Acid Reflux: What You Should Know
Heartburn generally occurs as you lie down to sleep, especially if you have just eaten a large meal.
When you awaken in the middle of the night, you have a burning sensation in your throat and a bitter taste in your mouth. Suddenly, an unpalatable substance comes up from your stomach, forcing you to spit it back up.
The pain in your throat and the hoarseness of your voice will subside when you have gotten rid of it. It’s possible that you’ll cough or that your chest may sound wheezy.
What you’ve been experiencing is heartburn, which has absolutely nothing to do with your cardiovascular system.
It occurs when stomach acids, which are normally used to digest your food, rush back into your oesophagus and cause irritation (the long tube between your mouth and your stomach). It is these acids that cause irritation and burning to the lining of your esophageal and throat.
Heartburn is something that everyone encounters every now and again. However, it has the potential to become chronic, i.e. reoccur on a regular basis. A gastroesophageal reflux disease (also known as GORD) is a condition in which you suffer heartburn many times a week (or GERD if you are American).
There are numerous important reasons why the chronic illness should be handled with care.
What happens to your body when you have chronic acid reflux (GORD)
Constant reflux of stomach acid into the esophagus might result in the following symptoms:
1 Dental issues… gastric acids in the mouth can cause significant damage to tooth enamel, necessitating more frequent visits to the dentist than is normally necessary.
… Stomach acid in the throat can cause hoarseness and laryngitis, as well as changes in the tone of the voice… When GORD is treated, these issues, on the other hand, tend to disappear quickly.
When it comes to asthma, research has revealed that up to 80 percent of people with asthma also suffer from persistent acid reflux.  Although it is not known if asthma causes GORD or whether persistent heartburn causes asthma, some medical professionals believe that acid that backs up from the stomach can enter the airways and cause harm.
 Other types of respiratory issues… In addition to chronic bronchitis and persistent cough, GORD has been statistically related to various respiratory diseases such as emphysema, pulmonary fibrosis (scarring of the lungs), and recurrent pneumonia, among others.
 Narrowing of the oesophagus… persistent acid reflux can cause scarring (strictures) in the oesophagus, which can cause the aperture of the oesophagus to become smaller. It may be difficult to swallow as a result of this. It can also produce oesophageal spasms, which might have the appearance of a heart attack (a frightening experience).
The strange thing is that patients who develop strictures actually get some relief from their heartburn… because the constriction prevents stomach acids from refluxing into the esophagus and causing acid reflux.
 Oesophagitis… acid reflux can cause damage to the delicate lining of the oesophagus, which can result in a painful inflammation known as oesophagitis. The acid eventually causes bleeding, and if the bleeding is significant enough, it can travel into the digestive tract and manifest itself as dark tarry stools.
Oesophagitis can also result in painful ulcers on the lining of the oesophagus, which can be quite uncomfortable.
Acid reflux and cancer… in a small number of people, chronic acid reflux can cause Barrett’s oesophagus, a condition in which abnormal cells take the place of damaged cells caused by the acid. Barrett’s oesophagus is a condition in which abnormal cells take the place of damaged cells caused by the acid. These cells have the potential to develop malignant characteristics.
Individuals who have Barrett’s oesophagus are at a higher risk of developing oesophageal cancer. If you smoke, are fat, or are a white guy over the age of 50, your risk of heart disease increases.
Until a few decades ago, cigarette smoking and alcohol use were the leading causes of esophageal cancer. However, during the last 15 years, the incidence of oesophageal and other malignancies of the upper digestive tract caused by GORD has risen to the point that it has become pandemic. This is most likely due to the changes in diets that have occurred in the modern world.
Whatever the underlying reason, it is clear that putting a halt to the backflow is essential. Once you have a clear understanding of what is going on, there are several approaches that may be used to achieve success.
What is the source of heartburn?
