Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a digestive disease that causes stomach acid and occasionally stomach content to flow back up the esophagus. The irritation from the stomach acid causes inflammation known as GERD.
GERD is an increasingly common disorder that affects around 20 percent of Americans. Exhibiting similar symptoms to heartburn or acid reflux, GERD is a chronic condition that persists two times a week or more.
Signs you have GERD:
- Chest pain
- Burning sensation in your chest
- Pain swallowing
- Regurgitation of food
- Sensation there is something lodged in your throat
During healthy digestion, the esophageal sphincter opens to allow food to pass down to the stomach then closes tightly to prevent food or stomach acid from traveling back up. GERD happens when the esophageal sphincter weakens allowing stomach contents to frequently flow back up, causing painful inflammation of the tissue in that area.
Causes of GERD
- Not enough stomach acid associated with poor diet, age, or genetics
- Taking medications
- Hiatal hernia
- Poor diet and lifestyle choices
If left untreated, GERD can wear away the esophageal lining, causing complications such as bleeding, esophageal narrowing or Barrett’s esophagus (a precancerous condition).
What can you do?
The best way to combat GERD is to eliminate stressors on the body that are damaging the gastric juices and replace them with nourishing foods and supplements to restore proper digestive function. Stressors such as prescription drugs, antacids, alcohol, caffeine, and processed foods disrupt the body’s natural abilities to break down food.
At Whole Body Health, we treat our patients by incorporating healing foods in their diet and using supplements such as Stomach Juice or Digestive Enzymes. Lifestyle modification and education are also key in promoting balance in the body to help you eliminate symptoms of this life-altering, frustrating disorder.