GERD

What is GERD or Gastro esophageal Reflux Disease or Acidity or Acid Reflux:-

Your stomach is filled with acid. Its purpose is to help digest the food you eat. Believe it or not, this acid is the same acid as battery acid. Your stomach is built to handle the acid it produces. However, your esophagus is not. So when acid backs up into your esophagus, it can cause the burning sensation known as heart burn.

Almost everyone has occasional heartburn. But if these symptoms occur two or more days a week for at least 3 months, you may have GERD or gastro esophageal reflux disease or acidity or acid reflux disease. Acid reflux occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter does not close properly, allowing acid to back up into the esophagus.

It is a chronic condition and it is extremely common. It may lead to more serious medical conditions, but is treatable. Studies estimate that approximately 19 million people in the United States may have GERD i.e. gastro esophageal reflux disease or acidity or acid reflux. In fact, approximately 4.6 million doctor visits each year are made to discuss GERD symptoms.

In conventional treatment- There are 4 common treatment options for GERD or gastro esophageal reflux dies acidity or acid reflux:

  • Antacids neutralize stomach acid, generally taken one hour after meals.
  • Mucosal protective agents protect the lining of the esophagus.
  • Pro motility agents cause the stomach to empty faster.
  • Acid suppressive agents like histamine 2 receptor blockers and proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) to reduce the amount of acid the stomach makes.

GERD or gastro esophageal reflux disease or acidity or acid reflux is a chronic condition. Once it begins, it usually is lifelong.  If there is injury to the lining of the esophagus, this also is a chronic condition. Moreover, after the esophagus has healed with treatment and the medicines are stopped, the injury will return in most patients within a few months.

Once treatment is begun, therefore, it usually will need to be continued indefinitely as considered by the allopath, although it is argued that in some patients with intermittent symptoms and no esophagi is, conventional treatment can be intermittent and done only during symptomatic periods.

Homoeopathic treatment:-

                        Homoeopathy offers you a promising lifelong cure and you do not have to continue medicines for your whole life. With certain life style changes and medications this condition can be cured within a span of time.

Homoeopathy is a natural form of medicine. In a typical case of healing, a person’s complete symptoms will be treated all at once. Also, once gone, these symptoms should never rise again.

Once treatment is started it reduces reflux, relieves symptoms and prevents further damage to the esophagus. Unlike conventional treatment who suppresses the symptoms homoeopathic remedies cure the GERD or gastro esophageal reflux disease or acidity or acid reflux from the root. Also, homoeopathic medicines do not cause any side effects or addiction and are much more subtle than drugs of conventional medicine.

Top 10 reasons to use homoeopathy

  •  All symptoms are treated holistically and few remedies are prescribed.
  • Remedies work together with the body’s immune system.
  • The results are quick and fast.
  • This form of medicine is completely safe and risk free.
  • No forms of medicines are addictive.
  • Remedies are natural as they are created from plants, minerals and animals.
  • Medicines do not suppress the immune system.
  • The treatment can be taken with other medications.
  • Homoeopathy is safe on anyone, even infants and the elderly.
  • There are no side effects with homoeopathy treatment.

                           Homoeopathic remedies which give great relief in GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disease or acidity of acid reflux. However, the correct choice and the resulting relief is a matter of experience and right judgment on the part of the physician. The treatment is decided after thorough case taking of the patient. Thus remedies are tailor made unlike conventional medicine in which all patients receive the same antacids, mucosal protective agents, pro motility agents, acid suppressive agents and so on although trade name may be different.

Signs and Symptoms

Many people have different heart burn triggers, but most people have similar heartburn symptoms:

  • A burning sensation in the chest: This burning sensation usually starts behind the breast bone, and may travel up to the throat. It usually occurs shortly after eating, and can last from a few minutes to several hours.
  • A burning feeling in the throat: This is a sensation of burning, usually high up in the neck though it can occur lower. The pain may worsen with swallowing. The burning sensation can result from irritation when stomach contents that have refluxed up into the throat.
  • Sour or bitter taste in the mouth: This sour or bitter taste can occur when stomach contents reflux up into the esophagus and may reach the back of the throat. When the contents enter the back of throat, a person will often have a sour or bitter taste in their mouth.
  • Difficulty swallowing: Trouble with swallowing (dysphasia) occurs when food does not pass normally from the mouth through the esophagus to the stomach. There may be a sensation of food sticking in the throat, chest pressure or ‘burning’ after eating, or a feeling of choking. Difficulty swallowing would be a sign of various conditions, including erosive esophagi is, esophageal cancer, and should always be evaluated by a physician.
  • Chronic coughing.
  • Wheezing or other asthma like symptoms.
  • Other symptoms can be :
  • Pain in chest
  • Hoarseness in the morning
  •  Dysphagia
  • May feel like food is stuck in the throat
  • Persistent dry cough
  • Bad breath

GERD or gastro esophageal reflux disease or acidity or acid reflux may be difficult to detect in infants and children. Symptoms may vary from typical adult symptoms. GERD in children may cause repeated vomiting, effortless spitting up, coughing, and other respiratory problems. Inconsolable crying, failure to gain weight, refusing food, bad breath, and belching or burning is also common. Children may have one symptoms or many; no single symptom is universal in all children with GERD.

Approximately 4 million babies born in the US, each year, up to 35% of them may have difficulties with reflux in the first few months of their life. Most of these children will outgrow reflux by their first birthday. However, a small by significant number of them will not outgrow the condition and continue to have it into their teen years.

Children who have had heartburn that does not seem to go away, or any other GERD symptoms for a while, should take it seriously.

What Triggers It

Certain foods and lifestyle are considered to promote GERD or Gastro esophageal Reflux Disease or Acidity or Acid Reflux:

  • Coffee, alcohol, excessive amounts of Vitamin C supplements stimulates gastric acid secretion.
  • Antacids based on Calcium carbonate have been found to actually increase the acidity of the stomach.
  • Foods high in fats and smoking reduce lower esophageal sphincter competence; so avoiding these tends to help.
  • Large meals.
  • Carbonated soft drinks with or without sugar.
  • Chocolate and peppermint.
  • Acidic foods, such as oranges and tomatoes.
  • Vegetables like onions, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, spinach.
  • Milk and mild based products.

Diagnosis

To diagnose if you have GERD or Gastro esophageal Reflux Disease, you will be asked to describe the type of symptoms you have, their severity, their frequency, and how long the symptoms last.

The most common symptoms include heartburn and acid regurgitation (reflux), in which stomach acid backs up into the mouth. These symptoms are often made worse by bending over, stooping or lying flat. If you have had partial or temporary relief with over the counter medicines, let the doctor know.

Apart from your history, few diagnostic tests are also ordered. Investigations are also done for patients who have what are called ‘alarm symptoms’. Alarm symptoms include weight loss, anemia, bleeding from your gastro intestinal tract (either vomiting blood or having blood in your bowel movements), difficulty swallowing or pain on swallowing.

Tests include:

  • Endoscopy
  • Barium esophageal
  • Esophageal pH monitoring

Lifestyle Changes

The following lifestyle changes have been shown to have a positive effect on symptoms associated with GERD or gastro esophageal reflux disease or acidity or acid reflux in some patients:

  • Losing weight
  • Quitting smoking
  • Wearing loose-fitting clothing
  • Eating smaller meals
  • Raising the head of bed when sleeping
  • Waiting at least 3 hours before lying down after eating

Avoiding certain foods and drinks including:

  • Chocolate
  • Peppermint
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Caffeinated beverages
  • Citrus drinks
  • Tomato based foods
  • High fat and / or fried food.