GERD/Acid Reflux

What is it?

Acid reflux happens when contents from your stomach move up into your esophagus. Acid reflux can cause an uncomfortable burning feeling in your chest, which can radiate up toward your neck. This feeling is often known as heartburn. It’s also called acid regurgitation or gastroesophageal reflux. If you have symptoms of acid reflux more than twice a week, you might have a condition known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). The lower esophageal sphincter (LES) is a circular band of muscle at the end of your esophagus. When it’s working properly, it relaxes and opens when you swallow. Then it tightens and closes again afterwards. Acid reflux happens when your LES doesn’t tighten or close properly. Acid reflux is associated with genetic weakness of the lower esophageal sphincter combined with lifestyle habits that chronically stress the lower esophageal sphincter function. There are some individuals who secrete excessive stomach acid or too little acid which provides insufficient signal to close the sphincter. 

Causes

  • Decreased lower esophageal sphincter tone

  • Delayed gastric emptying

  • Increased nocturnal reflux

  • Overeating and gastric distension

  • Smoking

  • Dehydration

  • Sympathetic dominance

  • Lack of chewing

  • Hiatal hernia

  • Increased intra-abdominal pressure

  • "CRAP" C: coffee, cigarettes, chocolate R: refined carbs A: acidic foods, alcohol, allergic foods P: pop, packaged foods, pizza

  • NSAIDS

Allopathic Treatment Options

  • Antacids which should be limisted to very specific situations (Dig Liver Disease 2003; 35 (10):738-46

  • H2 receptor antagonists

  • Proton pump inhibitors which should be used for max 10 days. Decreases necessary enzymes, blood flow, and increases bacterial overgrowth. Associated with Barrett's metaplasia (Arch Surg 2004; 139 (5):541-51) and gastric cancer (Gastric Cancer 2004; 7 (1): 31-5). 

Naturopathic Treatment Options

  1. Discover the root cause to why your body is creating symptoms

  2. Natural, non invasive solutions to support and stimulate the body to heal itself

  3. Chew thoroughly

  4. Nutritional counseling

  5. Cut out "CRAP" C: coffee, cigarettes, chocolate R: refined carbs A: acidic foods, alcohol, allergic foods P: pop, packaged foods, pizza. Dr. Felty can help you with this by providing solutions to improve your nutrition

  6. Find out what foods you are intolerant to through food intolerance testing. Dr. Felty's patients experience relief after removing foods that bother them

  7. Avoid foods that reduce lower esophageal pressure: coffee, tea, alcohol, dairy, orange juice, tomato juice, spicy foods, chocolate. This can be difficult, Dr. Felty can help support you as you slowly change your diet and lifestyle

  8. Increase foods that are alkaline into your diet such as dark leafy greens and vegetables. Dr. Felty can help support you as you slowly change your diet and lifestyle

  9. Medications that decrease lower esophageal pressure: anticholinergic drugs theophylline, cholestyramine, progesterone, calcium channel blockers, diazepam, beta-adrenergic agonsits, alopa adrenergic antagonists, nicotine. If you are taking any of these medications, they could be increasing your symptoms

  10. Correct hypochlorydria or hiatal hernia. Dr. Felty can assess your symptoms and let you know if this might be the root cause to what you are dealing with

  11. Adequate hydration. Drinking enough water?

  12. Weight loss, if needed. Dr. Felty is a weight loss specialist. Many patients who come to her experience long term weight loss that is sustainable. Dr. Felty provides results

  13. Herbs that coat the esophagus. Plant medicine works wonders in helping the body heal itself. Dr. Felty can help you choose the best plants to support your healing

  14. Homeopathic remedies. Homeopathy is known to reduce symptoms without side effects

  15. Lifestyle adjustments unique to your lifestyle and schedule. Dr. Felty looks at more than your symptoms of GERD/reflux. She provides care for your whole health. Many different factors impact your symptoms. Dr. Felty will take time to educate you and work with you to feel better

  16. Counseling

  17. Acupuncture

  18. Hydrotherapy

  19. Homeopathy

With the help of a health care professional like Dr. Felty, you can receive personalized recommendations on how to improve your health. Call today to schedule an appointment to discuss possible solutions.