Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease - the Bad and the Ugly
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is associated with chronic heartburn or gastric reflux. It is common and a broad disease that affects many people. GERD also goes by several names - reflux, heartburn, indigestion and of course GERD.
If you are prone to GERD and its symptoms or know someone who is, then be sure to follow the tips and advice in this article on how to help alleviate this condition without resorting to antacids and other drugs.
GERD is a disease that is caused by a combination of symptoms…they 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 feeling that food is stuck behind the breastbone.
It can be quite annoying and uncomfortable, resulting in loss of deep quality sleep and rest which can compound the person's 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, garlic and onions can be associated with GERD.
Other factors that may contribute to gastroesophageal reflux disease are bad habits like alcohol use or smoking. Snacking food close to bedtime can also cause GERD. It's important not to eat two hours before bedtime because it increases reflux.
Some pregnant women also suffer from GERD due the growing fetus expanding the body's cavity resulting in heartburn and reflux. Some people may even have a family history of GERD that is passed on through genes…they can be affected by GERD because of a genetic component.
Why You Should Avoid Taking 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.
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."
How Can I Address GERD Without Using Antacids?
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 if it is not a long-term condition. Add to this Aloe Vera juice in liquid form. 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. This is why taking an effective digestive supplement like Kiwi-Klenz is so important. In fact, we have customers who have reported that their acid reflux and GERD symptoms have decreased since they started taking Kiwi-Klenz.
We can't say for sure that it will definitely help you if you have GERD and reflux symptoms but it's definitely worth giving it a try. This is because it will certainly help your overall digestive system and in turn your overall health.
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