The Surprising Role Stomach Acid Plays In Gerd
If malabsorption of carbs can cause increased abdominal pressurewhich leads to heartburnwhats the reason for the absorption problem in the first place? Interestingly enough, this question brings us right back to healthy stomach acid levels.
Low stomach acid can cause malabsorption of carbs and bacterial overgrowth. In many cases, low stomach acid may be the driving force behind increased IAP and GERD. Lets explore how.
Home Remedies For Heartburn
Tags: Digestive Health & Disorders ,
That unpleasant feeling of your last meal coming back into your throat. That uncomfortable, even painful, burning sensation in your chest. Heartburn has returned.;
Heartburn is the feeling you get when the contents of your stomach back up into the esophagus toward the mouth. It’s common to experience it from time to time.;
Ppis Can Change The Way Other Drugs Work
PPIs interact with some common prescription drugs. For example, some PPIs can reduce the blood-thinning effect of the drug Plavix , according to the US Food and Drug Administration. This can increase the risk of heart attack and even death. If you take Plavix, talk to your doctor about whether you should take a PPI.
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What Lifestyle Changes Help Heartburn
The best way to avoid heartburn discomfort is to prevent it. These lifestyle changes can make a big difference:;
- Avoid trigger foods: Foods that promote heartburn include fried and fatty foods, caffeine, chocolate, spicy foods and carbonated beverages.
- Lose weight: Being overweight increases the likelihood that you’ll experience heartburn.;
- Avoid eating late at night: Try to eat three hours before going to bed. At a minimum, you should wait at least one hour after eating.
- Elevate the bed: Physically lift the head of your bed about six to eight inches so you’re sleeping on an incline. If that’s not possible, use a wedge pillow for lift.
- Avoid alcohol and tobacco: These substances increase the chances of heartburn attacks.
- Wear looser clothing: Tight clothing can put pressure on your digestive system.
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Does anyone out there have any suggestions for someone who had their gallbladder removed and has a hiatal hernia? I am over weight and suffer from what feels like a tight band around my chest and back and burning in my upper abdomen. The doctors want to put me on antacids but they dont help.
Can I give Primal Probiotics to my 3 month old son ? He has reflux issues and eczema. Exclusively breastfed and I have changed my diet and taken all allergens out. Just waiting for it to clear out of my milk and his system. He had to be on an antibiotic for his eczema because of an infection and I know he needs a probiotic ! What do you suggest for a baby ? Thank you. I am desperate to know the best thing to give him.
for me and my baby shortly after she was born. It helped her a lot. I sprinkled some on my nipple just before nursing her, but Im sure mixing a small amount in with some breastmilk would be fine too. Just a tiny bit made a big difference. Be sure to take it yourself, because your baby will get it from you too. Good luck!
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Dont Eat Within Three Hours Of Going To Bed
People with acid reflux are generally advised to avoid eating within the three hours before they go to sleep.
Although this recommendation makes sense, there is limited evidence to back it up.
One study in GERD patients showed that having a late evening meal had no effects on acid reflux, compared to having a meal before 7 p.m. .
However, an observational study found that eating close to bedtime was associated with significantly greater reflux symptoms when people were going to sleep .
More studies are needed before solid conclusions can be made about the effect of late evening meals on GERD. It may also depend on the individual.
Observational studies suggest that eating close to bedtime may worsen acid reflux symptoms at night. Yet, the evidence is inconclusive and more studies are needed.
Reduced Absorption Of Vitamins And Minerals
Stomach acid is essential for the absorption of many nutrients. Without enough acidity, the stomach cannot break down the food and turn it into absorbable vitamins and minerals.
Now that does not mean that you wont absorb any nutrients if you are on proton-pump inhibitors. But the percentage of nutrients available is lower, making deficiencies more likely and more pronounced.
Different studies have shown that the nutrients most vulnerable to low acidity are vitamin B12, iron, magnesium, zinc, and calcium.
Vitamin B12 Deficiency
Vitamin B12 is arguably the most critically affected by acid reflux medication. One study shows that B12 went down by 72% with a 20mg prescription of Prilosec, and 88% with a 40mg prescription of Prilosec. This is an extreme decrease of this vital vitamin.
Luckily, our body stocks a long-lasting B12 reserve. It can last for years, even when on PPIs, as long as your B12 reserves are good in the first place. Unfortunately, as more and more people take heartburn medication for years or decades, PPI-linked B12 deficiency is increasingly wide-spread these days.
B12 is essential for our nerves, as you can read in this article published by Harvard. Not getting enough B12 can result in a long list of health issues including nerve damage, hypotension, weakness, and vision disturbances .
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How To Use Apple Cider Vinegar To Treat Acid Reflux
You may try using apple cider vinegar to relieve acid reflux symptoms, but theres no guarantee itll work. Its thought this home remedy helps balance your stomach pH by neutralizing stomach acid.
