by Gabriel MacSharry
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a form of dyspepsia. It’s a condition where stomach acid and enzymes flow backward from the stomach into the esophagus, causing inflammation and pain in the esophagus.
Do you have heartburn - Reflux - indigestion - belching - dyspepsia - acid?
Heartburn (a burning pain behind the breastbone) is the most obvious symptom of gastroesophageal reflux. Sometimes the pain even extends to the neck, throat, and face
It is estimated that 10% of the population seek their general practitioner’s advice for dyspeptic symptoms like GERD each year. It is reportedly increasing in prevalence.
The stomach lining protects the stomach from the effects of its own acid. Because the esophagus lacks a similar protective lining, stomach acid and enzymes that flow backward (reflux) into the esophagus routinely cause symptoms and in some cases damage.
Factors contributing to reflux include weight gain, fatty foods, chocolate, caffeinated and carbonated beverages, alcohol, tobacco smoking, and certain drugs(antihistamines, some antidepressants, calcium channel blockers, progesterone, and nitrates)
Antiacids bought over the counter are just a patch and can have rebound occurrences.
Thankfully there is a number of natural approaches that greatly improve this condition
Meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria)
Meadowsweet is traditionally used to treat gastrointestinal conditions associated with hyperacidity. High in tannins it has a protective effect on the esophagus lining. With its high salicylate content it has anti-inflammatory and analgesic (pain killer) activity. Best used in tincture form or as a tea of the flowers, leaves and stem.
Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra)
Licorice root has a mucoprotective action which sooths and protects the lining of the esophagus. Licorice has an anti-inflammatory action and also demonstrates the ability to promote mucosal repair and reduce symptoms of active ulcer. A preparation high in the active constituents Glycyrrhizin and Glycyrrhetinic acid should be used.
• GERD has been associated with inadequate water intake and dehydration, so increase water intake.
• Take time to eat, don’t rush your meals
• Make an assertive effort to loose weight if you’re overweight.
• Raising the head of the bed about 6 inches can prevent acid from flowing into the esophagus as a person sleeps
• Omit or largely reduce dietary intake of Coffee, alcohol, acid-containing beverages such as orange juice, cola drinks, and vinegar-based salad dressings.