The oesophagus connects your pharynx (at the back of your throat) to your stomach and helps you swallow food. The lower oesophageal sphincter (LES), a ring of muscle located at the intersection of the oesophagus and the stomach, regulates the flow of food and liquid into and out of the stomach. The LES functions similarly to a valve, opening and shutting the stomach’s entrance.
With each chew or swallow, the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) opens, allowing food or drink to pass through to the stomach. Once this occurs, the LES shuts, preventing food and digestive fluids from being swallowed back up the oesophagus. LES relaxes with each swallow, allowing the food to pass into your stomach and be digested.
Certain medical disorders might weaken the LES, preventing it from fully shutting when you swallow food or liquids. These are some examples:
Hiatal hernia is a kind of hernia that occurs in the lower abdomen (an abnormality where a part of the stomach slides up into the chest cavity)
Some asthma medications are available over-the-counter.
Stomach emptying is delayed (a consequence of nerve damage, often due to diabetes)
Acid Reflux Facts and Figures
Chronic heartburn is becoming increasingly common in both Europe and America, with around one-third of the populations on both continents suffering from the condition.
Chronic heartburn is strongly associated with being overweight, according to research. Individuals who are overweight have a 50% greater chance of developing GORD than those who are at a healthy weight, according to research. Obese individuals have a 200 percent greater chance of contracting the illness than normal weight individuals.
GORD is more common in diabetics than in non-diabetics. According to a research published in 2008 in the World Journal of Gastroenterology, around 40% of patients with diabetes experience persistent heartburn.
People with diabetes who also have neuropathy or nerve damage as a result of their diabetes, according to the study, are more likely to develop this condition. The study also revealed that persons with both diabetes and neuropathy were more likely to develop the condition, independent of their weight, as compared to people who did not have neuropathy.
Heartburn is treated medically in some cases.
When it comes to treating persistent heartburn, conventional doctors have a number of options.
Antacids like as Tums®, Maalox®, and Rennies® are highly popular among the general population. These medications are available in the form of pills that are chewed or dissolved in the mouth. They operate by neutralizing stomach acid by employing simple mineral salts such as calcium carbonate and magnesium carbonate, which are readily available.
You will get brief respite from your symptoms… but they will only address the symptom and not the underlying cause. Using them, on the other hand, is unlikely to be harmful to your health.
Some clinicians use H2 blockers (more correctly known as histamine H2-receptor antagonists), such as Zantac®, Tagamet®, and Gertac®, to treat patients suffering from allergies. These medicines work by inhibiting the activity of histamine, which is responsible for stimulating the production of stomach acid in the first place. Personally, I’ve found that Gertac®, which contains ranitidine, is a gentle but effective treatment for GORD in my experience.
Acid-blocking medications such as Nexium, Prilosec, and Prevacid, as well as proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs), are used to prevent stomach acid production. There is no way to reverse the damage done by these medications because they target the final step of stomach acid production. These medications are much more effective than H2 blockers, and they can lower stomach acid production by up to 99 percent when used together.
Every year, more than 100 million prescriptions are written for just three medications, generating a whopping US$14 billion in revenue for Big Pharma on just these three medications. When used to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease over an extended period of time, several professional organizations suggest that individuals take the lowest effective PPI dose necessary to achieve the desired therapeutic result. Currently, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States recommends that no more than three 14-day treatment sessions be utilized in a calendar year.
There is a solid explanation for this… here are some of the reasons why inhibiting stomach acid production is not a good idea:
Proton-pump inhibitors are contraindicated in some situations (PPIs)
The parietal cells in your stomach are responsible for secreting the stomach acid that is necessary for digestion. It is the proton pumps that regulate the secretion of the acid, and they are responsible for providing energy for the operation.
As a result, proton-pump inhibitors hinder the proton pumps from performing their functions, lowering the quantity of acid generated by the parietal cells. Acid reflux is prevented as a result (no acid, no reflux!).
