What’s the real cause?
Heartburn or acid reflux happens when the muscle of the lower esophageal sphincter is malfunctioning. This muscle is a flap that separates the bottom of the esophagus from the top of the stomach. This flap should only open when food, liquid or gas go through it. The lower esophageal sphincter (LES) should other wise remain closed.
When the flap isn’t functioning properly, acids from the stomach come up, creating a burning sensation. Most people think that acid reflux is when your body produces to much acid but it’s actually the exact opposite. Heartburn actually occurs when there isn’t enough acid.
Symptoms usually consist of:
- Chest Pain
- Abdominal Pain
- Sore Throat
- Dry Cough
- Feeling of lump in throat
- Burning chest pain
- Chest Pain Under Breastbone
- Chest Tightness
- Loss of Appetite
- Gastrointestinal Bleeding
- Vomiting Blood
- Bitter Taste In Mouth
- Coffee Ground Vomit
- Chest pain at Rest
- Burning Abdominal Pain
- Regurgitates Food
- Burning Sensation In Mouth
- Difficulty in Swallowing
- Excessive smoking
- Frequent alcohol intake
- Eating large meals
Acid reflux on a daily basis could also be due to an anatomical or medical condition such as:
- Low sphincter pressure
- Hiatal hernia
- Side effects to drugs such as bisphosphonates (drugs that treat osteoporosis)
- Gastro paresis (a condition in which the stomach takes too long to empty its contents).
- Acid reflux may also develop as a result of an allergic reaction to certain foods.
Natural Remedies That Work
Olive leaf extract- 90% of patients with heartburn or acid reflux also have a virus called H. pylori. Once this virus comes into the body no amount of prescription acid blockers or over the counter medicines can fix this problem. Olive leaf extract is one of the only known substances that can kill H. pylori. The high amount of antimicrobial activity in Olive Leaf Extract can regulate the gastric flora by selectively reducing levels of H. pylori. Take 2 capsules of Olive Leaf Extract with 20% oleuropein daily.
I recommend Nature’s Way Olive Leaf 20% Oleuropein, 60 Vcaps
Fresh Garlic Cloves provide the gut with lots of good bacteria.
Eat smaller meals: a large meal can lead to an excess of acid production in the stomach.
Avoid eating right before bed.
Acidic foods or foods which increase the acid production in the stomach must also be avoided shortly before bedtime. These foods include, acidic fruits and juices, chocolate, onions, tea, peppermint.
Avoid smoking or at least cut down.
Sleeping on your left side keeps your stomach below your esophagus.
Sleeping with the upper body a bit raised can help alleviate heartburn.
Excess body fat can put pressure onto the stomach, this can cause acidic substances to enter the LES from the stomach. Hence, reduce weight if needed.
Tight clothing around the abdomen can also increase the risk of symptoms.
Avoid lying down after a meal.
Having a glass of fresh carrot or cabbage juice daily can help heal inflammation in the stomach; making it less sensitive to its own juices.
Baking soda is a natural antacid. Mix one teaspoon of baking soda in 8 ounces of water, this will help by neutralizing the acids.
Bananas also act as natural antacids.
Turmeric prevents acid build-up and stimulates digestion.
Aloe Vera juice can soothe the esophagus. Only use Aloe Vera juice that can be taken internally.
Ginger is a great way to treat heartburn, use only in moderation; as to much can actually make heartburn worse. It can be taken as a tea, eaten raw, or prepared in with your meals.
Dangers of Taking Prescription Drugs for Heartburn
According to some modern research, the category of drugs called ‘proton-pump inhibitors (PPI)’ which are used to relieve pyrosis do more harm than good. A series of new studies published in Archives of Internal Medicine says that daily use of these drugs tends to decrease the production of acid in the stomach which in turn increases the risks of infection by a harmful intestinal bacterium known as Clostridium difficile. Women who take PPI’s daily can develop an increased risk for post-menopausal fractures.
According to an article written by MD Leigh Erin Connealy, she states that “Stomach acid plays an important role in both digestion and our overall health and by blocking its production we are essentially starving the body of life sustaining nutrients.”
She also states that “Research has shown that over time low stomach acid can lead to a wide range of serious diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, type 1 diabetes, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, allergies, skin disorders, and depression.”