Its generally accepted as safe to consume a small amount of apple cider vinegar. Dilute it with water. This should relieve any burning sensation caused by the acid in the vinegar.
Diluting it may also help prevent the acid from damaging the enamel on your teeth. To further avoid this, drink it through a straw, if possible.
Many people find the taste of apple cider vinegar to be sharp or sour. You may consider adding honey to the solution to taste.
- Dont lie down after eating.
- Elevate the head of your bed several inches.
Sometimes conventional treatments arent enough. Serious complications from acid reflux can include esophageal scarring or ulcers.
To avoid these complications, your doctor may recommend a surgery called fundoplication. In this procedure, the upper part of your stomach is wrapped around the lower esophagus. This strengthens the esophageal sphincter to prevent reflux.
Although anecdotal evidence suggests apple cider vinegar may be a useful remedy, there isnt a firm medical basis for this treatment. If you do explore this option, remember to:
- Consume apple cider vinegar in small quantities.
- Dilute the vinegar with water.
- Speak with your doctor if your symptoms dont improve or worsen with use.
How Low Stomach Acid Leads To Increased Iap And Gerd
Stomach acid is part of the bodys innate immune system, the first line of defense against pathogens. Most bacteria cant survive the stomachs highly acidic environment. If you dont have enough stomach acid, many of the pathogens that would normally be destroyed may survive the stomach and make their way into the rest of the GI tract. This can lead to chronic gut infections, impaired digestion, and an increase in IAP and GERD.
Stomach acid also helps your body absorb many macro- and micronutrients. HCl stimulates the release of pancreatic enzymes and bile into the small intestine to help metabolize carbohydrates and fats. Without enough acid, your body cant digest carbohydrates properly. Those undigested carbs are then fermented by bacteria in a process that generates excess hydrogen gas. Again, that excess gas increases IAP and contributes to GERD.
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Disproving The Stomach Acid Theory
When you look at the data, blaming GERD on too much stomach acid doesnt make sense. Stomach acid actually tends to decline, not rise, with age, while GERD risk increases with age. In fact, 40-year-olds, on average, generate about half as much as stomach acid as 20-year-olds do. And, according to one study, over 40 percent of people age 80 and up may be producing almost no stomach acid at all. Whats more, my patients with heartburn and GERD have responded very well to HCl supplementation, which actually increases their stomach acid. Thats the opposite of what we would expect if excess stomach acid were to blame for the problem.
You need adequate stomach acid to kill opportunistic pathogens, help properly digest food, and maintain optimal health. Reduced stomach acid correlates with a wide range of health problems, and PPIs can easily exacerbate the condition.
Incorporate Ginger Into The Diet
Some that ginger may be beneficial for nausea, vomiting, and other symptoms, although the limited quality of included evidence means that more research is necessary to confirm these benefits.
Based on the existing evidence, researchers suggest a daily dose of . It is possible that a higher intake could have adverse effects.Ginger is an easy ingredient to incorporate into the diet. People can try:
- adding it to hot water to make ginger tea
- including it in a stir-fry
- boiling it in a soup
- grating it raw onto salads or cereals
People who dislike the taste of ginger can mask it by including it in recipes with other strong flavors.
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Limit Your Intake Of Carbonated Beverages
Patients with GERD are sometimes advised to limit their intake of carbonated beverages.
One observational study found that carbonated soft drinks were associated with increased acid reflux symptoms .
Also, controlled studies show that drinking carbonated water or cola temporarily weakens the lower esophageal sphincter, compared to drinking plain water .
The main reason is the carbon dioxide gas in carbonated beverages, which causes people to belch more often an effect that can increase the amount of acid escaping into the esophagus .
Carbonated beverages temporarily increase the frequency of belching, which may promote acid reflux. If they worsen your symptoms, try drinking less or avoiding them altogether.
Is It Just Heartburn Or Gerd
Frequent heartburn can be a major issue. If you experience heartburn two or more times a week, you may have gastroesophageal reflux disease .;
In this chronic condition, frequent exposure to stomach acid irritates and damages the esophagus. Over time, that can lead to problems such as difficulty swallowing. An estimated 40 percent of Americans report symptoms of GERD but the condition can significantly improve with lifestyle changes.;;
If you’ve tried home remedies and lifestyle adjustments and still have frequent heartburn, consult with your family doctor or a gastroenterologist. There are multiple treatments that can help, including medications and minimally invasive surgery for acid reflux.
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Naturally Treat Acid Reflux: The Big Reason Drugs Arent Helping
For a lot of people, drugs seem to do the trickor, at least they;alleviate the symptoms for a while.
For me, it was the opposite. My doctor recommended I try one of the;leading over-the-counter heartburn medications, but it only made the problem worse. I mean really badthe worst acid reflux;Id ever experienced.
Acid reflux medications are big business in America. Billions are spent each year on both prescription and non-prescription;antacids. This is because;GERD is the most common digestive disorder in the U.S.
