Do you suffer with heartburn? Perhaps bitter or sour taste in the mouth? Chronic dry cough, trouble swallowing, hoarseness or even wheezing? Then you may have Acid Reflux!
Acid reflux is a condition sometimes related to diet and lifestyle in which stomach acid flows backward up the esophagus (the tube carries food from the mouth to the stomach), causing symptoms such as a burning feeling in the chest (heartburn) and a bitter or sour taste in the mouth. These symptoms usually last a few hours after a meal and then go away. When symptoms occur more than twice a week, it is a more serious condition called Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), if left untreated, can lead to problems such as inflammation of the esophagus (esophagitis) and a precancerous condition called Barrett’s esophagus. GERD can also worsen asthma, chronic cough, insomnia, and pulmonary fibrosis.
Acid reflux occurs when a ring of muscle at the bottom of esophagus called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) doesn’t function properly. Normally, the LES keeps stomach contents in the stomach and prevents the backflow of acid by tightening up after swallowing. But in people with acid reflux, the LES becomes weak and relaxes, allowing acid and stomach contents to flow back up the esophagus.
Acid reflux and GERD can occur in people of all ages, including children. It is most common in people who are overweight, smoke, and eat poor diets, as well as in pregnant women.
Conventional doctors usually recommend some lifestyle changes and medications that are either H2 Blockers such as: Tagamet, Pepcid, Zantac, Axid which provide short-term relief of GERD by preventing production of stomach acid. The other favorite medications prescribed are Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs) such as Prilosec, Prevacid, Protonix and Nexium which block stomach acid production more effectively than H2 blockers. All these drugs are just a band aid and not really treating the root cause. In addition, when stop taking them, they can cause “rebound” reflux and then the stomach acid may return worse than ever before. These drugs should really be taken for only a short period of time, but most end up taking them long term which causes an array of serious health issues.
There are many anti acids that are sold over the counter which you have likely tried by now and only gotten relief for a couple of hours. Remember that most have fillers and ingredients are not ideal. You can try some natural remedies that may help temporary:
1. DGL (deglycyrrhizinated licorice) - slowly chew two tablets or take a half-teaspoon of the powder before or between meals and at bedtime. Taper your dose down after your symptoms are under control.
2. Slippery elm – take as directed. It has been proven successful to heal irritated digestive tract tissues.
Six Lifestyle changes to Stop Acid Reflux:
1) Stop smoking and drinking alcohol. If you do drink, drink with meals
2) Avoid stimulants such as caffeinated beverages, coffee (including decaffeinated coffee), that can irritate the gastrointestinal tract.
3) Eat a diet rich in fiber – at least 40 grams a day – including whole grains, fruits and vegetables.
4) Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
5) Practice a relaxation strategy. Stress and anxiety can worsen reflux symptoms.
6) Wait three hours after eating to lie down
Acid Reflux is not pleasant, but can be treated if lifestyle changes are implemented. Don’t wait until you are diagnosed with GERD, take action NOW!
Larisa Belote, Health Practitioner & Certified Detox Specialist is a strong believer that your body is a smart machine and can heal itself given a chance and the right set of tools. Call/Txt 732.996.6963 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Website: www.stepbystep-wellness.com