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Healing for GERD

Acid reflux affects up to 50 percent of people in the U.S. GERD, which is also known as heartburn, is a burning sensation that starts behind the breastbone and can travel up your throat. It is thought to be caused by excessive acid in the stomach, which is why acid-blocking drugs are prescribed.  However, this is a misconception that has harmed millions of people.

Acid reflux occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter relaxes inappropriately, allowing acid from your stomach to flow (reflux) backward into your esophagus.

One of the most commonly prescribed drugs for heartburn and acid reflux are proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), which are very effective at blocking acid production in your stomach.
While that may sound like an appropriate remedy, considering the fact that stomach acid is creeping up your esophagus, in most cases it’s actually the worst approach possible, as a major part of the problem is typically related to too little stomach acid. It only temporarily treats the symptoms. PPIs like Nexium, Prilosec, and Prevacid were originally designed to treat a very limited range of severe problems. According to Mitchell Katz, director of the San Francisco Department of Public Health, who wrote an editorial on this topic four years ago, proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are only warranted for the treatment of:
•    Bleeding ulcers
•    Zollinger-Ellison syndrome (a rare condition that causes your stomach to produce excess acid)
•    Severe acid reflux, where an endoscopy has confirmed that your esophagus is damaged

The answer to heartburn and acid indigestion is to restore your natural gastric balance and function. When you eat processed foods, sugars, and drink coffee and alcohol, it can exacerbate acid reflux as it will upset the bacterial balance in your stomach and intestine. You should eat plenty of vegetables and other high-quality, organic, unprocessed foods. Also, eliminate food sensitivities from your diet. Common culprits here include caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine products.

Make sure you’re getting plenty of beneficial bacteria in your diet. It will also aid in proper digestion and assimilation of your food. You can get probiotics from fermented foods. If you aren’t eating fermented foods, you most likely need to supplement with a probiotic on a regular basis. Ideally, you’ll want to include a variety of cultured foods and beverages in your diet, as these foods will inoculate your gut with a variety of different microorganisms. Fermented foods include:
•    Fermented vegetables
•    Chutneys
•    Cultured dairy, such as yoghurt and kefir

Other effective strategies include using unprocessed salt such as pink Himalayan salt or sea salt, which will help your body produce more hydrochloric acid (HCL). Sauerkraut and cabbage juice are the best options to help your body produce HCL.  You can also improve the acid content of your stomach by taking one tablespoon of raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar in a large glass of water about 15 minutes before a meal.  If this helps you, then also take Betaine HCL (available at health food stores) with your meals. One tablespoon of baking soda mixed in a glass of water will ease heartburn. Also, aloe vera juice is very helpful. Drink ginger root or chamomile tea as well.

Adapted from http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/04/28/acid-reflux-ulcer-treatment.aspx

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