GASTRIC REFLUX (GERD) OR HEARTBURN
by Lawrence Wilson, MD
î May 2011, The Center For Development
Heartburn or gastric reflux is one of the most common symptoms in doctorÕs offices. In almost all cases, it responds very well to a nutritional balancing program without a need for drugs. In fact, the use of drugs for this condition is very harmful for oneÕs nutrition, as they all reduce acid in the stomach that is needed for proper digestion.
CAUSES FOR GERD OR HEARTBURN
The main causes for heartburn include:
á Stress from any cause, especially at mealtime. This can cause a small portion of the stomach to protrude through the diaphragm. Stress may also aggravate an overacidic condition in the stomach.
á Nutritional imbalances. We find that heartburn or GERD often go away slowly on a nutritional balancing program, indicating that the real cause is a subtle nutritional problem whose exact origin I do not know.
á A general inflammatory condition of the intestinal tract. This can be due to low levels of omega-3 fatty acids, zinc deficiency, biounvailable calcium and magnesium, or other nutritional imbalances in most cases.
á Excessive stomach acid. However, this is actually rare, though it is possible in fast oxidizers. Most people benefit from taking more hydrochloric acid, or even just a little apple cider vinegar in water, since the stomach should be quite acidic for proper digestion.
á Improper diet, usually one that contains wheat, hot spices, sugars or other irritating or inflammatory foods. Overeating may also be a factor, at times.
á Improper eating habits, such as eating too fast, or when one is upset or anxious. Too much anxiety can cause the stomach to protrude a little through the diaphragm, allowing acid from the stomach to flow into the esophagus and irritate it.
á Weakness of the diaphragm in a few cases. This may allow a small part of the stomach to protrude through the diaphragm, allowing acid from the stomach to irritate the esophagus.
á Possibly infection in the stomach or esophagus that irritates it.
WHAT TO DO FOR HEARTBURN OR GERD
Diet and Eating Habits. Some cases respond beautifully to a diet of mainly cooked vegetables and some animal protein. Wheat and all sugar and spicy foods should be eliminated completely. Reducing or even eliminating all the grains for a while may help, if needed, for a while.
Correcting the diet, employing healthy eating habits, and balancing the body chemistry using targeted supplements based on a properly interpreted hair mineral analysis allows the intestinal tract to heal and relax. It also seems to permit a healing or strengthening of the diaphram, perhaps, so that the stomach does not herniated or slip upwards through the diaphram.
Reducing a hiatal hernia. When the top part of the stomach protrubes through the diaphragm, the condition is called a hiatal hernia. One can reduce or get rid of this herniated condition at home in most cases, with no need for special equipment or training. Here is the procedure:
1. Lie down comfortably on your bed or on a carpet. Move your feet toward your buttocks, so that your knees are raised off the bed.
2. Place two fingers of each hand in the hollow spot that is just below your breast bone or sternum. This bone runs vertically in the middle of the chest. At the bottom of it is a small hollow.
3. Breathe in deeply. As you exhale, push your fingers into your abdomen, and then move the fingers downward toward your feet. 4. Repeat this maneuver about 5 times. It will help push the stomach downwards back into the abdominal cavity.
This procedures may need to be repeated a number of times because the hernia can occur again, until the body becomes healthier, which may take months or longer on a nutritional balancing program.
Drug use for GERD. The use of medical drugs for GERD such as Nexium, Protonix and others impairs digestion and this will have long-term adverse consequences. The drugs reduce acid production in the stomach. This improves some symptoms, but then one is less able to digest food, so that oneÕs nutrition suffers. Therefore, drug use is not a good option, in my view.