Acid Reflux, Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, Heartburn, GERD

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a disorder in which contents of the stomach or small intestine repeatedly move back up into the esophagus. Contrary to popular belief, this isn’t necessarily due to having too much acid, but rather acid that is in the wrong place. The esophageal sphincter is supposed to keep the contents of the stomach in place; however if the sphincter relaxes, acid can splash or push up into the esophagus. The most common symptoms are heartburn, regurgitation and trouble swallowing. Other symptoms can include chest pain, coughing, wheezing, belching and excessive saliva production.

Rather than neutralizing with antacids, we recommend implementing simple lifestyle changes as well as a protocol to improve digestion and support stomach acid.

Signs and Symptoms:

  • Regurgitation of food
  • Belching
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Chronic cough, wheezing
  • Sore throat, hoarseness
  • Chest pain

Causes:

  • Pregnancy
  • Obesity
  • Hiatal hernia
  • Recurrent or persistent vomiting
  • Smoking cigarettes
  • Some medications including calcium channel blockers, anticholinergic drugs, iron pills, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, potassium, dopamine, sedatives, bisphosphonates and beta blockers

Risk factors:

  • Heavy Metals
  • Lying down or bending after meal
  • Eating immediately prior to exercise
  • Prior esophageal surgery
  • Esophageal stricture (narrowing of the esophagus)
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Alcohol intake
  • Psychological stress

Initial Treatment:

  • Initially, avoid acidic foods such as tomatoes, citrus fruits/juices as well as chocolate, spearmint/peppermint, coffee, caffeine and spicy foods. Fried and fatty foods can also be problematic. Replace these foods with plenty of fresh vegetables, non-citrus fruits, organic meats, healthy fats from avocados, olive oil, olives, flaxseeds and some nuts. Adding ginger to foods or drinks can be helpful.
  • Avoid bending or lying down after meals
  • Lose weight if needed
  • Stop smoking
  • Consume smaller meals throughout the day rather than larger meals.

Nuritional Supplementation:

Metagest Stomach Acid Support: Features betaine HCl combined with pepsin—a proteolytic enzyme—to complement the natural production of digestive agents in the stomach.

Instructions: Begin with ½ tablet with meal and increase dosage to 2 tablets per meal (typically the 3 main meals of the day). If burning occurs with any dosage drop back down to prior dose and continue with that dosage.

SpectraZyme Complete: Provides digestive support with a non-GMO, broad spectrum of non-animal derived enzymes including acid stable lipase and three proteases that function in different pH ranges. This comprehensive enzyme complex is designed to support the healthy digestion of proteins, peptides, carbohydrates, fats, cellulose, maltose, lactose, and sucrose.

Instructions: Take 2 capsules just prior to each main meal of the day (typically the 3 larger meals).

UltraFlora IB, Spectrum, Intensive Care and Balance Probiotics: Provide multidimensional probiotic support for the upper and lower GI tract to support digestion, immune health and promote the integrity of the gastrointestinal barrier.

Instructions: We’ve listed a variety of probiotics to encourage rotating strains regularly to promote a diverse gut flora. Begin with 1 or 2 of the options above and take as directed.

Zinlori: Contains a high-potency, patented zinc-carnosine complex formulated to provide relief of gastric discomforts. Zinc-carnosine supports the healthy ecology, natural defenses, and integrity of the gastric mucosal lining.

Instructions: 2 tablets twice daily between meals then 1 tablet twice daily for maintenance.