What Goes Down Must Come Up! Heartburn and Acid Reflux!

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Heartburn and Acid Reflux is caused by stomach acid backing up into your esophagus. 

The esophageal sphincter is supposed to keep the stomach contents in place but if the sphincter relaxes, acid can push up into the esophagus. 

The most common sensation is a burning sensation above the stomach, excessive salivation, belching, regurgitation and a sour taste in the mouth. 

Nearly one third of Americans experience frequent heartburn known as GERD.  Another 3 to 7 percent suffer from Barrett’s esophagus illness caused by acid reflux that results in scarring, constriction of the esophagus and swallowing disorders. 

Some medications can cause heartburn such as birth control pills, diazepam, nicotine, nitroglycerine, progesterone and provera. 

Heartburn is common amongst pregnant women that are experiencing all their organs being more confined to a tight area. 

Stress plays a huge part in this. 

Other triggers are wearing tight fitting clothes, lying down after a meal, bending over when full and eating a excessively large meal. 

Acid Reflux is when the stomach acid is regurgitated into the esophagus.  This can cause heartburn but you do not necessarily feel pain with acid reflux.  If you experience heartburn in the middle of the night make sure you eat at least 4 hours before going to bed. 

These problems are rarely seen in those eating a high fiber diet. 

Heartburn sufferers take antacids for temporary relief.  Initially, use of antacids causes the body to produce more HCI which helps digest the food.  Eventually the cells that make the acid get exhausted and they begin making much less HCI.  Anti acids also decrease your stomach’s ability to digest protein by reducing the effectiveness of protease enzymes

Here are some healthy suggestions for reducing acid reflux. 

1.  Eat healthy food – bet that was a surprise. 

2.  Increase fruit, vegetables, grains and high-fiber foods. 

3.  Drink plenty of water, for some this alone can remedy the situation.

4.  Various spices and herbs have been known to help.  Slippery elm is soothing to the mucus membranes.  Slippery Elm can be found in tea or lozenge form.  Ginger tea is also a great thing to drink to calm your digestive tract. What to avoid:

1.  Foods that are more acidic like tomatoes and citrus are more likely to cause heartburn. 

2.  Dairy products have been shown to trigger symptoms.  I have more clients that believe that a cold glass of milk will soothe their stomach.  Not true – and the higher the fat content the more the issues. 

3. Alcoholic beverages, coffee and to some extent tea provoke heartburn as well as high fat, fried, spicy foods; onions and chocolate (say it isn’t true!). 

Trigger food are personal so you need to figure out what bothers you.  

The most long-lasting, natural remedy without side-effects is to adjust your food intake as well as any lifestyle factors that may be contributing to your heartburn or acid-reflux.

Work with your doctor, digestion coach or nutritionist to isolate the factors that affect your health.  From there good health is a breeze!

You Deserve to be Healthy!

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