Restore Friendly Bacteria And Protective Lining Of The Gut
As an overgrowth of bad bacteria plays a big factor in GERD and heartburn, restoring a healthy balance of beneficial bacteria is a key factor in its treatment.
Good and bad bacteria are constantly competing for resources, therefore its important that you have sufficient numbers of probiotics to stop and push back the growth of nasty pathogens.
And there are plenty of medical studies that reveal probiotics to be effective at reducing the spread of bad bacteria with conditions such as IBS.
In addition, probiotics can substantially increased the cure rate in people being treated with H.pylor. infections.
The best source of probiotics come from natural foods. Fermented foods have been eaten for their probiotic benefits for thousands of years. In fact, natural fermented foods such as yogurt and kefir contain more friendly bacteria than commercial yogurts and probiotic supplements.
Fermented dairy products may cause issues for those with severe bacterial overgrowth, however there are non-dairy alternatives such as fermented cabbage and kombucha that are easy to make at home.Even so, probiotic supplements are an effective and convenient way to boost your digestive health.
3 surprising risks of poor posture Harvard Medical School Publishing.
Use of a positional therapy device significantly improves nocturnal gastroesophageal reflux symptoms Department of Gastroenterology, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, Ohio, USA.
Causes Of Acid Reflux
When food enters the stomach, there is a valve at the end of the esophagus that should close upon its arrival. If that valve malfunctions, it allows acid to flow back up into your mouth and throat. Thats what causes the sour taste in your mouth when you experience acid reflux.
Some factors that could lead to the problems with the valve closing properly include:
- Having too much pressure placed on the abdomen
- Eating specific types of food
- Your general eating habits
Signs And Symptoms Of Acid Reflux
Heartburn is one of the most common symptoms of acid reflux. People with heartburn feel a burning sensation inside their chest. Heartburn often occurs after consuming a meal. The feeling of heartburn can get more intense during the night.
The location of heartburn discomfort can cause some people to believe they might be having a heart attack. If symptoms of heartburn fail to clear up after taking medication, you should seek immediate medical attention.
Ten common symptoms that people with GERD or other forms of acid reflux experience include:
- Problems swallowing
- The feeling of a lump in your throat
- Regurgitating food or sour liquids
- The onset of or worsening of asthma
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Lactose Intolerance Rather Than Ibs
If trigger foods include dairy products such as milk, cheese, or ice cream, the problem may be lactose intolerance, not IBS. People who have cramping or bloating after only eating dairy products should stop eating these foods for a period of two weeks to see if symptoms subside. If symptoms subside after avoiding dairy, speak with your doctor about the possibility of lactose intolerance. If other non-lactose foods in addition to dairy aggravate your symptoms, you are more likely to have IBS.
Antacids Ppis Lets Make Things Worse
More often than not, people with heartburn or other acid reflux symptoms are prescribed antacids or proton-pump inhibitors. Both of these make heartburn go away, so they must be great medications, right?
Well, not quite. The problem with these medications is that they only treat the symptom, not the underlying cause.
Heartburn, a burning sensation around the center of the chest, happens when stomach acid flows back into the esophagus and irritates the lining of the food pipe.
These medications dont prevent this acidic backflow, instead, they make the contents of the stomach less acidic by neutralizing stomach acids or preventing stomach acid secretion , so that esophagus irritation and chest pain goes away, problem solved.
However, as we have seen above, low stomach acid levels can cause multiple problems.
Nausea, vomiting, constipation, and diarrhea are just some of the common short-term side effects of antacids.
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Rare Symptoms Of Acid Reflux: When You Should Be Worried
Acid reflux may be a common gastrointestinal problem, but it turns out its symptoms are not always that common. From headaches to nerve pain, there are uncommon acid reflux symptoms that can cause alarm and panic to patients.
So, what are rare acid reflux symptoms? Headaches, dizziness, asthma symptoms, and nerve pain are among those considered to be uncommon but safe acid reflux symptoms. On the other hand, fever and intense pain accompanied by left arm pain are just two examples of potential medical emergencies for reflux patients.
Read on to learn more about the lesser known acid reflux symptoms, and whether or not they pose a health risk.
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What Is Laryngopharyngeal Reflux And Should We Treat It
How to treat laryngeal reflux?
Treatment. Laryngopharyngeal reflux can be managed effectively with proper treatment. Lifestyle modifications that may be prescribed include: Elevation of the head of the bed four to six inches. Avoiding alcohol, chocolate and caffeine. Avoiding overeating. Eating or drinking nothing two to three hours before bed. Avoiding greasy, fatty foods.
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Does Acid Reflux Cause Stomach Ulcers
Because both acid reflux and stomach ulcers are associated with a burning sensation, they are often confused. However, they are two very different issues within the body and often require different plans for treatment. But, with similar symptoms, can one actually lead to the other? More specifically, does acid reflux cause stomach ulcers?
Is There Surgery To Treat Gerd
GERD is usually controlled with medications and lifestyle changes . If these dont work, or if you cant take medications for an extended period, surgery may be a solution.
