Acid Reflux-Cause And Solution
Have you ever experienced heart burn? You would have after an elaborate and heavy meal! Lots of people are known to suffer from heart burn or acid reflux without getting proper treatment for it. In the US, Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), which is a serious form of acid reflux is pretty common with 10 to 20 percent of the population suffering from it.
Acid Reflux-Cause And Solution
On a personal note I know a woman suffering with acid reflux, who happens to be my mother’s friend; she eats 8 gelusils in a day to keep her acid reflux in control! When I heard this I was totally shocked. She is under the doctor’s protective wing. The best part about her is that in spite of eating medicines (she has other ailments too, one being diabetes) she is enjoying life thoroughly! She watches movies, meets friends, visits new countries! But one thing she never misses is the visit to her doctor.
Well, let us focus on the topic! But did I stray 😛 ?
Why does acid reflux happen?
You would want to know why acid reflux happens in the first place. Conventionally speaking, acid reflux or heart burn happens due to too much stomach acid. But research has something else to say. According to research done, it has been found that the rate of acid reflux or GERD increases with age whereas the levels of stomach acid generally decline with age. Over 30 percent of people above the age of 60 years experience very little to no secretion of acid. In another study it has been found that 40 percent of the women post menopause do not secrete basal gastric acid.
Studies just say one thing that by suppressing the stomach acid, the problem cannot be solved. It only treats the symptoms.
Current scientific theory of GERD
The current scientific theory states that GERD is caused because of improper functioning of the lower esophageal valve. This valve separates the stomach and the lower end of the esophagus. And what causes the valve dysfunction? Simply put, it is intra-abdominal pressure. So, if you want to get into solving the problem, you should find out what is causing the pressure in the abdomen instead of taking heavy medication.
When it comes to GERD, it is essential to identify the underlying cause. While treating acid reflux, several complex underlying components need to be considered.
What contributes to low stomach acid and digestive inflammation?
The following contribute to low stomach acid and digestive inflammation:
- Following a westernized diet
- Certain food intolerance
- Chronic stress
- Chronic infections
- Environmental toxins
Role of stomach acid
One of the roles of stomach acid is to keep bacterial levels balanced. When stomach acid is low it can cause a condition called SIBO which is short for ‘Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth’. It can lead to poor digestion of food because of decreased secretion of enzymes.
Acid suppressing medications
There are underlying reasons that increase intra abdominal pressure. Usage of medicines that suppress acid would only add on to the woes. Research says that consuming acid suppressing medication can cause gastric bacterial overgrowth.
Maintaining good digestive health
After identifying and removing the underlying problem causing acid reflux, there are some easy ways to maintain good digestive health. They are as follows:
- Taking a digestive enzyme supplement that helps in restoring normal PH levels in the stomach and allows proper digestion.
- Eating fermented food like yoghurt, idli , dosa etc will help in bringing back the balance in the bacterial levels.
- Increasing the consumption of healing fats like coconut oil and cod liver oil will help decrease inflammation, will clean your digestive system and improve digestion.
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