Reflux and Indigestion also called GORD
Reflux and indigestion affects millions of people’s lives every day with one in ten adults
experiencing reflux every week. For some, the symptoms of reflux and indigestion may
only be mild with only a slightly uncomfortable sensation in the stomach or the occasional
regurgitation. For others the pain can be more severe and quite disruptive. Although the
symptoms may be mild, your body may still be suffering damage. Protein Pump Inhibitors
which are the name of the drugs Doctors prescribe for this problem are one of the highest
selling drugs on the market.
What goes down, shouldn’t come up
When you swallow, food passes down a long tube between your mouth and your stomach called the esophagus. Your digestive system has mechanisms for allowing food and drink to pass into your stomach, and prevent it from coming back up. When these mechanisms don’t work properly, your stomach contents can squeeze out of your stomach and back up into your esophagus. This is often a result of the sphincter muscle being weak, or sometimes the stomach is slow to clear the contents which increases the likelihood of reflux. When this happens, the acid and other secretions that normally digest your food actually burn and begin to digest the lining of your esophagus; this is what causes the burning sensation that is so irritating for people with reflux. If this happens often enough, the tissue may become so damaged that it becomes ulcerated.
Obvious symptoms can include the burning feeling rising from the stomach up to the throat which is worse after eating, but less obvious symptoms can include a chronic cough, bad breath, dental erosions and chronic laryngitis.
Are you fueling the fire or dousing the flames?
Many things can cause reflux or make it worse. These include eating too fast or overeating, eating spicy or fatty foods, stress, anxiety and emotional trauma, smoking, drinking excessive coffee, cola drinks or alcohol, and possible food allergies. Other issues that can contribute are smoking , obesity and certain medications. Reflux may also occur as a symptom of more serious conditions such as Helicobacter Pylori infection which we can discuss at your consultation if you are concerned and consider testing options to rule this out, or a condition known as hiatus hernia caused by a weakness with the muscle.
There are many things that you can do to reduce your chance of suffering reflux such as:
Eating smaller meals more frequently.
Taking time to relax and enjoy a leisurely meal time.
Managing stress effectively
Reducing the amount of caffeine you have by cutting back on coffee, tea and cola drinks.
Have a break from alcohol for a while or at least reduce your intake.
Avoid taking aspirin and anti-inflammatory drugs if possible as these increase your risk of ulcer. If these were specifically prescribed for you, discuss your requirements before you stop using them. You can also talk to us about effective alternative anti-inflammatory herbs and nutrients that are gentle on your digestive system.
Naturally soothing and healing remedies that hit the nail on the head!
Imagine getting lasting relief from the irritating discomfort or pain from reflux and indigestion! While natural medicine takes a holistic approach, there are some very specific herbs and nutrients that are excellent at relieving the symptoms of heartburn, reducing inflammation and improving overall gut function, without the significant side effects of long term use of the drugs.
Naturally Dynamic Health Naturopaths can support you in making simple dietary and lifestyle changes that will address reflux and indigestion. We can also provide you with a personal prescription for addressing your symptoms which can give fast relief. Please phone 02 60210557 to book a consultation with our professional naturopaths