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The Truth Behind Your Acid Reflux Disease

Apr 13, 2008
Learn HOW You Can Decrease and Prevent Acid Reflux Disease from a former Acid Reflux Sufferer and Qualified Nutritionist.

It is the simultaneity of two medical conditions that brings on acid reflux, or GERD - gastro-esophageal reflux disease as it is called. The reverse flow of food and acid from the stomach to the esophagus is the first factor favoring acid reflux disease. Nonetheless, healthy people can experience reflux as well, in a case called "physiologic gastroesophageal reflux" and this does not always mean symptoms of acid reflux disease or modification of the organic tissues.

The next factor provoking gastro-esophageal reflux disease is a malfunction of the LES, the lower esophageal sphincter. This circle of muscle acts as a unidirectional valve between the esophagus and the stomach. It measures 3-4 cm, meaning that it is two to three times thicker than the proximal esophagus. When GERD occurs, the stomach content finds its way back into the esophagus because the LES does not shut correctly. This is then called acid reflux disease, with accompanying symptoms of the disease which follow.

Heartburn is the burning sensation felt in the throat or the chest, when the contents of the stomach escapes back to the esophagus lining. The usual sensation connected to acid reflux disease is persistent (twice or week or more frequently) heartburn. Occasional heartburn can happen also. This is not necessarily a sign of gastro-esophageal reflux disease, as minor reflux can also happen to individuals in good health.

Some sufferers express a sensation of food that blocks, choking or constriction of the throat. It is the steady flow back of stomach contents against the esophagus that has this effect, causing a swelling of the esophagus due to scar tissue from histological degradation. Other patients of acid reflux disease may also experience pains in their chest or nausea, coughing, burning pains in the chest, hoarseness in the morning, continual earache, sinusitis, changes in their voice, or problems in swallowing (notably lumpy foods).

Some patients can become affected by a condition known as Barrett's esophagus, where cells occurring in the esophageal lining assume abnormal forms and colors. Particularly in adults aged over 60, this is a first step towards cancer of the esophagus. Other effects include stricture of the esophagus, ulcers, bleeding, and spasms. When acid from the stomach reaches the trachea as well as the upper esophagus, several severe conditions such as sinusitis, asthma, and pneumonia can follow. GERD that is not treated in a timely way can have serious consequences detrimental to health.

Surgery, medical therapy and holistic therapy are the three choices for dealing with acid reflux disease. The latter comprises diet and lifestyle modifications as well as taking of specific herbal supplements. PPIs and H2 blockers are among the medical options in cases of GERD. While one can use prescriptions of medicaments or acid blockers such as these, remember that the effects are often not permanent and that conventional medication can be accompanied by severe side effects. The use of surgery needs to be very carefully thought about, as certain hidden problems, such as constriction and muscular contraction disorders, can cause complications.

GERD, taking a holistic view, is a warning signal of a lack of internal equilibrium of consequence that must be properly dealt with. For this reason, alternative medicine such as herbal medicine, modifications in lifestyle, homeopathic remedies as components of a complete holistic program are the preferred choice for sufferers of acid reflux.
About the Author
Jeff Martin is a medical researcher, certified nutritionist, health consultant and author of the #1 best-selling e-book, Heartburn No More- Open The Door To an Acid Reflux Free Life. To Learn More About Jeff Martinīs Unique 5-Step Holistic Acid Reflux Cure System Visit: Acid Reflux Disease
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