Ever eat something spicy or fried and then felt a burning sensation in the chest or stomach? This feeling is commonly referred to as heartburn and can be eliminated naturally and without the use of antacids or proton pump inhibiting medications. Symptoms sometimes include bloating, gas, nausea, shortness of breath, and/or an acidic or bitter taste in the throat and mouth. Chronic heartburn is a common symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and unless treated quickly and naturally may cause other problems.
GERD causes the acid of the stomach to flow up to the esophagus, in turn irritating the delicate lining of the esophagus and causing pain (and or long term damage). More than 60 million American adults experience this at least once a month; 25 million of which, suffer from it daily. Traditional allopathic medicine deals with this via ant-acids or proton pump inhibitors. Naturopaths and holistic doctors advise against these types of medicines as they serve only to mask the symptoms and do not correct the root of the problem. In fact, many times these medications serve to make GERD/acid reflux/heartburn worse. How so? Simply because the body is very smart, once it senses that there is not enough acid in the body, it starts to produce more; once this happens, the dose of medicine is typically increased to block the symptoms and then again, the body starts to make more acid. This poses several key problems- 1. Should the person ever decide to come off of the medication; they will experience more pain/discomfort because the body has started making more acid, 2. the proper digestion of food is interrupted/hindered due to the acid in the stomach being blocked, 3. due to reduced acid levels in the stomach a patient is exposing themselves to the risk of infection or parasites, as the acid levels in the stomach are not strong enough to kill foreign microbes (bacteria/viruses). Furthermore the upper esophageal sphincter will remain in abduction (open, thus letting food and acid out) while the lower sphincter will remain adducted (closed, thus not letting food pass down). One can see how this may become a situation of negatively cascading events leading up to a more serious disease process.
Fortunately, there are steps we can take to resolve GERD, naturally and with out side effects. What follows is a list of options people can follow.
- Take a digestive enzyme complex prior to eating; this will help the body to digest food at a more optimal level
- Drink some Aloe Vera juice as it aids healing of the intestinal tract
- Deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL) has effectively treated both heartburn and ulcers of the stomach and esophagus. (Caution: Do not use during pregnancy or while nursing)
- Drink 8-10 glasses of spring or distilled water
- Drink a glass of fresh cabbage, cucumber, or celery juice (or a combination of all three)
- Eat more raw vegetables and smaller, more frequent meals
- Have 1 tablespoon of raw, organic, apple cider vinegar in a salad or 1 fresh squeezed lemon mixed with a glass of water daily
- Do not eat for three hours before bedtime
- Magnesium, melatonin, L-tryptophan, vitamins B6 and B12, folic acid, methionine, papain, and betaine ( both enzymes) were shown to be just as effective as drug therapy in reducing symptoms
If you are having gastro-enterological problems, Dr. Eshanov, a Montlcair chiropractor may be able to help you. When searching for chiropractors in Montclair or holistic doctors, consider contacting Eshanov Chiropractic.
Prescription for Nutritional Healing; Phyllis A. Balch, CNC