Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) …a natural cure?

appleNYC could be considered the “stress capital of the world.” It’s no wonder why so many New Yorkers have GERD – gastroesophageal reflux disease! But, there may be other reasons for this ailment.

According to Healthline, 60% of all adult Americans will experience GERD at some point. Many with GERD, sometimes referred to as “acute acid reflux,” don’t realize that a food allergy may be causing their stomach burning.

According to a friend, biochemist Dr. Tom Brennan, we can develop allergies to the foods we crave or eat most often. Some examples are foods containing wheat, dairy, tomatoes, and more.

Some folks just become sensitive to certain foods such as; wheat, dairy, eggs, tomato-based foods, sugar, chocolate, beef, onions, garlic, fried foods, caffeinated beverages, alcohol, citrus, mint flavorings, and of course; spicy foods.

You can test yourself by eliminating one of these at a time, for a week, and note what happens. If this doesn’t work and you’re still thinking of buying stock in Tums, then you may consider asking your doctor for a food allergy testing.

Other causes of reflux could be:

1. AstraZeneca, maker’s of Nexium, claim that: “The main cause of acid reflux disease is a problem with the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) muscle. This muscle, which is the “valve” between the stomach and the esophagus, normally closes tightly after food has passed through the stomach.

The LES does not stay closed in people with acid reflux disease. When this happens, acid and stomach contents may back up (reflux) into the esophagus. This acid backup can sometimes cause the painful, burning sensation known as heartburn or other symptoms.”


Nexium will work for a short time, especially if you have a constant sore throat from the reflux, but there is concern that it may cause bone weakness and dependency.

2. The stomach contains Helicobacter Pylori. It is a helix-shaped bacterium that feeds on the mucous lining of the stomach. Untreated, it can lead to colorectal polyps and cancer. It is eradicated by antibiotics.

3. Stress – If this is chronic, learn ways to deal with it or see your doctor.

4. Being Overweight – puts added stress on the diaphragm

5. Over Eating – Try to eat until satiated. Often we over-eat because of stress. I’ve found that taking more time between mouthfuls gives me the chance to check-in and notice if I am already full.

6. Smoking – Nicotine gets into your stomach and causes irritation.

7. Wearing clothing around the abdomen that’s too tight is known to aggravate the stomach.

There are many over-the-counter antacids and several prescription H2 Blockers (block acid from forming in the stomach) and Proton Pump Inhibitors that will decrease the acidic levels in the stomach.

“Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) reduce the production of acid by blocking the enzyme in the wall of the stomach that produces acid. Acid is necessary for the formation of most ulcers in the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum, and the reduction of acid with PPIs prevents ulcers that exist in the esophagus, stomach, duodenum to heal.” – Medincinet.com

Personally, I don’t care to ingest man-made chemicals on a regular basis. One thing that Jack Lalanne and I have in common. 

The research shows that none of these medicines cures acid reflux, they just make it manageable. You may have some success with eating foods that are alkaline (Foods that have a Higher PH level that 7, which is neutral.)

Here’s a PH Food Chart that may help:

After extensive searching for an agreeable natural alternative cure. I found one suggestion intriguing. It happened to come from my sister, Dr. Helen Finn.

She suggested trying Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar. Being that vinegar is acidic, I thought that this was a counter-intuitive solution, one I would never have thought.

The idea made me recall Edgar Cayce’s Apple Detox Diet (http://www.cayce.com/apple_diet.htm) that I tried many years ago and had some success.

Here’s an easy and tasty way to drink apple cider vinegar:


1. Add one tablespoon of cider vinegar to a 16-ounce container of hot filtered water.

2. Add a pinch of cinnamon


3. Add honey to taste.


* Honey and cinnamon are ingredients that are soothing to an already acidic stomach. 

Again, the idea of this drink is to align the PH of the stomach to normal levels. It will take several weeks before your stomach is back to normal. Adding weight loss and stress reduction will increase the speed of recovery.

It’s not bad! I call this concoction my healthy version of a “hot totty.”

Drink this a half hour before eating or drinking anything else, first thing upon waking.

A year after starting this routine, I asked my gastroenterologist if he had ever heard of patients using apple cider vinegar to alleviate or cure GERD. He surprisingly said, “Yes, I have. It works. I just don’t recommend it, because most people don’t have the discipline to use apple cider vinegar.”

Wow, he could have saved me a lot of time!

Some herbal practitioners suggest slippery elm or licorice to help tame acid reflux. I’ve tried these and can’t personally recommend them.

 

In conclusion, to get GERD under control or cured, be sure to:

1. Refrain from large quantities of food and drink with typically high levels of acid.

2. Eat slowly, taking time between bites, and chewing well can check the stomach from over-producing digestive juices.

3. Exercise regularly.

4. Lose weight.

5. Consume whole foods; grains, fruits, and vegetables and avoid processed foods.

6. Refrain from over-eating

7. Refrain from eating too close to bedtime. (See Circle and Spear article: Eat Like a King and Lose Weight)

8. Wear loose fitting clothes.

9. Prop up the head of your bed by 7-12 degrees. You can buy plastic bed risers at Amazon.com

10. Try the Bragg Apple Cider. If you don’t see an improvement within a few days, see your doctor.

If you suffer from this disease, please don’t let it go any further.  It could develop into Barrett’s Esophagus (normal esophagus tissue mutates to resemble intestinal tissue), and then possibly cancer of the esophagus.

By getting GERD under control, you will be healthier and happier for it.

Let me know if this helps. Good luck!

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James Finn

Author: James Finn

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