Unfortunately, proton pumps may be found in nearly every cell in your body, not only the parietal cells of the stomach, which is a concern. These proton pump systems are essential for the generation of energy, which is employed in a number of processes throughout the body. Despite the fact that this energy can be created in a variety of ways, these activities would be unable to function properly without proton pumps.
While proton-pump inhibitors are meant to interact precisely with the proton-pumps found in the parietal cells of your stomach, research shows that their effects are likely to be widespread and not restricted to the particular acid-producing cells of the stomach as previously thought.
There are several additional compelling arguments against the use of proton-pump inhibitors, including the following:
(1) Stomach acid is a vital component of your immune system’s function.
PPIs are medications that lower the acidity of your stomach. This is hazardous because certain pathogenic bacteria flourish in low-acid conditions, which is toxic in and of itself. One such example is H Pylori, which is a primary cause of stomach and duodenal ulcers, gastritis, and can even lead to gastric cancer in some cases (according to a report in Drug Safety in 2003).
PPIs have been found to change the microorganisms in the gut by decreasing their total diversity, according to a number of recent research. A hazardous pathogen such as Enterococcus, Streptococcus, Staphylococcus, and E. coli is more likely to be found in the intestines of PPI users as a result of this.
A decrease in the stomach’s acidity allows for the passage of many ingested bacteria that enter by the mouth but would otherwise be killed by acid to enter into the gastrointestinal tract. Patients on acid blockers have a higher risk of contracting bacteria such as Clostridium difficile, Campylobacter, Salmonella, Shigella and Listeria, as well as pneumonia when compared to those taking other medicines.
(2) PPIs have been shown to decrease nutritional absorption.
Stomach acid is required for the digestion and absorption of food, including both macro- and micronutrients, and is produced by the stomach. According to research, people who use proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are more likely to suffer from vitamin and mineral deficiencies, such as vitamin B12, vitamin C, calcium, iron, and magnesium.
Achlorhydria is a condition that can occur in people who take acid blockers (a lack of stomach acid). This, along with atrophic gastritis (stomach inflammation), causes bacteria to thrive, allowing them to compete with the host (you!) for the intake of micronutrients such as vitamin B12 and other essential elements.
Several studies have discovered a link between the usage of PPIs and the overall frequency of bone fractures in the senior population. The connection was substantial enough for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States to issue a warning in 2010. According to a more recent study, there is a similar link between PPI usage and bone fractures in adolescents and young adults.
(3) PPIs have a negative impact on the cardiovascular system.
Proton-pump inhibitors, according to the findings of a research published in May 2016, are associated with the premature aging of blood arteries, with the cells losing their capacity to divide and divide into new cells.
Other recent studies have found that those who take proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) have a considerably higher risk of heart attack than people who take other antacid medicines.
PPIs inhibit the creation of nitric oxide, a nutrient that improves lung strength, aids in the pumping of blood and oxygen to your cells, and even aids in the operation of your erectile organ by enabling blood vessels to expand and relax while you are at work.
PPIs have also been shown to have an effect on lysosomes. Those are acid-producing cells in your body that are responsible for clearing away waste. The cells that protect your blood arteries age fast if there isn’t enough acid to eliminate waste from them. A stroke, heart attack, or renal failure can result as a result of this.
(4) Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are harmful to the kidneys.
In a research published in 2016, individuals on proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) were compared to those taking H2 blockers, another popular antacid medicine.
According to the findings of the study, PPI users had a 28 percent increased risk of developing chronic kidney disease and a 96 percent increased risk of developing end-stage renal disease during a five-year period.
(5) PPIs have been shown to impair cognitive performance.
PPI users showed statistically significant deterioration in visual memory, attention, executive function, and the working and planning functions, according to a 2015 research that examined cognitive performance in users of PPIs compared to controls.
Another study conducted in 2016 discovered that frequent PPI users had a 44 percent higher risk of dementia when compared to those who did not use the medication.
