Infomation about Reflux


What Is Reflux

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), commonly known as Reflux, is when acid from the stomach backs up into the esophagus.  It can sometimes get to the point when stomach acid rises into the throat and disturbs the tissue.  The primary reason for this is if the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) isn't functioning properly.  The LES, which food passes through, is the valve at the entrance of your stomach.  If this doesn't close or it opens frequently, acid from the stomach can creep into the esophagus, causing chest pain or heartburn. 

Signs Of Reflux

The most common symptoms associated with GERD or Reflux are chest pain and heartburn.  If the GERD worsens, tissue in the throat will be tender and feel as though it is burning.  If you lay down and the pain doesn't go away after a while, this can be a mild indicator of GERD.  GERD can also occur in people whose bodies don't produce enough acid.  Other signs and symptoms are as follows:

  • Chest Pain (a discomfort, almost burning-like, that moves from the stomach to the abdomen, and even chest)
  • Regurgitation (bitter acid that builds up into the throat or mouth)
  • Burping
  • Bloody or Black Stools (or bloody vomiting)
  • Persistent Hiccups
  • Unexplained Weight Loss
  • Nausea
  • Sore Throat or Dry Cough
What Causes Reflux

A hiatal hernia, a stomach abnormality that occurs when the LES moves above the diaphragm (the muscle between your chest and stomach), is a common indicator of GERD or Reflux.  Rapid weight gain, medication, lifestyle, diet, and sometimes pregnancy can also cause GERD.  Men and women of all ages can experience GERD, or the milder Acid Reflux, and it isn't caused by one particular thing. See the list below for things that cause GERD.

  • Snacking before bedtime
  • Drinking alcohol, soda, coffee, or caffeinated beverages
  • Smoking
  • Taking muscle relaxers like ibuprofin or aspirin
  • Obesity
  • Lying down or bending over after a meal
  • Eating meals that are too large
  • Eating processed foods and spicy foods high in acidity

Dherbs Approach...adjusting your diet is always key!

Natural Remedies
  • An efficient way to remedy GERD or Reflux is to combine 1 teaspoon or 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water.  Because baking soda is a base, it helps neutralize the acid, which causes the burning sensation. Similarly, you can use the same measurement for adding apple cider vinegar to water to help with GERD.  It may seem counterintuitive to ingest apple cider vinegar, which is acidic, but GERD can actually occur in people whose bodies don't produce enough acid. 
  • Drink aloe vera juice because it has anti-inflammatory properties.  Drink about a half cup of aloe vera juice before eating meals.  Note that most aloe vera juices are laxatives, so look for the bottles that indicate the laxative has been removed.
  • If you are overweight or obese, switching to a healthier diet can help reduce symptoms of GERD.  Avoid eating fried foods, citrus fruit, dairy products, processed foods and acidic foods to help your body restore its neutral pH level.  
  • Make ginger or chamomile tea.  Add a few slices of fresh ginger to two cups of hot water (or make chamomile tea) and drink 20-30 minutes before your meal.  Consuming the tea helps bring relief to the acidic sensation you experience with GERD.
  • Instead of drinking caffeine during the day, recharge yourself by taking a short nap in a chair.  Sitting, as opposed to lying down, helps keep the acid down in the stomach. 
Things you should eat
  • Raw Almonds
  • Bananas
  • Ginger Tea
  • Aloe Vera Juice
  • Dark Leafy Greens like Kale, Spinach, or Swiss Chard
  • Fennel
  • Melon (although a small percentage of people with GERD need to avoid this)
  • Roots and Greens like Broccoli, Green Beans, Asparagus and Cauliflower
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