GERD is digestive disease which occurs when stomach acid or bile flows into the food pipe and irritates the lining. Having acid reflux and heartburn for more than twice a week is an indicate of GERD. The common symptoms of GERD are burning pain in the chest that usually occurs after eating and worsens when lying down. You can also feel burning feeling in your chest or throat, Regurgitating food or stomach contents, Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia), feel like there’s a lump in your throat, bad breath or experience damage in teeth due to the acid.
What Causes GERD
Dietary and lifestyle choices are the major contributors of GERD in the body. Food choices play a mojor role, like chocolates, fried and fatty food, caffeine and alcoholic beverages. They can trigger heartburn and acid reflux.
Prevalence of GERD in India
A study done by The Indian Society of Gastroenterology claims a weekly prevalence of 7.6% in the Indian population. It also mentions that the prevalence of GERD in pregnant women in the first trimester was 9.5%, and approximately 50% during the second and third semesters. These studies emphasize that the prevalence of GERD in India is likely to be between 8% and 19%, which is comparatively less that its prevalence rates published in western countries. Infact in India GERD was considered to be a disease of the western world. But the numbers have started changing now and there are two reasons mainly that we can establish, one that people are now more conscious about health issues and hence more of them are tested and reported, second being the change in lifestyle and eating habits. The impact of adaptation of ‘western diet and lifestyle’ can be blamed. Also increasing obesity, reducing H. pylori frequency etc. on increase in prevalence of GERD cannot be ruled out.
Conditions that can increase your risk of GERD include:
- Bulging of the top of the stomach up into the diaphragm (hiatal hernia)
- Connective tissue disorders, such as scleroderma
- Delayed stomach emptying
Factors that can aggravate acid reflux include:
- Eating large meals or eating late at night
- Eating certain foods (triggers) such as fatty or fried foods
- Drinking certain beverages, such as alcohol or coffee
- Taking certain medications, such as aspirin
Complication it can lead to
GERD in itself is not life-threatening or dangerous but long-term GERD can lead to more serious health problems:
- Esophagitis: Esophagitis is the irritation and inflammation the stomach acid causes in the lining of the esophagus. Esophagitis can cause ulcers in your esophagus, heartburn, chest pain, bleeding and trouble swallowing.
- Barrett’s esophagus: Barrett’s esophagus is a condition that develops in some people (about 10%) who have long-term GERD. The damage acid reflux can cause over years can change the cells in the lining of the esophagus. Barrett’s esophagus is a risk factor for cancer of the esophagus.
- Esophageal cancer: Cancer that begins in the esophagus is divided into two major types. Adenocarcinoma usually develops in the lower part of the esophagus. This type can develop from Barrett’s esophagus. Squamous cell carcinoma begins in the cells that line the esophagus. This cancer usually affects the upper and middle part of the esophagus.
- Strictures: Sometimes the damaged lining of the esophagus becomes scarred, causing narrowing of the esophagus. These strictures can interfere with eating and drinking by preventing food and liquid from reaching the stomach.
Naturopathy for GERD and home remedies
Medication is definitely an effective way but natural heartburn remedies and lifestyle changes can be another way to get relief are highly effective.
If you are practically living on antacids and popping pills more than twice a week, then you may consider visiting a nearest naturopath or you can contact Dr Reetu Panwar for consultation. She is also available for online consultation.
Here are some natural GERD home remedies:
Banana: Should be consumed empty stomach
Cumin Seeds: 1 spoon seeds boiled in one litre water or general inclusions in cooking
Holy Basil: Tulsi drops to be added to water
Mint: Detox water or like Chatni or general inclusions in cooking
Coriander: Detox water or like Chatni or general inclusions in cooking
Carom Seeds: 1 spoon seeds boiled in one litre water or general inclusions in cooking
Other than these yoga and meditation are also helpful and there are other therapies as well like:
Enema, mud pack, wet pack, Wet sheet pack
Yogic Diet is also very effective as its planned according to your body type. You can contact Dr Reetu Panwar to get yogic diet for your body type.
If you’re struggling with GERD, know that you’re not alone. You can try these home remedy solutions for GERD to alleviate the discomfort of the problem and visit a specialist at the earliest. Here are seven natural GERD home remedy solutions to help reduce the frequency of symptoms.