01.09.2015 Naturopathy

Reducing Reflux

We continue Dr Sandra Cabot's discussion of the common condition Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

An Extract from Healthy Bowel Healthy Body by Dr Sandra Cabot

Try these simple techniques to reduce reflux:

If you are overweight, it is vital to lose weight, and the best way to do this is with a diet low in sugar and grains, and high in vegetables and protein.

Meal sizes should be small, as large meals increase pressure inside the stomach.

Do not drink with your meals and confine your fluid intake to between meals.

Do not eat food during the three hours before retiring to bed. It is wise to drink alkaline beverages during this time such as herbal teas, aloe vera juice or celery, mint, cucumber and carrot juice.

Elevate the top of your bed by 6 to 8 inches by placing blocks under the head of the bed or purchase an electric bed with an adjustable slope angle.

Avoid tight fitting clothes around the middle and do not bend over after meals.

Avoid excessive coffee and alcohol and preserved foods. Some people find that spicy food such as chili or curry will aggravate symptoms, so trial and error is required.

A diet low in sugar and deep fried foods will reduce symptoms of heartburn and reflux.

Consume a diet high in vegetables to reduce the symptoms of heartburn.

Raw juices or green smoothies can help to alkalinize the stomach between meals. Alkaline juices or smoothies contain plenty of green produce such as green apples, celery, cucumber, mint, parsley and fennel combined with carrot; these foods alkalinize your gut thereby reducing excess stomach acidity.

If you are taking long term antacid drugs such as PPIs, it is wise to sip organic apple cider vinegar during your meals to increase acid for the digestive processes. Dilute 1 to 2 tablespoons of the apple cider vinegar in 3 tablespoons of water and sip slowly during your meals.

Natural Supplements to reduce reflux:

Magnesium Powder (such as Magnesium Ultrapotent) in a dose of ½ teaspoon twice daily in water or vegetable juices to strengthen the muscular valve between the esophagus and stomach.

Slippery elm powder and/or Aloe Vera juice mixed in vegetable juice or coconut, rice or almond milk, can reduce acidity; take it in between meals. To make your own aloe vera juice see page 262

Selenium is an essential daily supplement for those with chronic reflux because it is a powerful antioxidant that helps to prevent cancerous changes in the esophagus.

Soothing herbal teas are chamomile, marshmallow, alfalfa, meadowsweet, golden seal, and liquorice root.

Glutamine is an amino acid that can reduce inflammation in the lining of the stomach and good results can be achieved by taking one teaspoon of pure glutamine powder twice daily in coconut, dairy or almond milk. For more information see page 31

If you get an acute attack of heartburn it is effective to use an antacid preparation for quick relief. Avoid aluminium containing antacids; instead choose potassium or sodium bicarbonate, magnesium carbonate or hydroxide instead.

Gastritis

Gastritis is inflammation of the inner lining of the stomach.

Gastritis can be caused by:

A poor diet high in sugar, refined carbohydrates or alcohol

Chronic and repetitive vomiting due to many causes, including paralysis of the stomach (gastroparesis)

The overuse of certain medications such as aspirin or other anti-inflammatory drugs

Infection of the stomach with bacteria called Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori). If this is not treated it can lead to peptic ulcers, and in some people, stomach cancer.

Autoimmune inflammation of the stomach lining can damage the stomach so badly that it can no longer produce a naturally occurring substance (intrinsic factor) that is needed to absorb vitamin B12 from the small intestine. This causes pernicious anemia due to vitamin B12 deficiency and can lead to disease of the spinal cord. It is always wise to check your blood levels of vitamin B12, as if they are very low, you could have pernicious anemia due to autoimmune gastritis. Injections of vitamin B12 must be given as it is not possible to absorb vitamin B12 from the diet or from vitamin supplements. Vitamin B12 injections can completely restore your health in such cases. It is important to avoid gluten in the diet if you have autoimmune gastritis and pernicious anemia.

Healthy Bowel Healthy Body by Dr Sandra Cabot is available in all good bookstores or online at cabothealth.com.au

Also available from Amazon and Apple iBooks as an e-book.

Read Part One of this article at http://novamagazine.com.au/article_archive/2015/2015-08-understanding-GERD.html

Dr Sandra Cabot
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