Heartburn

Healing Heartburn Holistically

Healing Heartburn Holistically

Everyone at some point in time has experienced some form of heartburn. Often, what we notice is a bitter, sour or acid taste in our mouths.

At times, we may feel as if partially digested foods or liquids are moving from our stomach back towards our mouth. Sometimes we may also experience chest pain that increases when we lay down. Each of these is an indication of heartburn.

Before we move on, however it is important to note that heartburn is only an indicator of a potentially larger digestive disorder called acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Acid reflux is neither a serious disorder nor life threatening.

This is especially true for those who only experience it occasionally. There are nonetheless millions of Americans that encounter the discomfort associated with acid reflux monthly, weekly and for some daily.

But what causes acid reflux? Well, when we eat, food moves from the mouth through the esophagus and into the stomach for further digestion.

At the end of the esophagus there is a circular band of muscles that relax and allow food and liquids to pass into the stomach. It then tightens and prevents foods and stomach juices from traveling back up into the esophagus.

If, however, food or digestive juices escape the stomach and travel back up the esophagus, irritating the esophageal lining, this is when many people experience heartburn. For some, acid reflux is due to a mechanical disorder where the sphincter muscle at the end of the esophagus becomes weak or doesn’t close correctly.

This can cause them to experience acid reflux when lying down as well as when standing up. In addition to mechanical issues that can cause the sphincter muscle to relax, alcohol, smoking, prescription medications and certain foods such as chocolate, onions, spicy foods and mints can also lessen the gripping power of this muscle.

Other reasons people experience acid reflux includes eating large meals. A large meal increases the pressure on the stomach. This pressure can cause stomach contents to literally be pushed out of the stomach and back into the esophagus.

In addition, lying down right after a large meal increases your chances of experiencing acid reflux because digestive juices can more easily move in the wrong direction. Pregnancy and obesity can also increase abdominal pressure and increase your risk of experiencing acid reflux as well.

Other digestive disorders such as a peptic ulcer or insufficient digestive enzymes in the stomach can also cause stomach acid to build up and back up into your esophagus.

In addition to heartburn, individuals with acid reflux can experience difficulty swallowing, a persistent sore throat or feeling a lump in the throat, coughing or wheezing. In more severe cases, the individual may regurgitate blood or notice that their stool is black, which can indicate that it contains partially digested blood.

Recommendations for Wellness

* Eat a number of smaller, more frequent meals instead of one or two large meals daily.

* Avoid lying down right after eating. Give your body a couple of hours to digest the food you’ve just eaten.

* If you experience acid reflux at night, elevate your head or the head of your bed 4-6 inches.

* If you are overweight, begin a diet and exercise program to help you shed a few pounds.

* Take a good look at what you are eating. If you are consuming chocolate, alcohol, fried or fatty foods, foods flavored with peppermint or spearmints or acidic beverages such as certain juices, coffee, tea and carbonated beverages, they may be contributing to your acid reflux and should be avoided.

* If you are taking prescription medications or suffer from a peptic ulcer, discuss your concerns with to your doctor to help you rule them out as the true cause of your acid reflux.

* Reduce your stress level. Sing, dance, meditate, practice deep breathing or do yoga to help your body relax. This will help to reduce the pressure on your stomach.

* Carminatives such as chamomile, fennel, ginger, peppermint and sage can work to sooth stomach muscles, increase the secretions of digestive juices as well as promote bile flow.

* Similarly, digestive bitters improve digestion through enhanced secretion of digestive juices

* Soothing herbs such as aloe vera, marshmallow and slippery elm have traditionally been use to combat the irritation often associated with heartburn.

If you feel as if the foods you are consuming are not being digested properly, try taking digestive enzymes before each meal to help break down foods in the stomach and improve digestion.

Food enzymes come in many forms. There are broad spectrum food enzymes that can help to digest proteins, carbohydrates and fats. There are also specialized enzymes that help digest specific types of foods such as fats, proteins and milk.

Copyright Body, Mind & SoulHealer 2004. All rights reserved. Dr. Rita Louise, PhD is a Naturopathic Physician and a 20-year veteran in the Human Potential Field, and it is her unique gift as a medical intuitive that enlivens her work. Author of the books “Avoiding the Cosmic 2×4” and “The Power Within: A Psychic Healing Primer”, Dr. Rita Louise, Ph.D. a can help you identify what is really going on and provide you with straightforward guidance and advice. She can be reached by calling 972-475-3393 or visiting her website at www.soulhealer.com rita@soulhealer.com

 

 

FAQ 

What are the symptoms of heartburn?

Symptoms of heartburn include:

* A burning pain in the chest that usually occurs after eating and may occur at night.

* Pain that worsens when lying down or bending over.

* Bitter or acidic taste in the mouth.

What is heartburn caused by?

The most common cause is food that’s acidic or high in fat—like citrus fruits, tomatoes, onions, chocolate, coffee, cheese, and peppermint. Spicy foods or large meals can also be the root of distress. Other sources of heartburn include aspirin or ibuprofen, as well as some sedatives and blood pressure medications.

What can I drink to relieve heartburn?

Good options include:

* carrot juice.

* aloe vera juice.

* cabbage juice.

* freshly juiced drinks made with less acidic foods, such as beet, watermelon, spinach, cucumber, or pear.

