Jacksonville Beach Wellness Doctor Gives Advice On Treating Heartburn Naturally
Heartburn, Reflux, & GERD:
One estimate is that 40% of the US population has some degree of esophageal reflux, with 20% of adults complaining of weekly episodes of heartburn and 7–10% complaining of daily symptoms.
Esophageal reflux occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter malfunctions, allowing the backward flow of acid, bile, and other contents from the stomach into the esophagus.
Gastritis (inflammation of the stomach itself), peptic or duodenal ulcers or chronic use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), can result in esophageal reflux. A hiatal-hernia may also result in esophageal reflux.
The most obvious symptom of esophageal reflux is heartburn. It occurs after eating and can last from a few minutes to a few hours. Heartburn feels like a burning sensation in the pit of the stomach. The pain may also move up into the chest and throat.
GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) can cause esophageal scarring or Barrett’s syndrome, a chronic irritation from acid-bile reflux that causes the normal esophageal lining cells to be replaced by precancerous cells. These cells are associated with an increased risk for development of cancer.
An endoscopy test is used for the diagnosis of GERD. This test involves examining the esophagus through a flexible viewing tube, which can also take a biopsy to correctly identify acid reflux.
Conventional Treatment of GERD:
H2 antagonists (Tagament, Pepcid, Zantac, and Axid) and antacids (Tums, Maalox, etc.) are usually the first line of treatment. If these fail to work, then proton-pump inhibitor drugs (Nexium, Prevacid, or Prilosec) are initiated. However, many physicians now prescribe proton-pump inhibitor drugs as a first- line therapy. These medications block the absorption of zinc, folic acid, B12, calcium, and iron.
Long-term use of these medications can block all stomach acid (hydrochloric acid). The stomach needs hydrochloric acid to break down proteins for digestion. Failure to do this can lead to all sorts of problems, including:
-Increased allergy disorders
-Depression & Anxiety
-Bacterial & yeast overgrowth
– Hair loss in women
– Multiple food allergies
– Nausea after taking supplements
– Restless legs
– Sore or burning tongue
– Dry mouth
Are Antacids the Answer?
No! First, the esophageal sphincter is stimulated to close by the release of stomach acid. When there’s not enough stomach acid present—because antacids have neutralized them—the esophageal sphincter may not close properly. This allows acid to travel back up into the esophagus and cause heartburn, also called esophageal reflux or gastro-esophageal reflux disease—GERD.
Acid receptors are found in the lower end of the stomach and they control the function of the Pyloric Sphincter. The Pyloric Sphincter controls how fast or slow the stomach empties. If the acid level in the stomach does not reach the right level, the Pyloric Sphincter will not open. The food is trapped in the stomach and will start to ferment.
The fermentation causes gas and creates a different kind of acid that the acid receptors are not sensitive to, and the gas wants to go up.
The stomach wants to empty, and the peristalsis will increase in an attempt to force the food out of the stomach. The sphincter at the top of the stomach is weaker then the Pyloric Sphincter and will give way first, letting the food and gas go up into the esophagus. This causes heartburn.
Second, the stomach needs an acidic environment for hydrochloric acid to turn the enzyme pepsinogen into pepsin. No acid equals no pepsin, which is needed for digestion, especially protein. No protein digestion means no amino acids. No amino acids, noneurotansmitters (serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine, etc.)-mood disorders, poor memory, fatigue, ADD…
Third, an acidic environment is one of the body’s first lines of defense, destroying viruses, parasites, yeast, and bacteria.
Lastly, One of the major functions of stomach acid is to initiate the digestion of large protein molecules. If this digestive function is not performed efficiently, incompletely digested protein fragments may be absorbed into the bloodstream.
The absorption of these large molecules may contribute to the development of food allergies and immunological disorders.
If you’re suffering from heartburn, try the solutions below rather than antacids.
Avoid processed foods, sugar, especially high fructose corn syrup, and refined grains, control your weight and take a pancreatic digestive enzyme with each meal.
Many of my patients have found that they don’t need these prescription medications once they start taking a good high potency digestive enzyme like the one I use in my practice.
As a natural health care provider and a chiropractor in Jacksonville Beach Fl., I see my job as educating, coaching, and nurturing my patients to better health and wellness. If you have further questions about what you can do about heartburn now. Click Here.
Yours In Health,