Natural Remedies for Heartburn, GERD

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Natural Remedies for Heartburn, GERD

 

Acid indigestion or heartburn is the excess of digestive juices in the stomach, among which is hydrochloric acid. These juices can flow up into the oesophagus, causing what is known as heartburn and a burning sensation in the throat.

Acid reflux
Also called GERD, gastroesophageal reflux disease, it is a digestive disease in which stomach acid or bile irritates the food pipe lining. Acid reflux and heartburn more than twice a week may indicate GERD. It is quite common. In Nigeria, there are more than 1.5 million cases per year.

Symptoms
Symptoms include burning pain in the chest that usually occurs after eating and worsens when lying down usually at night. It could also be a sensation of acidity and pain in the stomach. At times, this acid rises up to the oesophagus and can produce a strong sensation of discomfort and acidity (heartburn). If this occurs frequently, it can cause retention of liquids, a tendency towards rheumatoid arthritis, headaches, and teeth can become overly sensitive to vinegar and citrus fruits.

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Causes
Heartburn or acid indigestion occurs more frequently when a problem with the kidneys or liver exists. It is also produced from a bad combination of foods or when fruit or juice is consumed after eating meat or other heavy food.

Fruit easily ferments (30 minutes). If you eat meat first, it takes a few hours to digest, thus impeding the fruit to pass on to the small intestine for its digestion. This causes the fruit to ferment in the stomach, which produces indigestion and acidity.

Suggested treatment
Avoid nervousness and anxiety, refined flour and sugar, pepper, stress, alcohol, carbonated drinks, aspirin, red meat, coffee, chocolates and tea.
Do not eat until you are full. “Chew your food slowly” says Dr Samuel Klein of the University of Texas.
Take a strong dose of pure aloe vera. This product neutralises the acidity and regulates pH levels.

Ginger is also a big help in absorbing stomach acid. Include in your diet high alkaline foods like dates, roasted corn, pawpaw and cooked apples.

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Alfalfa in juice or in tablets daily. Alfalfa can help due to high alkalinity. If you like, you can mix it with carrots, guava or pineapple juice and a little honey.

Potato juice is effective against acid indigestion. (Shred a little bit of potato into water, let it sit overnight and then drink it the following day with aloe vera juice).

Do not lie down immediately after eating because this will cause the gastric juices to rise into the oesophagus and throat. If you lie down, keep your head elevated. It is recommended that you do not sleep for at least 2 1/2 hours after you have eaten.

Eliminate fried and fatty foods.
Eliminate stress and anxiety from your life since this is one of the main causes of acid indigestion, gastritis and ulcers.

Compresses with a cold wet rag on the abdomen after eating help to reduce the discomfort from acid indigestion.

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Before a meal, first eat fruits or drink juices alone, and wait a while for these to be digested (30 minutes). If you eat fruit after a meal it cannot be digested quickly and it will begin to ferment, causing digestive and acidity problems.

Warning: Consult your physician, if you have the following symptoms, in addition to acid indigestion: nausea, dizziness, vomiting with blood, pain from the chest extending to the neck and arms.

References:
Guide to Natural Remedies for Health and Well-Being by Enrique Garza Gutierrez BSc, C.Ht.
Recommendations for Nutritional healing by Ijaoba Adebayo
Aloe Vera, A Gateway to Health and Healing by Dr. Ojo Falana
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About the Author:
Mrs. Chima Ejimofor is the Lead Partner of Infinite Health Consult, and is available for the purchase of Forever Living Nutritional Supplements, Health Talks and Wellness Seminars. She is based in Lagos, Nigeria. Telephone/WhatsApp: 07033179632, email: infinitehealthconsult@gmail.co

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