What foods give you heartburn?

Food and drinks that commonly trigger heartburn include:

* alcohol, particularly red wine.

* black pepper, garlic, raw onions, and other spicy foods.

* chocolate.

* citrus fruits and products, such as lemons, oranges and orange juice.

* coffee and caffeinated drinks, including tea and soda.

* peppermint.

* tomatoes.

Does water help with heartburn?

Drinking water during the later stages of digestion can reduce acidity and GERD symptoms. Often, there are pockets of high acidity, between a pH or 1 and 2, just below the esophagus. By drinking tap or filtered water a little while after a meal, you can dilute the acid there, which can result in less heartburn.

When should I be worried about heartburn?

Call your doctor if you had an episode of unexplained chest pain that went away within a few hours and you did not seek medical attention. Both heartburn and a developing heart attack can cause symptoms that subside after a while. The pain doesn’t have to last a long time to be a warning sign.

Can you have heartburn everyday?

Generally speaking, heartburn is not serious. An occasional bout of heartburn usually means that the foods the person ate produced too much acid in the stomach. If a persons suffers from heartburn often, or every day, it can be a symptom of a more serious condition called gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD.

Is heartburn a symptom of stress?

Stress can contribute to heartburn and make heartburn worse. Stress may slow down digestion and make you more sensitive to heartburn. Stress usually causes other symptoms along with heartburn. Reducing stress may help reduce heartburn.

What does extreme heartburn feel like?

Heartburn typically feels like a burning in the center of your chest, behind your breastbone. When you have heartburn, you may also feel symptoms like: A burning feeling in your chest that can last anywhere from a few minutes to a couple of hours. Pain in your chest when you bend over or lay down.

How does heartburn affect the body and what are the symptoms?

In addition to burning in the chest, you may have a sour taste in your mouth, coughing, or hoarseness. You may also feel like you have food “stuck” in your throat. Many people experience worsening heartburn when they lie down or bend over, because these actions allow stomach acid to move more easily into the esophagus.

** acid reflux

What are the warning signs of acid reflux?

*** acid reflux Symptoms

* A burning sensation in your chest (heartburn), usually after eating, which might be worse at night.

* Chest pain.

* Difficulty swallowing.

* Regurgitation of food or sour liquid.

* Sensation of a lump in your throat.

What things cause acid reflux?

These are some of the common acid reflux foods that trigger symptoms:

* Alcohol.

* Carbonated beverages.

* Chocolate.

* Citrus fruits, such as oranges or lemons.

* Coffee or tea (regular or decaffeinated)

* Fatty or fried foods.

* Foods containing tomato, such as spaghetti sauce, salsa, or pizza.

* Garlic and onions.

What can stop acid reflux immediately?

We’ll go over some quick tips to get rid of heartburn, including:

* wearing loose clothing.

* standing up straight.

* elevating your upper body.

* mixing baking soda with water.

* trying ginger.

* taking licorice supplements.

* sipping apple cider vinegar.

* chewing gum to help dilute acid.

Does drinking water help with acid reflux?

Drinking water during the later stages of digestion can reduce acidity and GERD symptoms. Often, there are pockets of high acidity, between a pH or 1 and 2, just below the esophagus. By drinking tap or filtered water a little while after a meal, you can dilute the acid there, which can result in less heartburn.

** gerd

Is GERD curable?

Although common, the disease often is unrecognized – its symptoms misunderstood. This is unfortunate because GERD is generally a treatable disease, though serious complications can result if it is not treated properly.

How do you cure GERD permanently?

GERD can usually be controlled with medication. But if medications don’t help or you wish to avoid long-term medication use, your doctor might recommend: Fundoplication. The surgeon wraps the top of your stomach around the lower esophageal sphincter, to tighten the muscle and prevent reflux.

Does drinking water help GERD?

Drinking water during the later stages of digestion can reduce acidity and GERD symptoms. Often, there are pockets of high acidity, between a pH or 1 and 2, just below the esophagus. By drinking tap or filtered water a little while after a meal, you can dilute the acid there, which can result in less heartburn.

Can you cure GERD on your own?

In milder cases of GERD, lifestyle changes may allow the body to heal itself. This lowers the risk for long-term damage to the esophagus, throat, or teeth. However, sometimes lifestyle changes are not enough.

Whats the difference between acid reflux and GERD?

They actually have very different meanings. Acid reflux is a common medical condition that can range in severity from mild to serious. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is the chronic, more severe form of acid reflux. Heartburn is a symptom of acid reflux and GERD.

Is warm water good for GERD?

Plain water: Frequently consuming water can make the digestion process better and curb GERD symptoms. Ginger: A diet or food with ginger can calm the over acidic stomach.

Can GERD go away without medication?

You can also try the following natural remedies that have been safely used to relieve GERD symptoms: Licorice: Use deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL) to avoid side effects; one or two lozenges before meals can be helpful. Slippery Elm: Use as a powder mixed with water and take after meals and before bed.

** gerd symptoms

* A burning sensation in your chest (heartburn), usually after eating, which might be worse at night.

* Chest pain.

* Difficulty swallowing.

* Regurgitation of food or sour liquid.

* Sensation of a lump in your throat.

acid reflux

gerd

gerd symptoms

heartburn symptoms