Natural Treatment For GERD. Tired Of Conventional GERD treatment? Need Tips For Great GERD Diets And Great GERD remedies?
If you are looking for natural treatment for GERD you want to know that I am the biggest fan of natural and herbal treatments. I am a pharmacist that first recommends natural ways, life-style modifications, homeopathic supplements and acupuncture before medications.
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What Is GERD?
Most patients have occasional heartburn. But when the heartburn occurs two or more days a week, they are called symptoms of GERD. Acid reflux disease can lead to more serious health problems. But it is considered treatable.
You are looking for natural treatment for GERD, but do you know what happens inside of you when reflux occurs? To take better control of your health, you need to know how your body works.
Once the stomach senses food, it produces gastrin.
Gastrin is responsible for secretion of HCL(hydrochloric acid) and for contraction of muscles in the stomach to move food.
The functions of HCL include converting proteins to certain enzymes for proper digestion as well as prevention of bacterial or fungal overgrowth in the small intestine and more.
GERD, or gastro esophageal reflux disease, is a chronic condition that is more commonly known as acid reflux disease.
GERD Symptoms: When the gastric acid level in the stomach is low, food will not digest properly. That causes fermentation of the undigested food which leads to gassy, bloated feeling. Fermentation acids are the ones that can be corrosive to the digestive organs like the esophagus. Our stomachs have a protective lining against these acids but the esophagus does not. Sometimes the sphincter muscles become week and don’t close the stomach properly and that causes the acid to flow back up to the esophagus. This causes the symptoms of heartburn or symptoms of GERD.
Causes of GERD can be numerous. It can be your lifestyle, sleeping habits, dietary choices, etc. That's why I would suggest some life-style modifications, exercise, healthy GERD diets as first steps in natural treatment for GERD.
Causes of GERD can also be more serious GI conditions like Crohns disease, Celiac disease, IBS, Ulcerative colitis, etc. Natural treatment for GERD would be considered here if the underlying condition is under control.
Traditional GERD Treatment:
Truly diagnosed GERD (gastro esophageal reflux disease) requires conventional GERD treatment with GERD medicatine and follow ups with a physician. The problem is that many patients get misdiagnosed with it. True Gastro esophageal reflux disease is a serious condition that needs to be diagnosed with certain tests and labs, etc. Some Crohns disease symptoms may present themselves to resemble acid reflux symptoms. Natural treatment for GERD may not be your choice here.
Occasional heartburn is not a serious condition. If it's not clinically serious, natural treatment for GERD should be considered here. But a lot of patients with heartburn will see the doctor hoping for relief. Most of the time, they will come out of the office happy with a prescription for Prilosec, Prevacid, Protonix, Aciphex, etc. because doctors understand that patients came for help and want their prescription, they give it to them. These prescriptions are usually for proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) or H-2 blockers. PPIs are indicated for truly diagnosed acid reflux disease, not occasional heartburn. Most of the patients getting these medications do not have true gastro esophageal reflux disease.
But these drugs work as GERD treatment. And they work great. Patients feel relief and, initially, they are happy. What happens later when they try to stop the medication? Without going into the mechanism of action of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), when this medication is stopped the stomach starts to hurt. It really hurts, sometimes even more than before. The patient will think that they need to continue with the medicine because they are not better yet.
The best way to discontinue proton pump inhibitors is to slowly decrease the dose and temporarily add on H2 blocker, such as Zantac or Pepcid for a week or two to suppress the acid. This may be a more successful way to stop Prilosec, Protonix, Prevacid, etc. Remember, ask for your doctor’s advice if you want to discontinue any medication. But most importantly the natural and holistic approach should be considered to heal the body so the digestive system will function properly.
Heartburn is a symptom of GERD and is commonly believed to be a problem with too much acid (HCL-hydrochloric acid). Very often it is the complete opposite. Having too little hydrochloric acid in your stomach may cause the food to be poorly digested. That could cause the fermentation acid to flow into the esophagus.
