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Transform Your Health NOW! , Issue #001 Three In-Depth Points about GERD
March 09, 2013

Transform You Health NOW! - Three In-Depth Points About GERD

March 10, 2013

March 2013, Issue #001

Hello! Thanks for joining me on this journey of health transformation!

In this issue…3 points about GERD

  1. If GERD may be a structural problem, how can diet and lifestyle help?
  2. Milk is helpful for GERD, right?
  3. An easy alternative therapy for GERD – with a catch.

If you haven’t had a chance to visit the website recently, I’d recommend you read through at least the first page of these two pages about GERD to understand the background of this month’s Transform Your Health Now! newsletter:

What GERD is, risk factors for it, and what causes it (This is super-important information as it includes some causes you may not have heard about.)

How and Which Probiotics Can Help with GERD

3 Points About GERD

FIRST - You may be wondering how GERD can be helped by the diet and lifestyle changes I mention on the website if it seems to be a structural problem with the esophageal valve.

Here’s the short answer: Sometimes the valve has a problem staying closed because of an actual structural problem. Other times the valve’s ability to stay closed is influenced by chemicals, such as medications or possibly your body’s own chemicals.

However, sometimes the valve has a problem because of the state of the environment in which it has to work. Think about a soda bottle or another fizzy drink like kombucha. In a cool environment, you open the top of the drink and it fizzes a little bit. If you shake that drink and then open the top, you’ll have a more explosive situation on your hands and will have a hard time closing the cap! By shaking the drink, you changed the conditions inside the bottle and the stressors on the cap.

Your esophageal valve is like that bottle cap. If the valve has to work against, for example,

  • too much food in the stomach
  • undigested food in the stomach from insufficient acid or enzymes
  • and/or excess gas backing up from the intestines from incomplete digestion, constipation, food sensitivity and/or unbalanced flora

Then the valve has a harder time staying closed. Sometimes fixing those problems can fix the GERD. Probiotics and digestive enzymes are very useful for these problems. And probiotics are useful against unnecessary inflammation in the gut (see Why Take Probiotics page on the website).

SECOND - Milk is mentioned as a culprit for GERD. But isn’t a warm glass of milk soothing for digestive upset?

Not in the long run. Milk may seem to help, because it can temporarily coat the mucous membranes in the throat and stomach, but in the long run, milk actually increases the amount of acid your stomach makes. So you may feel better while actually getting worse. If you have an allergy to or sensitivity to milk, that only further complicates the picture.

THIRD - Peppermint, is mentioned as an alternative therapy for heartburn and indigestion. How does it help? What’s the catch?

The catch is that although people are always asking me for a magic bullet replacement for a medication they are on, peppermint alone will not solve your GERD problem. Nor will any single herbal remedy. You must address the root causes of the reflux problem, which means you have to approach it from all angles, looking at the usual and unusual causes of GERD and fixing, those one-by-one.

As mentioned on the “What is GERD?” web page, making a simple change, such as sleeping on one of the recommended bed wedges, can help your reflux. Bed wedges don’t get rid of the root cause, but they do help with the symptoms and can make your life more comfortable.

What about other herbals? Many herbals have antioxidant properties which are helpful in an inflammation state like GERD. However, you can’t eat an inflammatory diet, not exercise and not take care of yourself and expect a little pill to make up for it.

Eating more fresh or lightly-steamed vegetables, lean protein, and some fruit and healthy fats, along with using herbs and spices, will help to make your body less inflammatory (unless you are sensitive or allergic to one of them, of course). In general, the less inflammation, the less disease state you will experience.

But now, about peppermint...

Peppermint is known as an antispasmodic, meaning it helps to reduce spasms in the intestines. It also helps reduce the formation of gas, helps your body expel any gas that forms, and stimulates your liver to make more bile to help break down fats in your small intestine so that your digestion of fats is better.

Peppermint tea may cause heartburn if your valve has a problem, as peppermint may also contribute to relaxation of the esophageal sphincter muscle. So instead of tea, enteric-coated peppermint oil gels may help with GERD. The enteric coating prevents the release of the oil in the stomach and allows it to travel to the small and large intestines where it can relax intestinal muscles.

Relaxing those intestinal muscles can get rid of excess gas and prevent back-ups in the plumbing, which can improve GERD. My experience has been that results are seen within an hour or two. It may or may not work for you, and you must decide if it is right for you.

Peppermint gels are found at a health food store or can be purchased on the website. Be sure to buy an enteric-coated product.

Hypersensitivity reactions such as rash, heartburn, muscle tremor or slowed heart rhythm are rare, but possible, and should be seen by a medical professional.

The Wrap Up

GERD can be helped by diet and lifestyle changes, even if it is a problem with the esophageal valve. Milk can aggravate GERD, and that irritation is increased if you have an unknown milk allergy or sensitivity. Peppermint oil enteric-coated gels may provide some relief from your GERD.

Remember, do not discontinue any medications without first talking to your doctor. This information is presented for information purposes only, and is not meant to diagnose, prescribe, treat or cure any mental or physical disease, nor is it a substitute for proper medical care from a qualified healthcare practitioner.

In case you missed them, 4 other pages were added about GERD to the website:

  • Symptoms: GERD symptoms involve more than indigestion and heartburn. Are you sure you know all of the signs and complications of reflux? Do you know how GERD is diagnosed?
  • Antacids: Antacids like Tums are often used for GERD. Some people eat them like candy, figuring that they are helping their bones. Is this the best way to control stomach acid, reflux and indigestion?
  • PPI’s: Proton pump inhibitors like Nexium or omeprazole (Prevacid) are often used for GERD. Is this the best way to control stomach acid, reflux and indigestion? Here’s a look at PPIs.
  • H2 Blockers: H2 blockers such as Zantac or Pepcid are often used for GERD. Can they be used long-term to control stomach acid, reflux and indigestion? Here’s a look at these drugs.

Comments? Questions? Ideas?

I’d love to know what you think. If you found the information helpful, or have comments or questions about it, or ideas you’d like to see addressed, please leave me a message, either by replying to this e-zine, or commenting on one of the webpage links at the beginning of this newsletter, or at Contact Us. Also, feel free to forward this to anyone you think would benefit from it.

If you were forwarded this ezine, and you like what you read, you can subscribe to it yourself at Power of Probiotics.

To your best health,

from PowerOf

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