The problem is acid reflux medications merely mask the symptoms of the problem; they dont address underlying causes.
And what is;the underlying cause? Many people believe it is too much stomach acidafter all, thats what the antacid commercials on TV show us, right? But its actually the opposite: the primary cause is;low stomach acid.;
This might sound silly to anyone whose ever experience acid reflux: I mean, isnt it;stomach acid in my throat causing the burning? Yes, it is. But the reason the acid is there is most often not because there is too much of it in your stomach.
An;editorial published in the journal Gastroenterology;stated:
Treating gastroesophageal reflux disease with profound acid inhibition will never be;ideal because acid secretion is not the primary underlying defect.
You May Not Need A Ppi
More than half of the people who take PPIs probably do not need them. Simple heartburn can be treated with antacids or other drugs, plus diet and lifestyle changes.
You may only have heartburn every now and thensuch as after a big, spicy meal. This may be uncomfortable, but it is not serious. You can usually get relief from an antacid, like Rolaids or Tums, or an H2 blocker, such as Pepcid AC or Zantac.
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Avoid Eating Right Before Lying Down
Im a big fan of late-night snacksactually they look more like a second dinner in bed.
The problem with this is when we lie down after a meal, gravity is no longer helping to keep stomach acid where it belongs: in our stomach.
Its important to remember, however, that changing this habit in your life might mean less nights of acid reflux, but it does not mean you are treating the overall problem in your digestive system.
Baking Soda Remedy For Heartburn
Sodium bicarbonate or the very common baking soda lying on your kitchen shelf can relieve heartburn in a matter of few minutes by balancing the pH level of your stomach. Baking soda with a pH higher than 7 can effectively neutralize your stomach acid. When your stomach acid will not remain acidic, you wont get the burning sensation, even if it travels up to your lower oesophagal sphincter.
- Baking soda- 1/2 to 1 tsp
- Water- 1/2 to 1 glass
- Add the baking soda to the glass of water.
- Mix and drink this.
- Do this whenever you feel acid coming up into your throat. However, do not consume more than 3 tsp of baking soda in a day.
Do this for a week only and if your heartburn still persists, either use some other remedy or consult your doctor. Prolonged use of baking soda is not desirable for your body.
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Natural Alternatives How To Treat Acid Reflux Naturally
Seeing as everyones body reacts differently, there are many different methods to treating not only acid reflux but every other health ailment as well. One extremely popular natural solution for acid reflux, though, is raw organic apple cider vinegar. This seemingly-magical liquid has been used for ages when it comes to taking care of hundreds of health problems, and is fantastic for maintaining quality;overall health. Of course, this is only one of the many benefits of apple cider vinegar.
Although you may find your acid reflux diminished and soon vanished by simply ingesting apple cider vinegar as it says on the directions , there are a number of other liquid amounts that are used by acid reflux sufferers. Increasing the amount of apple cider vinegar used from 1-2 teaspoons to as many as 5 teaspoons may prove to be more beneficial for you. Some have had success by mixing ACV with baking soda at night and V8 juice in the morning, which is infinitely better than resorting to any drug.
Adding another method on how to treat acid reflux naturally, you may also try drinking some aloe vera juice, often mixed with apple or white grape juice.
Of course figuring out what triggers your acid reflux can allow you to not need these remedies as much. Sometimes people experience the symptoms from ingesting spices, greasy foods, bananas, and even apples. Knowing the signals of your body is one of the best things you can do to avoid any health problem, including acid reflux.
Treating Heartburn And Gerd
Heartburn is a feeling of burning pain in your lower chest, behind the breastbone. It comes from acid backing up from your stomach to your throat. You may have seen ads for heartburn drugs, such as Nexium, Prilosec or Prevacid. These drugs are called PPIs . They keep the stomach from making too much acid. They have been shown to heal irritation of the tube between the throat and the stomach .
In most cases, you dont need a PPI for heartburn. You can get relief from a less powerful drug. And when you do need a PPI, you should take the lowest dose for as short a time as possible. Heres why:
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Treat Your Bacterial Overgrowth
The next step in understanding how to cure GERD without drugs is addressing bacterial overgrowth. Low stomach acid allows bacteria to thrive in the stomach, compete for nutrients, and generate excess gas. Treating the problem can involve several steps, depending on your individual underlying issues.
Take A Mindful Eating Approach
Eating quickly and overeating are correlated with heartburn and reflux. Sometimes you may not even realize that you’re eating quickly or eating after your body is signaling that it’s full. Practicing mindful-eating techniques may help you slow down and listen to what your body is telling you. Here’s how:
- Eliminate distractions at mealtime. Avoid reading, checking your phone, or watching television while you eat.
- Chew each bite thoroughly.
- Eat smaller meals rather than big meals. Overeating puts more pressure on your lower esophageal sphincter.
- Pause before each meal. Take a moment to look at your meal. Observe what is on your plate and take in the smells. Also, take a moment to notice how hungry you are before you take your first bite.
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