GERD is an acronym that stands for the gastroesophageal reflux disease. It is a very common and widely spread disease that affects many people. GERD is also known as acid reflux, heartburn, or indigestion.
The 18th to the 24th of November is a GERD Awareness Week so if you are prone to this disease or know someone who is, then be sure to follow the tips and advice in this article. You may find relief for this condition without resorting to antacids and other drugs.
GERD is a disease that is caused by a combination of symptoms. They usually include heartburn, regurgitation, chest pain or discomfort, bitter taste in the mouth, and difficulty swallowing.
Heartburn does not affect the heart, despite its name. It is rather associated with some discomfort or pain in the chest brought on by acid reflux.
Regurgitation on the other hand refers to a sour or bitter-tasting acid backing up in your throat or mouth.
GERD symptoms tend to occur more at bedtime because the effects of "gravity" are removed when you lie down. They can include excessive drooling, coughing and choking. One of the symptoms can be an uncomfortable feeling that food is kind of stuck behind the breastbone.
GERD symptoms can be quite annoying and uncomfortable and may lead to a diminished quality of sleep which can affect the person's overall mood and general health.
What causes GERD?
These days, many people work longer hours, buy more fast food and eat on the run. Poor dietary habits, the easy availability of fast food at any hour of the day, and obesity have all led to increased occurrences of GERD symptoms.
Some types of food such as spicy meals, tomato-based food (spaghetti sauce, pizza, and chili), chocolate, fatty and fried foods, junk food of any kind, garlic and onions, can considerably aggravate the GERD symptoms.
Other factors that may contribute to gastroesophageal reflux disease are bad habits like extensive alcohol use and smoking. Extreme stress and snacking close to bedtime can also cause GERD. It's important not to eat two hours before bedtime because it increases reflux. .
Why you should, by all means, avoid antacids
Antacids are a group of drugs that have been manufactured to help lessen gastric acidity in the stomach. However, some people have abused the use of antacids without considering the potential side effects of the drug and without consulting a physician. Self- diagnosis of GERD and self- medication does carry a very serious risk as it not only perpetuates the symptoms, but also leads to more serious changes in the gastrointestinal tract.
In fact Public Citizen is petitioning the US FDA to require manufacturers of stomach acid-reducing drugs to carry a 'black box' warning on the drugs label.
According to Xtend-Life Chairman, Warren Matthews, "Their rationale for this is that these popular drugs used by an estimated 1 in 20 people are dangerous and habit forming. They argue that the evidence is clear that once a person starts on one of these drugs that it is very difficult to get off them because the condition for which they are being used, will come back even worse once they discontinue, leading to increased permanent use which in turn leads to serious potential side effects which most physicians are unaware of."
Natural solutions to GERD
Begin by changing your lifestyle. Start with an elevation of the head of your bed (about 6 inches). Also it is important to eat smaller meals and avoid late meals.
Decrease alcohol intake and do some dietary modifications - decrease your intake of caffeine, fatty food, chocolate, spicy food, peppermint, onions, garlic, tomatoes and citrus products.
If you are overweight it would be good idea to start a weight-loss regime, not just for the GERD symptoms, but also for your general health.
Taking a simple acid/alkali balancer for a short-term period of a few weeks can also help as a temporary relief. Add to this Aloe Vera juice. Even chewing Papaya tablets can help at the time of a GERD attack to relieve the symptoms.
Without a good functioning digestive system, any other health efforts will be compromised. You need to support it with a natural formula - a system that addresses not only the symptoms alone, but one that helps to regenerate the digestive system.
Digestive Science Reflux Elimination System brings comfort to patients with heart burn and acid reflux in a fast, effective and convenient package.
If you simply mask the symptoms of acid reflux, nothing changes. But when you address the causes of acid reflux, you get to the heart of the issue and bring measurable relief to peoples' lives.
Digestive Science Reflux Elimination System does just that, with a natural remedy process for acid control, enzyme renewal and digestion support. Heartburn fades, burping subsides. The pain goes away, and it stays away. Give it a try. It's absolutely risk free!
Article courtesy of Digestive Science
*This information is for educational purpose only. It is not meant to diagnose or cure a disease.