Gastro-esophageal reflux disease or acid reflux disease is a condition in which the contents of the stomach reflux back into the esophagus (food pipe). Since the stomach contents are acidic in nature, this damages the inner lining of the food pipe and causes symptoms of heartburn, pain, etc. Some amount of reflux of stomach contents is normal in all individuals but not everyone develops GERD.
The main reason behind this is that only in some individuals this refluxed fluid is more acidic and remains in the esophagus for a longer duration thus causing GERD. Dietary causes and certain faulty habits are frequently responsible for initiating this condition in individuals who are prone to develop it. At the junction of the food pipe (esophagus) and the stomach is a muscular gateway (called lower esophageal sphincter or LES). Under normal circumstances, this sphincter remains contracted so that no contents of the stomach can go back into the esophagus but when this sphincter becomes relaxed due to any reason or is weak, it may allow the contents of the stomach to flow back into the esophagus causing inflammation of the lining of the esophagus. The best results in GERD treatment can be achieved if the strategic treatment is targeted at the roots of GERD as well as the symptoms.
Management for GERD
Patients of GERD can benefit immensely if they follow the instructions and incorporate these into their daily lives. These changes in lifestyle can bring under good control of the most symptoms.
- 1. Don’t eat at least 2-3 hours before bedtime. This will help to empty the stomach before the person goes into the reclined position and will prevent the reflux.
- 2. Don’t lie down right after eating at any time of day.
- 3. Keep the head end of your bed elevated by at least 6 inches with blocks because gravity helps in preventing the reflux of the acid from the stomach.
- 4. Don’t eat large meals; instead opt for smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day.
- 5. Give up smoking because smoking weakens the lower esophageal sphincter and increases reflux.
- 6. Avoid alcohol because it increases the likelihood that acid from your stomach will back up.
- 7. Reduce your weight if you are overweight because obesity increases the chances of reflux of the acid.
- 8. Avoid fatty, greasy foods, chocolate, caffeine, spicy foods, citrus foods and other things that worsen your heartburn.
- 9. Be cautious with over-the-counter painkillers as these might worsen your complaints, make sure to ask your physician before taking any such medication.
Homeopathic Treatment: Homeopathy has been proven to be an effective form of treatment in managing GERD. Nux Vomica, Carbo Veg, Phosph, Ars Alb, Bism are few from the spectrum.
HomeopathicVibes is a full-service homeopathic consultancy located at 940, E El Camino Real Sunnyvale CA 94087.
The office phone number is 408-737-7100.