Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a chronic digestive disease. It occurs when stomach acid flows back into your food pipe (esophagus) irritating the lining of your esophagus. More critically important, it inhibits you from digesting food and absorbing nutrients. Metro Integrative Pharmacy can offer solutions to your everyday GERD problems.
Symptoms of GERD include; heartburn, nausea, hyper salivation (increased saliva production), globus (the sensation of a constant lump in the throat), trouble swallowing, bad breath, and dental erosion, sleep disturbances, nocturnal choking, inflammation of lung tissue (pneumonitis), sinusitis, asthma, and middle ear infection (otitis media).
Long-term GERD causes repetitive ulcers, which can lead to the deposit of fibrous scar tissue in the lungs. Over time, this will lead to a lung disease called Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF), which is incurable. This disease, will in-turn, exacerbate symptoms of GERD, specifically aspiration (reflux), and lead to Esophageal Cancer, as well as Barrett’s Esophagus (change in mucous membrane of the esophagus) as well as narrowing of the esophagus which causes asthmatic reactions.
If you are suffering from GERD, we at Metro Integrative Pharmacy can help you manage this disease. Start with dietary changes and then increase supplementation of specific nutrients. If you are consistent, over time you will see a positive change and reinstate your health.
Make Dietary Changes
Avoid coffee, alcohol, chocolate, fatty meals, red meat and the following medications: beta-agonists, nitrates, calcium channel blockers, anticholinergic drugs, hormones (e.g., progestin), and nicotine. All of these will exacerbate symptoms of GERD.
Increase consumption of green leafy vegetables and fruits, especially strawberries, apples and cranberries. Strawberries, due to their high level of antioxidants, have been shown to reduce symptoms of GERD. Apples and cranberries, which contain proanthocyanidins, also reduce symptoms of GERD and reduce the onset of Barrett's esophagus. For your convenience, proanthocyanidins can be found in supplement form. Finally, consume whole grains as opposed to animal protein.
- Hydrochloric acid (HCI) which activates enzymes which break down protein.
- Melatonin, while found in the brain, is actually found in higher concentrations in the GI tract. As such, a deficiency in melatonin can actually be the cause of esophageal damage. Thus, increasing your melatonin intake will help reduce symptoms of GERD.
- Deglycyrrhizinated Licorice (DGL) Extract has been used for generations to treat digestive ulcers. Licorice increases mucous secretion and cell proliferation to aid healing. It minimizes indigestion and is a powerful oxidative stress modulator. This protects the delicate lining of the gastrointestinal tract.
- Calcium, magnesium carbonate, and potassium bicarbonate neutralize stomach acidity. In fact, they are usually the main ingredient found in antacids.
- Vitamin C, & E are both anti-inflammatory and have been shown to reduce esophageal cancer.
- Vitamin E and N-acetyl cysteine are also helpful in limiting symptoms of GERDS.
Please come into Metro Integrative Pharmacy and we will create a specialized nutritional program designed specifically for your needs.
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This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions about your medical condition. The information in this article is for educational purposes only.