- Laparoscopic antireflux surgery is the standard surgical treatment. Its a minimally invasive procedure that fixes your acid reflux by creating a new valve mechanism at the bottom of your esophagus. The surgeon wraps the upper part of the stomach around the lower portion of the esophagus. This reinforces the lower esophageal sphincter so food wont reflux back into the esophagus.
- LINX deviceimplantation is another minimally invasive surgery. A LINX device is a ring of tiny magnets that are strong enough to keep the junction between the stomach and esophagus closed to refluxing acid but weak enough to allow food to pass through.
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A Pharmacist Can Help With Heartburn And Acid Reflux
Speak to a pharmacist for advice if you keep getting heartburn.
They can recommend medicines called antacids that can help ease your symptoms.
It’s best to take these with food or soon after eating, as this is when you’re most likely to get heartburn. They may also work for longer if taken with food.
What Tests Are Used To Diagnose Gerd
Esophageal acid testing
Esophageal acid testing is considered a gold standard for diagnosing GERD. As discussed previously, the reflux of acid is common in the general population. However, patients with the symptoms or complications of GERD have reflux of more acid than individuals without the symptoms or complications of GERD. Moreover, normal individuals and patients with GERD can be distinguished moderately well from each other by the amount of time that the esophagus contains acid.
The amount of time that the esophagus contains acid is determined by a test called a 24-hour esophageal pH test. For this test, a small tube is passed through the nose and positioned in the esophagus. On the tip of the catheter is a sensor that senses acid. The other end of the catheter exits from the nose, wraps back over the ear, and travels down to the waist, where it is attached to a recorder. Each time acid refluxes back into the esophagus from the stomach, it stimulates the sensor and the recorder records the episode of reflux. After a 20 to 24 hour period of time, the catheter is removed and the record of reflux from the recorder is analyzed.
Esophageal motility testing
Gastric emptying studies
Symptoms of nausea, vomiting, and regurgitation may be due either to abnormal gastric emptying or GERD. An evaluation of gastric emptying, therefore, may be useful in identifying patients whose symptoms are due to abnormal emptying of the stomach rather than to GERD.
Acid perfusion test
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Can Acid Reflux Cause Fever And Chills
Sustained esophagus damage from bile regurgitation can lead to esophagitis, which is the inflammation of the esophagus. Esophagitis can also be caused by infections, abuse of oral medication, and allergies.
Reflux esophagitis is a complication of acid reflux, leading to tissue damage and inflammation. Patients with infectious esophagitis may experience fever, chills, muscle aches, and headaches. Dealing with acid reflux trigger often alleviates esophagitis symptoms.
On the other hand, acid reflux alone doesnt cause fever and chills.
If you are not diagnosed with GERD or esophagitis but are experiencing fever and chills with reflux symptoms, get in touch with your doctor immediately to get more information. You could be experiencing a severe bacterial infection and need antibiotics to get well.
What Is A Stomach Ulcer
First, its important to know what a stomach ulcer actually is. An ulcer is a hole or sore that forms in the lining of the stomach. While several individuals with ulcers experience no symptoms at all, many do.
Symptoms may include burning pain in the upper abdomen that reaches all the way to the back, heartburn, nausea, bloating, a feeling of fullness, or vomiting. Severe symptoms can include vomiting blood, unexplained weight loss, black, tarry stools, appetite changes, feeling faint, and even trouble breathing. With symptoms like these, if an ulcer is left untreated, it can become dangerous.
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Diarrhea At The Other End Of The Scale
If stomach acid levels are low, some bacteria might survive in the stomach and make it to the small intestine.
Bad bacteria might start to grow in the small intestine, causing all kinds of health issues, like stomach pain, nausea, bloating, etc.
This condition is called small intestinal bacterial overgrowth .
Your body is trying to get rid of the bacteria like there is no tomorrow, and you have diarrhea.
Causes Of Heartburn & Acid Reflux
When food or drink is consumed, it passes from the mouth, down the oesophagus into the stomach. A muscular ring which joins the oesophagus to the stomach should ensure that this flow is one way. Acid reflux occurs when this one-way system fails. Then whatever happens to be in your stomach travels in the wrong direction back up into the oesophagus. The stomach makes acid, which aids digestion by breaking down food and drink. Whilst the stomach can resist acid, if it refluxes in sufficient quantities into the oesophagus, it will cause pain . Sometimes the lining of the oesophagus can become inflamed . If the inflammation is severe, ulcers can form.
Lifestyle Factors: There are certain factors which appear to increase the risk of heartburn and reflux. These include:
- Stooping or bending forwards
- Excess Body weight.
Pregnancy: Many women can develop heartburn during the later stages of pregnancy as the growing baby pushes upwards on the stomach. The symptoms will often go once the baby is born but can continue afterwards.
Hiatus Hernia: A hiatus hernia is when part of the stomach slides upwards into the chest by pushing itself through a hole in the diaphragm muscle . The hernia itself rarely causes any symptoms but it does seem to make reflux more likely. For those people who have a large hiatus hernia, surgery may be required.
