Eliminating GERD

February 28, 2012

Health, Herbs, Lifestyle, Meditation

Food and drink are key to the body’s pH or acid-alkaline balance.

by Julia Busch — 

If you regularly awaken mid-sleep, choked by burning acid and barely able to breathe, you may suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). The physical culprit is a faulty lower esophageal sphincter (LES), a valve at the bottom of the esophagus (the swallowing tube). This valve normally tightens to confine stomach acid, but in certain cases allows chronic backflow into the esophagus, causing heartburn. Untreated, GERD can lead to esophageal ulcers, lung damage and possibly esophageal cancer.

It is important to know that before you can develop acid reflux, you must first have an acidic system. By treating the entire body, acid reflux can quickly disappear. Many holistic treatments are available for acid reflux.

Food and drink are key to the body’s pH or acid-alkaline balance. For instance, raw vegetable juices, like potato, celery and cabbage, alkalize the body. Papaya soothes the stomach while digesting protein. And interestingly, the health food market offers systemic alkalizing drops to add to nondistilled water for total systemic cellular pH balancing.

Dietary changes can include adding high-quality protein to help strengthen the valve while curtailing your intake of raw onions and garlic, chocolate, fried and highly spiced foods. These plus smoking, drinking alcohol and prescription drugs can also cause the LES to become lazy.

Carbonated drinks, peppermint, spearmint, caffeine, peanuts, tomatoes, mushrooms and coffee — even decaf — can aggravate heartburn. Triggers also include when and how much you eat and drink. Small meals are best. Avoid bedtime snacks; eat three to four hours before sleeping and an hour before exercising.

Improper chewing, being overweight, sleeping position, tight clothing, stress and extreme exercise (including sex) can contribute to GERD. Elevating the upper body with a wedge may improve your sleeping position.

Lifestyle changes could include meditation, yoga and deep breathing. Also helpful is regular exercise, weight loss and drinking copious amounts of pure water to flush out toxins and dilute stomach acid between meals.

For existing irritation, demulcent herbs — slippery elm, bladderwrack and marshmallow — are known to decrease inflammation, soothe raw areas, and form a protective barrier against stomach acid and other digestive irritants.

Note: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended as medical advice, nor should it be construed as such. Seek advice from your health care practitioner.


Julia Busch is president of Anti-Aging Press, Inc., editor of the So Young™ anti-aging holistic newsletter and author of 10 books. 800-So-Young (800-769-6864) or juliabusch@att.net.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 28, Number  4, Aug/Sept 2009.

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