GORD - Natural Remedies for Acid Reflux
By Shannon Burford
GORD gives rise to a number of symptoms such as heartburn, regurgitation, swallowing difficulty, coughing, waterbrash, hoarseness and/ or chest pain. Belching, a sensation of fullness, non-specific nausea and queasiness are often associated symptoms.
A great deal of patients are prescribed proton-pump inhibitors by doctors without considering the underlying cause. If the underlying causes are identified and removed, then often there is no need for the pharmaceutical medication.
Complications of GORD
- Inflammed throat
- Narrowing of the throat passage
- oesophageal adenocarcinoma (cancer)
- Increased risk factors of developing adenocarcinoma are associated with males, obesity and smoking.
Natural Remedies for Heartburn
Natural remedies at home such as ginger or chamomile tea can be useful, as can dandelion tea. Care should be taken if you are on any medications.
The herbal remedy, slippery elm, is considered safe in pregnancy and can also help relieve heartburn.
It is important to consider the following aggrevating factors and reduce or limit them -
- Alcohol, sweets, or white bread
- Excess weight
- Excessive fat consumption
- Bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine
GORD / GERD Diet
Smaller meals can empty from your stomach quickly and have less chance of moving up the oesophagus.
- Don’t recline for at 3 hours after eating
Give your stomach time to digest your meal completely before lying down or bending over. Raising the bed head may be beneficial.
Some foods have been shown to aggrevate the sphincter function. Avoid chocolate, caffeinated products, spicy foods, alcohol, fatty foods, citruses, tomato based food and juices
- Increase Vitamin A, C and E rich foods
Low intake has been associated with greater risk of GORD.
- An increased intake of foods rich in A, C and E help heal the throat lining and are antioxidant to the mucous lining.
- Reducing animal fat consumption aids the reduction of blood triglycerides and cholesterol
- Consider probiotics - Probiotic intake may assist with small intestinal bacterial overgrowth which has been associated with increased incidence of GORD.
Other Diet and Lifestyle factors
Smoking damages and irritates the throat lining. Excessive irritation causes physical changes in the throat cells giving rise to an increased risk of scarring and pathological changes. Smoking also contributes to insulin resistance (type 2 diabetes), hypertension, an increased heart rate as well as lowering the ‘good’ (HDL) cholesterol.
Call the Quitline on 131 848 or seek helpful advice from your practitioner.
For healthy men and women, drinking no more than two standard drinks on any day reduces your risk of harm from alcohol-related disease or injury over a lifetime. The health risks that accumulate over a lifetime from alcohol increase progressively - this means that the more you drink, the greater the risk.
In addition to contributing to GORD, drinking alcohol can affect your liver or cause brain damage, heart disease, high blood pressure and increases your risk of many cancers.
Natural Remedies for Acid Reflux
The following natural therapy medicines are often prescribed for GORD/GERD. It is important to note that only one or a few are prescribed at one time. Each patient is an individual and therefore a naturopathic treatment must reflect that in the treatment strategy. For a specific and personal prescription it is suggested you contact the clinic and book an appointment to see a professional naturopath.
- Homeopathic remedies
- Personal herbal medicine prescription
- Liver herbs to promote bile and digestive secretions
- Probiotics and Multiflora
- Blackmores Celloid
- Cura blend organic herbal tea
History of H. Pylori
Who are Barry Marshall and Robin Warren? Both were passionate pathologist from Perth, Western Australia and found a link between stomach pathology results and gastric ulcer formation in patients. They are now the 2005 Nobel Prize winners for the discover of the bacterium Helicobacter pylori and its role in gastritis and peptic ulcer disease.
Dr Barry Marshall discovered the bacteria when he swallowed the H. pylori bacteria to test the theory that they were responsible for stomach ulcers. This brave action led to identifying H. pylori as a common bacterial infection affecting the stomach, and a major cause of ulcers. It was previously thought that stomach ulcers were formed from stress in individuals with a predisposition for them.
The H. pylori bacterium was discovered at Western Australia’s Royal Perth Hospital in 1983 after Dr Barry Marshall and Dr Robin Warren spent several months attempting to grow the bacteria. Despite managing to grow the bug and prove that it was a new organism, the findings were not easily accepted by the medical system. Dr Marshall decided to swallowed a solution containing the bacteria to prove his theory. Around a week after consuming the solution, vomiting and other symptoms of stomach inflammation appeared.
The discovery was a significant finding for gastroenterology, changing the treatment of stomach and duodenal ulcers. They now found a pathogen that could be isolated and treated. But did they? The stomach contains over 500 different species of bacteria flora and helicobacter is most likely just another of these. In over populations of the organism, disease can occur, but in balance, it causes no harm.
What is Helicobacter pylori?
Helicobacter pylori is a bacterium that lives in the mouth and prodominately in the stomach. H. pylori produces chemicals that damage the stomach’s protective mucous lining, allowing damage to form. The stomach and duodenum lining is then vulnerable to erosion digestive secretions and gastric acid.
Over population of H. pylori can be responsible for causing:
- stomach (gastric) ulcers
- duodenal ulcers
- gastritis (inflammation of the stomach lining)
- some forms of stomach cancer
To speak with a naturopath or to make a booking at the Cura clinic, contact us.