There are a lot of people throughout the world who are suffering from the acid reflux disease and the lives of these people are being greatly affected. There are a lot of people who are using a lot of different remedies to take care of this problem and they find a benefit from acid reflux for a short period of time and then this problem starts to recur again. Well we can easily understand from the name of acid reflux disease that the acid refluxes from the stomach into the esophagus.
The environment of the stomach is acidic and the acid is being constantly produced in the stomach, it must be known that the wall of the stomach is being coated up by the mucosa and it is a protective covering that protects the stomach from the acid corrosion, but the environment of the stomach walls is not the environment of the walls of the esophagus or the walls of the duodenum, which is the first part of the duodenum that is connected to the stomach distally. The normal pH value of the stomach is about 3.0 to 4.0 and it can go as low as to about 1.2. The stomach reaches this pH value because it acts on the food and breaks them down so that they are easily digestible by the duodenum, jejunum, ileum and other parts of the large intestine.
Another thing that is very important to mention here is that the environment of the stomach is entirely different from the environment of the esophagus that is connected to the proximal part of the stomach. The normal pH of the esophagus is between 4.0 and 6.0, which shows that there is a lot difference between the environments of these two structures. The major cause of the gastroesophageal reflux disease is the inability of the lower esophageal sphincter to close properly. When the lower esophageal sphincter is unable to close properly, then the acid just gets propelled from the stomach into the esophagus. Another factor that is related to the gastroesophageal reflux disease is the decrease in the esophageal and gastric motility and delayed gastric emptying along with the inability of proper closure of the lower esophageal sphincter leads to the reflux disease.
Let us have a look at the anatomy of the lower esophageal sphincter. It is a muscular part that joins the esophagus and the stomach and is known as the lower esophageal sphincter or the cardiac sphincter. The purpose of this sphincter is to serve as a valve that separates the esophagus and the stomach and it closes tightly so that the contents of the stomach do not cross into the esophagus. When we eat the food passes from the mouth into the pharynx and then into the esophagus and then the food moves down with the peristaltic movements and causes the lower esophageal to open. It must be taken into account that this valve is a one way valve and it just keeps closed, only opens when the food passes down the esophagus into the stomach and does not allow the contents of the stomach into the esophagus. When there is incompetence of the lower esophageal sphincter, there is regurgitation of the food from the stomach into the esophagus and this causes the heartburn symptoms that is what mostly is being described by a lot of people as a symptom that they are suffering from.
The medicine that a lot of people take to overcome the heartburn symptoms is the PPI, which is also known as the proton pump inhibitor that decreases the acid secretion of the stomach and hence the food that is regurgitated is not that acidic. A lot of people experience side effects from the use of the proton pump inhibitors and thus they try to find alternatives to treat their heartburn symptoms, which are very painful. The most common side effects of the proton pump inhibitors include diarrhea, feeling of being sick, constipation, abdominal pain and headaches. It is rare that proton pump inhibitors cause allergic reactions, itching, dizziness, swollen ankles, muscle and joint pain, blurred vision, depression and dry mouth. Another very important aspect is that these drugs can cause inhibition of the stomach and thus create an ideal environment for the microscopic organisms to grow thus causing infection of the stomach. Apart from the side effects it also causes the people to pay a lot of money to get these medicines and causes a burden on their pocket.
There are a lot of natural remedies that can be adopted to treat the reflux symptoms. The best part of using the natural remedies is that the individual does not have to go through the side effects of the medications, as well as the individual does not have to pay the high cost for the medicines that they have to buy the medicines from. The doctors and physicians just ask the people to not use the natural remedies stating that they cause a lot of side effects and should not be used, which I think is not a just opinion or suggestion because the nature has a lot of remedies for a lot of things and that they are used by a billions of people throughout the world who are using it and are able to manage the symptoms that they are going through. To name some of the natural ingredients that can be found at the grocery stores and health stores include herbs such as marshmallow and slippery elm, which have a lot of beneficial properties for people suffering from the heartburn. Along with that licorice, natural honey, as well as aloe vera also soothes out the esophagus and works wonderful in the healing process.
Another natural remedy that can be used is the chewing gum in which the individual when chews the gum results in the production of the saliva, which is alkaline and thus reduces the acidic nature of the stomach hence reducing acidity. Another way or reducing the acid reflux is by eating at least three hours before the bedtime because if one sleeps after just having dinner then the food will gravitate from the stomach into the esophagus and hence it would cause heartburn. Therefore one should not eat anything just before bedtime. Other things that help the heartburn symptoms include Kukicha Twig Tea, having fruits that are not acidic in nature, bananas, walnuts, lemons, salad etc.
It is very important that the food that you are eating must be alkaline in nature and not acidic and you must also learn as to how to eat the right foods and cook the right way so as to avoid the problem of heartburn. It is also important to avoid eating fatty and greasy food because they also cause the problem of heartburn and indigestion. This must also be kept in mind that the problem of heartburn is going to damage your esophagus and if heartburn persists for longer periods of time, it will cause stricture of the esophagus and will narrow the passage of the esophagus, which will prevent the food from going down into the esophagus. Therefore with these simple remedies we can prevent the problem of heartburn and we can really prevent that just with a wise approach by knowing what is right for us to eat along with the natural remedies.