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Why Omeprazole Is Your Best Treatment Option For Acid Reflux
With moderate to severe cases of acid reflux, making simple lifestyle and dietary changes may not be enough to curb your symptoms. The good news? Prescription drug Omeprazole has been proven to be incredibly effective treatment, alleviating all symptoms!
Take control of your treatment by speaking with one of our online doctors today. They can help you discuss your best course of action, including prescription medication Omeprazole.
The best part? Omeprazole works the same as brand name acid reflux medicationsat a fraction of the cost! It works by reducing stomach acid, effectively preventing recurring episodes of acid reflux. Plus, most adults, including pregnant and breastfeeding women, can safely take Omeprazole.
Schedule a virtual doctors appointment, today.
Tests And Surgery For Heartburn And Acid Reflux
If medicines do not help or your symptoms are severe, a GP may refer you to a specialist for:
- tests to find out what’s causing your symptoms, such as a gastroscopy
- an operation on your stomach to stop acid reflux called a laparoscopic fundoplication
Page last reviewed: 09 September 2020 Next review due: 09 September 2023
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When To See The Doctor About Acid Reflux
You should see a doctor about your acid reflux if it gets to a point where its causing persistent discomfort in your daily life. The condition is not life-threatening, but you can end up with some serious complications.
GERD can lead to chronic inflammation in your esophagus. You could end up with the following conditions if you dont receive proper and timely treatment:
- Esophageal stricture An esophageal stricture forms when your lower esophagus ends up with damage from stomach acids, leading to scar tissue formation. The presence of that scar tissue causes your food pathway to narrow, which causes you to have trouble swallowing your food.
- Esophageal ulcer An esophageal ulcer is a sore that develops when your stomach acid wears away the issue of your esophagus. It can start bleeding, which can cause pain and leads to problems with swallowing.
- Barretts esophagus The damage caused in your lower esophagus tissue by stomach acid can induce changes that increase your risk of developing esophageal cancer.
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You Must Always See Your Gp If:
- You have symptoms like food getting stuck in your oesophagus, frequently being sick or unintentional weight loss
- Lifestyle changes and pharmacy medicines arent helping.
- You have heartburn most days for three weeks or more.
- You have difficulty or pain when swallowing food.
- You have heartburn, indigestion, hiccups or an unpleasant taste in your mouth for three weeks or more.
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How Excess Stomach Acid Is Treated
There are a number of medications that you can take to reduce acid production in the stomach, helping to alleviate heartburn symptoms.
- Histamine 2 blockers : These drugs block histamine receptors which produce gastric acid along the lining of the stomach. They work quickly, often in 15 to 30 minutes, and the effects may last for about 12 hours. Examples are Axid AR , Pepcid Complete or Pepcid AC , Tagamet , and Zantac .
- Proton pump inhibitors : These are another class of potent acid-reducing medications, except their effects last longer than H2 inhibitors, producing relief for as long as 24 hours. The effect is increased when theyre taken for several days in a row. Some commonly sold PPIs are:
Betaine Hcl And Pepsin
Betaine HCL and Pepsin help to replace the low stomach acid. For younger people, this may be a good short term fix while you address the underlying cause, but if you are over 60 years of age it may be a useful long term supplement to help increase your diminished stomach acid levels.
I recommend the Thorne Research Betaine HCL and Pepsin which you can get from or www.iherb.com.
- Follow the lifestyle tips, slow down your eating and eat in a relaxed environment.
- 3CDSA and/or SIBO testing to identify if Helicobacter pylori infection of the stomach or a bacterial overgrowth of the small intestine is the underlying cause. This testing is available through Planet Naturopath and you will be helped with a treatment plan to eliminate these infections.
- 4Replace digestive enzymes and address the inflammation of the mucosa with the recommended supplements.
If you need one on one support to help guide you through this process to help you optimize your digestion and health, you can schedule an appointment with Planet Naturopath here
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When Should I Call The Doctor With Acid Reflux Symptoms
Be sure to call your doctor if you don’t get lasting relief from medications. Also call the doctor right away if you have any “alarm” acid reflux symptoms, such as these:
- Black, tarry, or maroon-colored stools
- Difficulty or pain with swallowing
Other acid reflux symptoms that should prompt a call to your doctor include:
- Asthma-like symptoms, such as wheezing or dry cough
- Hoarseness, especially in the morning
- Chronic sore throat
- Hiccups that don’t let up
- Nausea that lasts for more than a day or two
Sometimes, people confuse the symptoms of heart attack with symptoms of acid reflux disease. That’s because pain in the chest can feel like heartburn. When in doubt, call your doctor.
- Chest pain, pressure, or fullness lasting more than a few minutes or that goes away and comes back
- Pain or discomfort in your neck, shoulder, upper back, or jaw
- Shortness of breath, with or without chest pain
- Dizziness, lightheadedness, or nausea
- Sweating along with chest pain
American Academy of Family Physicians: “Dyspepsia: What It Is and What to Do About It.”
American Academy of Family Physicians: “Heartburn: Hints on Dealing With the Discomfort.”