It is unclear why this is the case. The activity of proton pumps, on the other hand, is required for communication between brain cells. It is possible that proton pumps in the brain are impacted by PPIs, which are medications that target stomach acid.
(6 ) Rebound reflux (also known as recirculation reflux)
In response to a decrease in stomach acid production, your body releases gastrin, a hormone that promotes the secretion of gastric (stomach) acid by the parietal cells.
As a result, the size of the individual parietal cells increases as well. Larger parietal cells have more proton pumps and are therefore capable of producing greater quantities of stomach acid. The overproduction of stomach acid produced by proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) is referred to as rebound hypersecretion.
The phenomenon of rebound hyper-secretion demonstrates why discontinuing PPI medication is so difficult once you begin using them… long-term use of PPIs alters the physiology of stomach cells fundamentally.
The fundamental difficulty with proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) is that they address the symptoms of a disorder (the generation of acid that flows back up the oesophagus) rather than the underlying cause (a weakening in the lower oesophageal sphincter (LES)) rather than the underlying cause.
When it comes to treating persistent heartburn, there are two major methods that are focused on the underlying reasons of the condition:
Techniques for preventing heartburn
Heartburn treatment options that are natural
The best way to avoid heartburn
Here are some easy steps you may take to avoid heartburn in the future:
Eating more frequent, smaller meals helps digestion simpler and lowers the strain in your stomach that causes reflux to occur.
Eat carefully… digestion begins in the mouth, and chewing your meal completely decreases the risk of acid reflux occurring later.
Avoid wearing tight clothing… wearing tight clothing can put pressure on your stomach, causing food to rise back up into your oesophageal passageway.
Tobacco use should be avoided because it irritates the mucosal membranes of the throat and esophagus. Nicotine also has the additional effect of weakening the oesophageal valve, allowing stomach acid to pass up into the throat.
Drink plenty of water and avoid certain foods such as chocolate, tomatoes and fried foods. Fatty meats should be avoided; choose lean cuts of meat instead. Artificial dressings should be avoided; spicy sauces should be used sparingly; alcohol, cola and other sodas should be avoided; and caffeine should be avoided.
AVOID CERTAIN SPICES… hot spices such as those found in curries and other hot Eastern cuisines as well as cinnamon might irritate your stomach and esophagus, producing pressure that pulls acid back up through the LES. Avoid eating spicy foods…
Peppermint tea should be avoided since it has a tendency to relax the LES, allowing acid to flow back up the oesophagus.
Improve your sleeping position by raising the back of your bed… place short planks of wood between each of your bed’s legs and the floor to raise the pillow-end 4 to 6 inches higher than the foot-end; by sleeping with the pillow-end slightly higher than the foot-end, you will be utilizing gravity to reduce the likelihood of stomach acid flowing back up into your throat… this has been proven to work in my experience.
Individuals who follow these easy methods to avoid acid reflux have fewer and milder episodes of acid reflux as a result of their efforts.
Heartburn treatment options that are natural
There are a number of natural treatments for heartburn that have proven to be effective:
Baking soda is a chemical compound.
Some of these ‘cure’ acid reflux for a period of time at the very least, if not forever. Those who do not give permanent yet effective relief are few and far between.
As a food additive or supplement, D-limonene is a natural extract from orange peel that is considered to be safe for consumption.
According to research conducted at WRC Laboratories in the United States, taking one 1000mg capsule of d-limonene every second day for 20 days can significantly decrease or eradicate acid reflux in the majority of individuals for at least six months. Observations among researchers, as well as other research that has not yet been published, provide credence to this conclusion.
Although D-limonene is a cell rejuvenator, experts are baffled as to why it is so efficient. Some researchers believe that because d-limonene is lighter than water, it floats to the surface of the gastric fluids of your stomach, where it might cause irritation.
