.

Take as much betaine HCl as you need to stop the symptoms. The number of HCl you need will vary from meal to meal. Do a trial and error, it will not harm you.

  1. Adhere to Correct food combining:

Avoid consuming fruit, juice with meals. Wait 20 minutes before or 3 hours after except melon type fruits. Melon type fruits will pass through the stomach within 10 minutes. Consume these fruits 10 minutes before meals. All other fruits take 20 minutes to pass through the stomach. It is best not to combine melon type fruits with other fruits to prevent fermentation, a digestive problem

  1. Children 7 years and over can benefit from hydrochloric acid supplements especially those with conditions mentioned above. Consult with your health care provider.

Warning: For people with Overactive stomach or peptic ulcer:

When the stomach has low HCl, H-pylori will begin to damage the stomach lining called peptic ulcer. However, H. Pylori is easily prevented by raising stomach acid HCl that is take betaine HCl supplement provided this is done before much damage is done by the bug. You can test yourself by taking 1 HCl on an empty stomach. If it begins to burn after taking it, then the H-Pylori has already done much damage on the stomach lining. Do not take betaine HCl at this time. Try papain enzyme until the ulcer has healed, then resume HCl. If there is no burning sensation after you take HCl, then you can take HCl. HCl are not chemicals. They are made from plant foods. Some are made from beets.

  1. If you have food allergies such as milk protein, (casein and whey) avoid. Read food labels.

  2. If you have intolerance to lactose or gluten, avoid. Please read all labels when buying gluten free products.

  3. If you have thyroid problems avoid the following: All soy and soy products. Instead of soy sauce use Coconut sauce, fish sauce if you are not vegan. Avoid consuming all goitrogens or cruciferous food such as: raw food that belongs to cabbage family such as: cauliflower, garden cress, bok choy, Chinese cabbage, Napa Cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and similar green such as spinach, collards, and kale; strawberries, sweet potatoes, cassava. Cook them for at least 30 minutes or longer to inactivate goitrogens that interfere with iodine absorption. If you have to eat these foods raw once in a while, be sure you have enough iodine in your diet. Iodide salt is not a good substitute as it tends to cause high blood pressure when taken in excess. Instead, use iodine supplements in drops or tablets. Your local Health Food store can help you.

  4. Avoid all cola beverages with phosphoric acid as they compete with HCl in the stomach.

  5. Sip fluid between mouthfuls.

  6. Avoid ice cold beverages with meals.

  7. Drink at least 8 glasses of pure water daily.

  8. Wait one hour after to drink beverages or water.

  9. Include daily probiotics, such as homemade fermented vegetables and fruits.

IMPORTANT: The above recommendations are not intended to replace medical treatments. Its sole purpose is to educate and inform. If you suspect that you may have medical problem, please seek competent medical care.


and you yourself will have a severe sickness with a disease of your bowels, until your bowels come out because of the disease, day by day.’” 2 Chronicles 21:15 ESV

A: Stagnant B: Healthy

If food is properly broken down it will pass through the GI system smoothly and bowels will come out without straining. Lack of HCl can slow down the passage of food throughout the GI system and cause the colon to stagnate allowing accumulation of fecal matter around the colon wall instead of moving out of the body. (A) A stagnant colon will cause the Illeocecal valve to remain open. Discuss later.

Consistency of a normal bowel:

  • Well formed and movement should require very little effort

  • The normal odour will have no odour.

  • A light odour or possibly an odour of what you

  • Have eaten recently

  • The normal color will be yellow to light brown

  • Should not contain any noticeable amounts of mucous

  • Float momentarily and sink.

How to improve colon function:

The bible says this: “Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the Maintenance Program

cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.”

Matthew 23:26 NIV

  1. Do not do colon cleanse before liver cleanse.

Use Herbal colon cleanse. Check with your local health store.

WARNING: Some cleansing reaction :

Digestive disturbances, headaches, feeling weak,

because poisons are now leaving. Or may not happen.

  1. Do liver detox using Milk Thistle.

Follow as directed on the bottle. Read liver cleansing

reaction and be familiar with them so you know what

to do when this happens.

  1. Drink at least a quart pure water daily during and after the cleansing is completed.

  2. Try and stay on a vegetarian diet and lots of fiber

while doing your colon cleanse.

  1. Walk, exercise daily.

  2. Consume 8 glasses of pure water daily.

AVOID: Wheat and dairy products while

Oncologists have observed 80% of colon cancers occur in the cecum and the sigmoid colon, because these are the two areas that are not fully empties in sitting position. The colon folds where the sigmoid colon joins to the rectum and this is where fecal waste accumulates and cancer begins. Squatting is the most effective natural method to clear the colon.

  1. Improve thyroid problem. Constipation is one of the classic signs of hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism slows the action of the digestive tract causing constipation. ( Avoid all soy and soy products and all goitrogens).

  1. Include daily probiotics preferably from fermented veggies and fruits.

WARNING: If constipation persist after following all above conditions, rule out food sensitivities, intolerances or if you have hypothyroidism. Their presence will make your colon more stagnant.

IMPORTANT: If these self-help steps do not resolve your digestive problems, you should consider consulting both your physician and nutritionist. A nutritionist can help you determine if you need digestive supplements, probiotics and nutritional supplements. Your physician can investigate the possibility that a medical problem maybe affecting your digestion. You may need to combine Natural Remedies and therapies your doctor may recommend. Any of the above recommendations are not to replace medical diagnosis or treatments. Its sole purpose is to educate and inform. Consult with your physician if you suspect have a medical condition.