GERD Treatment - Conventional GERD Medicine:
Taking over-the-counter antacids like Tums, Mylanta, Maalox, Rolaids, Gaviscon, etc. will work temporarily for heartburn but most of the time not for true GERD and they will not help the underlying cause of the problem.
GERD treatment: H-2 blockers like Pepcid, Zantac, Axid, etc. will work for longer period than Tums, Mylanta, Maalox, etc. but they are acid suppressing agents and will decrease HCL production. And in many patients the HCL is decreased to begin with. These may also work well for heartburn, but may not work in many patients that have GERD and also will not help the underlying cause of the problem.
How do we know whether we have too much or too little gastric HCL? That is something you will have to ask your doctor. The gastroenterologist usually performs many tests to diagnose acid reflux disease including endoscopy and checks for Ph (acidity) of the stomach acid.
Most H-2 blockers like Zantac(ranitidine), Pepcid(famotidine), Axid(nizatidine) and more will cause drug interactions. They can decrease the effectiveness of your regular medications. Some of the PPIs (or Proton Pump Inhibitors) like Prevacid(lansoprazole), Protonix(pantoprazole), Prilosec(omeprazole) can interact with your medications as well.
PPIs(proton pump inhibitors) are most common medications for acid reflux disease. Make sure you tell your doctor and pharmacist all the medication that you take to avoid drug interactions.
The most common side effects of drugs like pantoprazole, omeprazole, lansoprazole, etc. would be headache, dizziness, rash, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, upper respiratory infection, etc.
If your heartburn is diagnosed to be true Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease, consider the conventional medication therapy for faster results. Natural treatment for GERD may not be an option at this point. If you decide to take a holistic approach, which I try to take even tough I am a pharmacist, you have to discuss that with your doctor. Your doctor may not approve of it. Be prepared for that. But it’s your body and you make your decisions. The digestive system in its healthy state repairs itself when you treat it right and give it the right tools.
Natural Treatment For GERD - First steps:
GERD Relief - When looking to cure GERD, we should start from these:
Natural Treatment For GERD - Home "Test"
Many times patients think that lemon or apple cider vinegar will worsen their reflux. It can be the opposite. The reflux can be triggered by acid suppression and not from the acid foods. Consider trying a spoonful of organic apple cider vinegar with some water to see if you get a little better. You can also try to eat more raw foods to improve digestion.
Natural Treatment For GERD - GERD Diet:
It is very important to know what you can or can’t eat to improve your condition. You can be eating something that you think is very healthy and it is just not right for you.
You need to get tested for metabolic type. The diet for your metabolic type is your diet to for acid reflux symptoms. You can also check the blood type diet for certain suggestions. Please, remember your diet should be very individual and personalized for you. That’s how it will work.
Natural Treatment For GERD - Get enough in and make sure to get enough out. Multivitamins and psyllium. How do you know if your body got all the vitamins it needs for good digestive health? Did you know that many fruits and vegetables have much less vitamins in them now? What you need is to make sure you replenish with a great quality multivitamin supplement. And you also need to prevent constipation to let all the toxins out of your body.
Natural Treatment For GERD - Foods To Avoid With GERD :
You really need to maintain a good gastro-intestinal flora for your digestive system to function at its best. Probiotics help to get that right balance between good bacteria and bad bacteria.
Natural Treatment for GERD. These GERD remedies - supplements can be great additions to your current medical treatment. But these recommendations won't substitute doctor's advice. Always seek professional, medical advice when having reccuring symptoms of heartburn or Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease.
It's important not only to treat GERD, but to repair the digestive system with a healing diet, exercise, stress-relief techniques, digestive enzymes, probiotics, multivitamins and natural supplements for a healthy immune-system. Try a holistic approach to good health by taking one small step at a time.
Natural treatment for GERD should be a combination of natural supplements, herbs, stress-relief techniques AND your hard work in healing your gut.
I wish you success with your natural treatment for GERD and I wish you to be well and symptom-free!
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