When you consume d-limonene, the little burping you experience causes it to be transported directly into the oesophagus. D-limonene may be able to shield the oesophagus from the caustic substances that are regurgitated during acid reflux by covering the oesophagus. This would aid in the healing and strengthening of the lower oesophageal sphincter (LES) as well as the healing of oesophageal erosion.
Also believed to be beneficial is the fact that d-limonene may aid in the flow of food and gastric fluids out of the stomach, reducing the amount of reflux caused by these oesophageal irritants
Aside from this, scientists believe that d-limonene may function as a barrier in the mouth and stomach against bacterial infections, such as those caused by Helicobacter Pylori, which are consumed by food or water. H pylori is a bacteria that attacks the lining of the stomach, resulting in ulcers and potentially stomach cancer.
The Jarrow Formulas D-Limonene, which is sold in health food stores, is widely considered to be the best d-limonene available, according to widely held opinion (or smart advertising).
I recently completed a 30-day regimen of taking one 1000mg pill of Jarrow Formulas D-Limonene (purchased online through Amazon) every day. There were no negative side effects, and it appears to have completely eliminated my acid reflux symptoms.
Magnesium is a mineral that is both soothing and relaxing. It is used as a component in a variety of antacids.
This mineral aids in the relaxation of your LES, allowing it to shut correctly and avoid the backflow of stomach acid that causes heartburn.
Magnesium chloride is more readily absorbed than other magnesium compounds, making it more likely to be beneficial in alleviating your heartburn.
Take 450-500mg once or twice a day to see if it makes a difference. Each dosage should contain around 150 milligrams of magnesium and approximately 350 milligrams of chloride.
Spices like ginger are highly regarded for their health-promoting properties across Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and the Caribbean. The rhizome, or woody root of the plant, contains the majority of the plant’s health-promoting properties.
Ginger is completely brimming with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It possesses antibacterial, antiviral, antioxidant, and anti-parasitic effects, as well as being a natural dye. It has the ability to reduce the agony of heartburn without causing any adverse effects.
Fresh ginger is preferred, however dried ginger can still be used. When purchasing ginger root, make sure it is solid and fresh to the touch. It is possible to store fresh ginger in the refrigerator for up to three weeks or in the freezer for up to six months, provided that it is not peeled.
Cooked foods benefit from the addition of ginger, which may be peeled with a paring knife and mixed into a stir-fry or dropped into homemade chicken soup. Taken as a supplement, however, ginger is not suggested since the ginger in capsules is not easily absorbed or utilized by your body.
Heartburn is treated with ginger tea in Uganda, according to physicians and herbalists. The anti-inflammatory qualities of the root assist to speed up the digestion process by reducing the buildup of gas and by regulating the production of bile and gastric juice.
According to a research published by the Thai Medical Association in 2010, adding a simple ginger tea to your regular diet can constrict your LES and assist avoid the backflow of acid from your stomach.
Here’s a simple recipe to get you started:
Slice or chop a portion of fresh ginger root that has been peeled and chopped into small pieces or slices.
Fill a small saucepan halfway with two cups of water and bring it to a boil.
Cover the pan with the ginger.
Allow it to boil for around 10 minutes.
Tea should be strained before drinking. It can be either hot or cold. You may try adding a touch of cinnamon to the recipe to make it more flavorful.
Two batches each week are prepared and stored in the refrigerator. I drink a chilled glass of water first thing in the morning to wake up and get going.
Bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
When you are experiencing an episode of acid reflux, sodium bicarbonate, often known as baking soda, can provide a very rapid cure.
Simply dissolve a flat teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water, swirl it until it is completely dissolved, and then drink it down immediately. Relief will be felt rather quickly.
Baking soda is effective because it includes bicarbonate, which helps to neutralize the acid in your digestive system.
Although effective, this is not a long-term treatment for persistent heartburn. However, it is a dream come true for a rapid treatment, and there are no negative side effects.