There probably is no more misunderstood common health complaint than acid indigestion; also known as GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disorder) or more typically referred to as heartburn. The primary symptom of heartburn is a burning pain in your chest, under your breastbone. This pain frequently worsens when you bend over, lie down or eat. It may also be more frequent or worse at night. The bottom line is these symptoms signify that your digestive juices are no longer merely digesting your food, they are now trying to digest you as well.
Why Does Acid Reflux (GERD) Happen?
Millions of patients suffer from Acid Reflux each and every day. Yet it is important to realize that some 50% of individuals have a condition called “silent” reflux where they don’t even know they have it going on most of the time. Yet, they are still at risk of asthma, ear infections, tonsil issues, pharyngitis and oral and throat cancer. The rise in prevalence is due to many reasons and are made worse from these factors:
Excess Caffeine (though for those sensitive to caffeine even a little can trigger GERD)
Weight Gain (due to increased intra-abdominal pressure)
Drinking or Eating Prior to Bed
Lack of Digestive Enzymes (this can occur from eating processed foods and with age)
Too Little or Too Much Stomach Acid
H.Pylori (a bacteria in your stomach that can cause ulcers, a simple medical test can detect it)
Natural GERD Solutions
Digestive Enzymes can be taken with meals to help improve digestion and speed stomach emptying so that reflux risk can be lessened and indigestion does not as readily occur. Enzymes should not be taken when an ulcer is present.
Eat Smaller Meals. We have a tendency to eat until we feel full, the fact is that if we feel full, we have over-eaten. Mom was right about eating our vegetables, yet cleaning our plates is not necessarily the healthiest choice for most people.
Don’t Drink or Eat Anything 2 to 3 hours prior to bed, otherwise the simple mechanical action that occurs when you lay down horizontal and no longer have gravity pulling down on the food in your stomach allows it and the acid in your stomach to glide up your esophagus.
Calcium after meals can help buffer your stomach acid and also increase your overall bone health at the same time.
Avoid Carbonated Beverages. The simple answer is these gaseous drinks increase the pressure in your stomach and as a result increase upward pressure that can lead to food, drink and acid to ascend your throat and begin to erode away your health.
Treat H. Pylori—Testing for this pathogenic bacteria is essential and if you have it consider Mastic gum a natural treatment that is popular or other treatments as recommended by your health are provider.
Use DGL, a form of licorice that can help soothe your stomach and esophagus.
Conventional Drugs, can at times be necessary especially if your condition is severe. If acid blockers are chosen as the approach best for your particular case it is important to remember the following facts:
Numerous nutrients can become compromised when it comes to absorption. These include: B12, Iron, Calcium, Biotin, Zinc and several other nutrients. Many health enlightened physicians recommend supplementation if acid blockers are being utilized.
Acid Reflux (GERD) that can lead to the symptoms of heartburn need to be controlled to prevent increased risk of throat and oral cancer and other short and long term effects that can rob you from your successful quest for longevity and wellness.
On the Go!
A Few Ways to Prevent Heartburn
1.Drink Smart: Carbonated drinks, alcohol, and coffee may all cause heartburn.
2.Eat Smart: Know which foods ‘trigger’ heartburn for you so you can avoid them.
3.Pack Smart: Always carry heartburn medicine, just in case you have a need for them last minute.
- February 2014
- January 2014