In commemoration of the heart awareness month in February, our health ministry has launched a Heart Health Seminar: Healthy Heart and Healthy Gut. “ LGS and may be the central link between the chronic inflammatory autoimmune disorders and atherosclerosis. This may explain the role of healthy gut (stomach) in keeping a healthy heart. Researchers asserted that there is a potential link between chronic inflammation and increase risk of heart failure and atherosclerosis and asserted that atherosclerosis is now considered an inflammatory autoimmune condition. The possible link is the role of HCl deficiency in protein digestion and absorption causing LGS leading to autoimmune disorders. This makes all the difference to keep your heart and your gut healthy. In my private practise, I am seeing more and more people who have been diagnosed with heart condition such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure and atherosclerosis that also have gastrointestinal and digestion problems.


Another heart condition linked with LGS is Abdominal Aortic Anurysm ( AAA) an autoimmune disease. AAA is the bulging or ballooning out of the Aorta. The bulging slows down flow causing clot formation. Many experts attest that inflammation in the aorta is caused by immune response on the aorta which explain AAA is an autoimmune disease. LGS ignites “autoimmune response” and increased inflammation and chronic inflammation weakens the arteries. The most common symptoms of abdominal AAA include:

General abdominal (belly) pain or discomfort, which may come and go or be constant. Pain in the chest, abdomen, lower back, or flank (over the kidneys), possibly spreading to the groin, buttocks, or legs.


Edema is a condition characterized by an excess of watery fluid collecting in the cavities or tissues of the body caused by protein deficiency. Protein attracts water and hold salt and water inside the blood vessels so fluid does not leak out into the tissues. In case of severe protein deficiency the blood may not contain enough protein to attract water from the tissue back into the capillaries causing abdominal swelling. When capillary walls are too leaky, protein can leak out of the blood and settle in the tissue spaces and acts as magnet for water, continuously attracting more and more water from the blood to accumulate in the legs, feet, ankle. A leaky blood vessel weakens the heart leading to Congestive Heart Failure. Right side heart failure may cause fluid to build up in the abdomen, feet, hand, and the veins in the neck and other areas.


Swollen, puffy limbs

Puffiness in your face

Abdominal bloating

Shortness of breath muscle pain

Edema can appear suddenly, but usually develops subtly – the patient may first gain weight, or wake up with puffy eyes.

Role of HCl deficiency in SIBO: Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth

SIBO is a condition caused by an overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine that resemble more the bacteria of the colon than the small intestine. When content of the colon bacteria backflow to the small intestine result is SIBO. Experts say that SIBO maybe a missing link in increasing risk of CAD or Coronary Heart disease CAD. Researchers stated that patients with SIBO may be considered high risk for CAD and may need to have other CAD risk factors, such as hypertension, or diabetes, more aggressively controlled to decrease their chances of worsening coronary artery disease, leading to serious event like a heart attack.” HCl deficiency in the stomach promotes SIBO. Lack of HCl in the stomach initiated the overgrowth of bacteria in the stomach. If there is disruption in the colon caused by lack of HCl in the stomach, ILLEOCECAL VALVE will remain open causing colon content to backflow worsening SIBO. The need for rectifying the cause of poor digestion is of the essence.

Signs include: Abdominal bloating, heartburn, belching, Gas, abdominal pain, cramping, constipation alternate with diarrhea. Bacterial overgrowth symptoms are virtually identical to IBS Symptoms and HCl deficiency. People with undersctive stomach more likely have SIBO.

Most common factors that causes SIBO

  1. First and foremost: A lack of HCl in the stomach: food remain in the stomach too long and putrefy and become food for the bad bacteria causing imbalance of bacteria.

  2. Without HCl in the stomach, pathogens found on food will enter the intestine and cause bacterial overgrowth.

  3. A lack of intestinal motility: SIBO occurs when food and microbes stagnate—or do not move—through the small intestine caused by poor digestion.

  4. A malfunction illeocecal valve: This valve prevents the contents of the colon to backflow into the small intestine. Many people have their illeocecal valve remain open all the time allowing contents of the colon to backflow to the small intestine and causing an ongoing SIBO.

Follow Natural Remedies to prevent and reverse LGS, along with colon and liver cleanse and Probiotics to balance the imbalance of bacteria in the intestine.

IMPORTANT: Probiotic food is vitally important in keeping away bad bacteria and promoting the good bacteria to prevent SIBO.


A well functioning illeocecal valve is critical in preventing SIBO.

Illeocecal valve is located at the end of the small intestine the Ileum that allows for the passage of our digested food into the colon (at the Cecum) where it becomes ‘waste’ ready for elimination.  The purpose of this valve is to “prevent backflow” from the Large Intestine, once any material leaves the Small Intestine. Illeocecal Valve Syndrome are extremely common in today’s society yet its symptoms are often misdiagnosed. Unfortunately, a large number of people have daily or weekly episodes of open illeocecal valve syndrome. This ICV should always remain close. Opens briefly to let contents of the small intestine exit. It closes again quickly to prevent backflow of the colon contents into the small intestine. When this valve remains open, intestinal bacteria backflow to the colon into the small intestine causing SIBO. Poor functioning of the stomach can cause Illeocecal valve to remain open.

Signs of IC Dysfunction include:

Shoulder pain, mostly right

How to Manipulate Your Illeoceca Valve for better health

Massaging the illeocecal valve can help relieve severe gas and bloating by reducing its inflammation and swelling since this helps it close properly. If you experience severe gas and bloating, check for any swelling and tenderness in that area on your body. If present, massage the area several times each day until the swelling and tenderness disappear. Many current diseases, such a “heart disease” and “strokes” are being increasingly seen as being the end result of an “inflammatory” process impacted by imbalance of bacteria. The mixing of the juices between your Small and Large Intestines, is about the worst “inflammatory process” you’d want to encounter. This can happen when the Illeocecal Valve remains open. This will happen everyday until digestion it is corrected.