What is Gasteroespohageal reflux Disease Gerd?

GERD occurs when stomach contents, which normally move moves down through the digestive system, flow back into the ESOPHAGUS.  The most common symptoms is frequent heart burn, although other symptoms such as difficulty swallowing, indigestion and coughing may also occur.

What causes gerd?

The lowe ESOPHAGEAL sphincter is located at the very bottom of the ESOPHAGUS where it joins the stomach.  The majority of patients with gerd have a “relaxed,” or “LOSE,” sphincter allowing the stomach contents to enter back INTO the ESOPHAGUS, which results in heartburn.

How is GERD usually Treated?

Antacid prescription medications (histamine receptor blockers and proton pump inhibitors) and over-the-counter antacids are commonly used to treat GERD.  Antacids work by REDUCING the acidity of the stomach so that stomach contents flowing back into the ESOPHAGUS no longer cause irritation.  It is important to remember that antacids do not fix the problem with INADEQUATE tone and they can cause side effects if used for a long period of time.

The PILLARS of G.I. Health

There are four pillars of digestions: Elimination, Microflora Balance and Gut Integrity.  They are called pillars because it is upon these (and their inter-relationship) that the health of the G.I. system is supported.

The Gastrointestinal (G.I.) tract has a surface area 200 times greater than our skin and is exposed to the EXTERNAL environment via the food we ear.  Within your lifetime, you will consume between 30-50 tons of food.  All of this food is part of the external environment.  It is the G.I. tract to break down this food, absorb the beneficial nutrients and, at the same time, prevent harmful compounds from entering the bloodstream.

Digestion

The main function of the G.I. tract is to digest and absorb the foods you eat.  Ultimately food provides the energy for every cell in the body.  Poor digestion and absorption of key NUTRIENTS will result in low energy, sluggish metabolism, mental fog, fatigue and increased susceptibility to chronic illnesses.

Elimination

The process of elimination is just as important as digestion, and it is vital for our well-being.  Elimination involves removing the unusable portions of the food you eat as well as eliminating toxic waste products from biochemical reactions taking place in the cells.  It is essential that both of these types of wastes be completely eliminated from the body, otherwise toxins build up and are stored in various tissues.

Microflora Balance

The G.I. tract is a small ecosystem that has a very IMPORTANT role in your health and well-being.  This ecosystem composed of more than 100 trillion microscopic organisms, collectively called the “micrflora,” that live in the G.I. tract.  The Microflora is composed of more than 400 different strains of beneficial yeast, bacteria and microorganisms that grow in the intestines, and is one of the most metabolically active systems in your body.

Gut Integrity

The G.I. tract is the largest protective layer of the body, SERVICING as a barrier between our internal body and the EXTERNAL world.  It covers an area the size of a tennis court-more than 200 times GREATER than the surface area of the skin.  It is a critical function of the mucosal membrane to allow nutrients to pass INTO the body while preventing passage of all the harmful substances that move through the gut.  If the mucosal membrane is not maintained, the intestinal barrier becomes permeable to a number of harmful substances that trigger a host of immune-related RESPONSES commonly linked to NUMEROUS G.I. disorders, such as Crohn’s disease, Celiac disease and food allergies.

Simple lifestyle adjustments that help decrease the frequency and severity of GERD:

  • Elevate the head of the bed six inches
  • Lose weight
  • Eat smaller meal proportions
  • Avoid large meal close to bedtime
  • Avoid lying down immediately AFTER eating a meal
  • Increase fiber intake
  • Avoiding factors that relax the tone

– Foods with high saturated, fats, simple sugars, chocolate and CAFFEINE as      much as possible

– Beverages that contain acid (red wine, colas, ORANGE juice and other citrus   fruits)

– Excessive alcohol intake

-Smoking

-Strong mints that may relax the tone

 

 Natural products

Demulcent botanicals

Help to relieve symptoms of GERD by providing a PROTECTIVE barrier over mucus membranes, which soothes irritated tissues and relieves inflammation.  Examples of herbs are licorice, slippery elm, mullein, marshmallow and aloe vera.

Buffering Agents (buffered Vitamin C)

Over-the-counter antacids work by neutralizing stomach acid.  These agents can TEMPORARILY relive symptoms of acid reflux.  The use of powdered buffered vitamin C will provide a high level of vitamin C and neutralize stomach acid.  For quick results use powder not capsules.

Multivitamin

Taking an acid blocking medication will cause an inability to absorb NUTRIENTS from food.  Taking a quality vitamin and mineral product can address this issue.

Probiotics

These good bacteria can help restore normal function to your stomach in order to maintain a healthy and balanced digestive tract.  They also keep the bad bacteria for overgrowing.

Suggested Protocol

  • Follow lifestyle interventions
  • Use buffered C powder (1 teaspoon in a cup of water) as needed for symptoms
  • Providers will sometimes order a stool test called a CDSA  (complete digestive Stool Analysis).  This test will appropriately assess how well the various systems are working.

 

If you have these type of symptoms contact your health care provider to discuss options of treatment for your symptoms.

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