GERD – Gastro Oesophageal Reflux Disorder
Heartburn ,discomfort in upper abdomen are very common presentation of Acid Reflux Disease or GERD (Gastro Oesophagal Reflux Disorder ) and many times neglected by patients thinking it’s a part of their lifestyle or accept that they have to live on antacids for lifetime. 30 % of the population is affected by this disorder.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a chronic digestive disease that occurs when stomach acid flows back into your food oesophagus. The backflow of acid irritates the lining of oesophagus. There can be various reasons for same including dietary factors, improper oesophageal clearance, abnormal lower oesophageal sphinter, reduced tone ,inappropriate relaxation, hiatus hernia , delayed gastric emptying, increase intra abdominal pressure etc.
In normal condition, the muscular sphincter at the junction of lower end of oesophagus and stomach remains close. It only allows food to go into the stomach. In GERD the sphincter gets relaxed or weak allowing the contents of stomach- food and acid to flow back into the oesophagus. This backflow of acid into oesophagus can lead to inflammation of lining causing oesphagitis and may also lead to complications like bleeding, ulceration.
Factors that can contribute to GERD :
- certain medications
- spicy foods, alcohol and caffeine drinks, chocolates
- food allergies
- hiatus hernia
- lying down immediately after eating
as one sees that stress can be one important triggering factory for acidity, many times you will see that patient doesn’t have above factors as in his body or life and still suffers from symptoms of acidity and GERD. Homeopathy therefore also plays an important role as it removes the person’s tendency to GERD and helps not just in relieving symptoms of GERD but also helps in annihilating the tendency to GERD and even gastritis.
Signs and Symptoms:
- Chest pain
- Difficulty swallowing
- Dry cough
- Hoarseness or sore throat
Lifestyle changes may help reduce the frequency of heartburn:
- Maintaining a nearly optimum weight as per your height and age
- Avoid foods and drinks that trigger heartburn
- Avoid heavy and large meals at one go
- Don’t lie down after a meal at least for 3 hours
- Avoid smoking
- Reducing intake of tea and coffee or drinks that contain nicotine/ caffeine
Few food items which work like a natural antacid in most of the cases are :
Cold milk, Ice cream.
Homeopathy for GERD
Homeopathy has a real answer to cases of GERD even in cases who don’t show improvement even after lifestyle modifications. Homeopathic medicine when given on constitutional basis removes the person’s tendency to acidity. For this one needs to see a homeopathic doctor and give the entire case history needed for a homeopathic prescription. The changes or betterment is reported within three to four weeks of starting the treatment and gradually all your symptoms will go away. The triggers which increase your acidity will no longer bother you. And one can lead a acidity free life in real sense. You might have to take the medicine for a longer time that is few months to a year but totally depends from patient to patient and for how long the illness has been there; many times the treatment is over within few months. The benefit achived with homeopathy is that person’s tendency to get the attacks of acidity go away and that’s the biggest benefit.
Indications for few common medicines for acidity are given below: There are some acute remedies which help in acute attack of acidity and give relief from symptoms on immediate basis, but there are many remedies for acidity in homeopathy and you need to ask your doctor for which will suit you best. However, we share some indications of remedies for your reference. Following remedies will give relief from the acute attack of acidity ,gastritis but for people who have a chronic problem and have recurrent acute attacks would need a more deeper remedy covering the constitutional totality of the patient.
Arsenic album is a good drug for burning pain in the stomach which is relieved by drinking sweet milk. The patient craves for cold water and drinks small quantities at a time. Intense nausea and retching and regurgitation. Soreness and tenderness in the epigastrium. Complaints are associated with intense weakness and debility, restlessness and lot of anxiety.
Carbo Vegetabilis: Burning in epigastrium with eructation. Pain in upper abdomen and discomfort. Sensation of fullness and burning in upper abdomen. Pain and heaviness in chest and upper abdomen ,which is relived by erucatations.
Phosphorus : Eructations of food, empty; vomiting of food or blood; vomiting temporarily amel. ice-cold drinks, vomiting as soon as the food becomes warm in stomach. Extreme faintness and goneness in the region of the stomach.
Burning pains after eating, heartburn, ulcers, nausea after coffee. Great thirst before during chill, after stool and diarrhoea. Flatulent colic.burning.colitis.
Nausea and vomiting when pain gets intense. Violent pain especially at pit of stomach, ameliorated pressure, bending double, from vexation, indignation. Colic ameliorated coffee.
Most common and an effective drug for digestive complaints.
Sour eructations, sour water-brash, intense nausea wherein the patient feels relieved only after vomiting. Pain from epigastrium goes to the chest and is better after vomiting. Individual often eats and drinks alcohol in excess.
This is an exclusive remedy for acid reflux in children and adults who are sour smelling. It works well in cases of pronounced acidity where starch digestion is perverted in children. The acidity is accompanied with frontal headache, burning pain in stomach, acrid eructations, sour smelling stools, acrid and greenish vomiting. Their symptoms are worse at night on lying down preventing them from sleeping