(NaturalHealth365) Reflux comes from an older Latin word refluxus, and that comes from the word refluere, which is to flow back or recede. It is thought that if you suffer from acid reflux the acids from your stomach flow back to your esophagus to cause pain and discomfort. This is commonly known as heartburn. This is the sensation you get when the acid goes into the esophagus from the stomach.
Acid reflux is the action, while heartburn is the sensation. The pain is heartburn, while the movement of acid into the esophagus from the stomach is acid reflux.
The symptoms for acid reflux may vary slightly from person to person. However, there are some basics that make this easier to diagnose.
The symptoms are heartburn, which accounts for most cases. This is where there is a burning feeling in the lower chest nearer to the neck, and chest pain, which is part of the heartburn sensation. These symptoms have been mistaken at times for cardiac problems.
The other known symptoms consists of dysphagia, difficulty swallowing with a sensation of food caught in the throat, dental erosion, asthma like symptoms, hoarseness and regurgitation bringing food back into the mouth or a sour or bitter tasting acid backing up into your throat or mouth. The lesser known problems consist of bloating, burping, continuous hiccups, nausea, wheezing, chronic sore throat and a dry cough.
There are many named causes of acid reflux these include: pregnancy especially the third trimester when the baby presses on the stomach. Antacids aren’t any good for this. Smaller meals help a majority of the moms-to-be, hiatal hernias or hiatus hernia, a condition where the upper portion of the stomach goes into the chest area through a small opening in the diaphragm. One of the well known risk’s is eating a large meal and lying down immediately. Being overweight or obese, eating certain foods such as citrus, tomato, chocolate, mint, garlic, onions, spicy or fatty foods are implicated in acid reflux. As are certain beverages such as: alcoholic drinks, carbonated sodas, coffee or tea. Smoking, aspirin, ibuprofen, and blood pressure medications can cause this problem.
There are many foods or drinks that can cause heartburn. Each person may have there own list.
The solution isn’t going to be found with acid blocking medications like Pepsin, Prilosec, and Nexium. They may be a short term band-aid, but they aren’t for long term use. These are powerful drugs, which were originally developed for short term use.They were meant for peptic ulcers with a recommended six week regiment. Today, people just about live on these.
The danger of these drugs is the fact that you need stomach acid to digest food and absorb nutrients. Long term use leads to vitamin and mineral deficiencies. These drugs are robbing the body of magnesium, calcium and vitamin B12 while increasing the risk of osteoporosis, insomnia, depression, anemia, fatigue, nerve damage and dementia. Long term use also leads to the overgrowth of bacteria in the stomach and small intestines.
The Real Cause
Any long term solution must address the cause. Acid reflux is typically caused by too little stomach acid. The esophagus is separated from the stomach by a ring of muscles known as the Lower Esophageal Sphincter (LES). The sphincter is what keeps the contents of the stomach and stomach acid from going back up to the esophagus What determines if the LES stays closed to prevent acid reflux into the esophagus is adequate levels of stomach acid. With sufficient acid production in the stomach there is feedback to LES, This causes increased tone and prevents any food from rising into the esophagus. If stomach acid is low the tone of the LES is compromised and now has a loose hold on the content of the stomach.
One of the folk remedies is to take 1 tablespoon of raw apple cider vinegar in 4 ounces of water after a meal. This is a natural remedy and can be a replacement for medications. This helps when acid reflux is brought on by low stomach acid.
Aloe juice is used to soothe the esophagus. This is a remedy used in Europe to treat acid reflux. The best brands are in the health food store, they are for internal use.
Low stomach acid is a condition brought on by lifestyle. High stress, gulped down meals without a chance to properly digest and faux foods which are incredibly destructive. The nervous system has two main states which you constantly oscillate between. A sympathetic nervous state responsible for the fight-or-flight mode of operation, and the parasympathetic nervous system. One of the underlying causes of acid reflux is eating when sympathetic dominant. This will cause a low production of stomach acid leading to a weakness in the LES response of regurgitation of the stomach contents into the esophagus.
The solution isn’t going to come out of a bottle, jar, or carton. In fact those solutions are perhaps a major part of the problem. The real solution is to restore the nervous system. There are a few ways to do that one is with upper cervical chiropractic care, and the other is with turning off the stress response. Acid reflux is a modern day affliction brought on by a fast paced life, along with a poor diet. The real cause has to be corrected, by finding the time to slow down and get healthy.
About the author Blanche has been a student of natural healing modalities for the last 25 years. She had the privilege of working with some of the greatest minds in Natural Healing including Naturopaths, Scientist, and Energy Healers. Having seen people miraculously heal from all kinds of dis-ease through non-invasive methods, her passion now is to help people become aware of what it takes to be healthy.