The list of diseases hampering daily routine is endless. However, there are certain health disorders that aggravate conditions difficult to endure. One such symptom is heartburn. Although simple in comprehension, this sign can completely mar your potential to go through your daily chores; be it personal or professional. One of the most potent causes of heartburn is Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). Research demonstrates that approximately 60 million people in the US stand affected by GERD. In fact, in recent times even infants have been observed with the disorder.
Explanation of the Term
GERD is a medical condition involving the digestive system. This disorder disrupts the normal functioning of the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) that is a circular muscle present between the stomach and the esophagus. This disorder encompasses the return movement of the stomach juices towards the esophagus. This action is contrary to the normal process of digestion, wherein the correct functioning of the LES facilitates the passage of food from the esophagus to the stomach by its apt closure once the contents have moved on. Weak or incorrect closure of this sphincter paves way for backward flow.
Symptoms of GERD
One of the most familiar signs of GERD is heartburn, medically termed as acid indigestion. The fundamental characteristic highlighting heartburn includes burning pain or sensation in the chest that commences from the back of the breastbone and travels up to the throat. This basic sign results in a sour or acidic taste in the mouth owing to the backflow of food contents. The pressure or pain experienced due to heartburn can be so unbearable that patients tend to confuse it with the occurrence of a heart attack. Children affected with this medical condition could experience symptoms of coughing and vomiting as well.
The Simplest Way Out
Allopathic doctors generally prescribe histamine-2 blockers as medication for treatment of acid reflux. These medicines are comparatively more powerful than regular over-the-counter remedies. These H2 blockers work best when taken half an hour before meals or prior to bedtime. In severe cases, endoscopic procedures and surgery is recommended. However, even medical practitioners advise certain lifestyle and dietary alterations as the best form of treatment for GERD. So before you experiment with medications having side effects, explore these home remedies that will certainly make you feel better.
- Studies reveal that excessive fat in the abdominal area can intervene the normal functioning of the esophagus. Therefore, make an attempt to reduce your weight by a minimum of 10 percent.
- Cut down on the consumption of caffeine, chocolates, oily and fatty food items, spicy food, alcohol and tobacco. This calls for real restraint as most people survive on fast food!
- Commence your day with a warm glass of water with lemon juice. This concoction when consumed the first thing in the morning naturally soothes the acid content in the stomach.
- Eat raw almonds as a form of snacks. This nut is alkaline in nature and therefore has the potential to balance the pH levels in the stomach.
- Try chewing gum, especially after a meal. The mechanism of chewing gum enhances the functioning of the salivary gland. The heightened level of saliva produced consequently lowers the acid content.
- Drinking chamomile, fenugreek or mint tea is said to also provide some relief to heartburn.
- Explore the benefits of drinking half a cup of water with one tablespoon of baking soda mixed in it. Baking soda has a pH level more than 7 and so this tasteless drink is said to work wonders for acid reflux. However, beware of overusing this remedy as the high salt content could trigger adverse repercussions.
- Aloe Vera has proved its potential in the cosmetic industry. This ingredient is a known remedy for sunburns, therefore drinking half a cup of Aloe Vera juice could soothe your stomach juices as well.
- Eating bananas and apples that are naturally high in antacids could be a convenient solution.
- It may require quite some courage, but engulfing a teaspoon of yellow mustard that is laden with the alkaline properties could ease your reflux symptoms.
Years of research has also put forth certain convenient tips that could surely prove advantageous. These include wearing loose attire, ingesting smaller bites that make it convenient for the stomach to digest, no exercising or lying down immediately after consuming food, eating dinner at least three hours prior to sleep time and sleeping on one’s left side as the contrary exerts more pressure consequently increasing signs of GERD. For those who particularly experience aggravated symptoms at night, slight elevation of head while sleeping is recommended.
As the name itself suggests, heartburn can virtually put your chest and throat on fire. Only the bearer knows how potent this pain and discomfort can be. Before you decide to become slave to those prescription drugs, explore these home remedies. Who knows which one could rescue you from not only the dreaded heartburn but also the long term repercussions of drugs? So, find the easy way out and say a goodbye to that burning sensation.