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GERD

Heartburn seems a simple condition for most of us. Because of this we keep on ignoring this condition and just rely on- OTC products for masking of the symptoms. But GERD can lead you to some serious complications. The most common complications of GERD are:

Esophagitis (damage to the esophagus)

Strictures or sores in the esophagus from frequent irritation, which may cause trouble swallowing or painful throat clearing. These conditions can cause problems that affect eating, weight gain and growth.

Reflux pneumonia (a rare but severe complication of GERD) is an infection of the lungs caused by GERD and may include fever, cough, feeling short of breath and sometimes bloody sputum (mucus). This condition requires prompt treatment with antibiotics to prevent death.

So don't overlook this simple condition of GERD. Don't wait for complications to appear. Ayurveda has a proper cure for this condition of GERD. 

Ayurvedic Cure for GERD

GERD is caused by too much Pitta (fire) in the body. It leads to an over-production of acid which irritates the lower esophageal sphincter and allows stomach content to splash up into the esophagus, resulting in symptoms such as heartburn and a burning sensation in the chest.

Ayurvedic physicians regularly treat GERD with palliative care. They see it as a manifestation of an underlying imbalance that can be addressed through modifications to lifestyle and diet along with scientifically developed Ayurvedic medicines for GERD.

How so? The digestive enzymes in a healthy person have the ability to break down food and make it easy for absorption into the body. Ayurveda describes this as "digestive power" or "digestive capacity". When Pitta, heat, is increased in the body due to stress, spicy foods, caffeine and other stimulants over time this can lead to decreased digestive capacity. People with more fire tend to be less sensitive to hot/peppery/spicy tastes and do not notice heartburn symptoms until they become quite severe.

Ayurvedic treatments focus on calming pitta which reduces heartburn symptoms by restoring digestive power or capacity.

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a digestive disorder caused by stomach contents leaking upward into the esophagus. This article reviews the symptoms, diagnosis and treatment options for GERD in adults.

What Is Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease?

Acid-related damage to the lining of the esophagus causes chronic and painful gastroesophageal reflux disease (gerd). Acidic stomach secretions or bile backs up from your stomach through a sphincter (a muscle that acts like a one-way valve between two structures) into your esophagus. Normally this valve closes tightly so acid stays where it belongs — in your stomach. But when the valve doesn't close properly, acid can flow backward through it and creep up your esophagus. This causes heartburn, a burning sensation behind your breastbone and in the lower part of your throat that may spread to your neck and shoulders.

What Causes GERD?

The main cause of gerd is too much stomach acid (hydrochloric acid). The nerve endings on the topmost layer of cells lining the esophagus tell you when something is potentially harmful or damaging. Hydrochloric acid has this effect on these nerves. When you have an abundance of hydrochloric acid in your stomach, small amounts travel back into your esophagus through a sphincter between them called the lower esophageal sphincter. For this reason, gerd is also called gastroesophageal reflux disease (gerd).

When you have too much hydrochloric acid in your stomach, the gastric juice can come up through that sphincter and cause damage to the lining of the esophagus. Damage to the esophagus from acid erosion causes a condition known as Barrett's esophagus which increases your risk for developing esophageal adenocarcinoma . However, most people with giard don't develop precancerous changes in the cells of their esphaguses although they do suffer from chronic heartburn and other symptoms associated with GERD.

Other factors that increase your risk include:

  1. Obesity.
  2. Smoking habits. Smokers are more prone to esophageal damage than nonsmokers because of the harmful effects of tobacco on the lining tissues of all body organs, including the stomach and esophagus. Smoking also prevents blood flow from reaching damaged areas in these organs, which slows healing and allows gerd to persist longer. For this reason, smokers may require a different treatment plan than nonsmokers do.
  3. Stress can cause or aggravate GERD as well as heartburn, especially when it leads to overeating or eating large meals at night that relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) between your esophagus and stomach. Relaxation of the LES allows hydrochloric acid in your stomach to rush up into your esophagus.

What Symptoms Are Associated With GERD?

Heartburn is a common symptom of gerd, but it's not the only one. Other symptoms include:

Acid regurgitation (also called sour stomach or heartburn) — An often-burning sensation that occurs after you swallow food or fluids and rises from your stomach back toward the top part of your throat. It may occur as long as three hours after you eat and can be most intense when lying down. This feeling is often accompanied by increased salivation. Acid reflux typically occurs because food sits too long in your stomach. Also, if you overeat or smoke, the extra pressure of gas and food in your stomach pushes acid up into your esophagus. The most common foods that trigger heartburn are those with high fat or spicy ingredients (such as cheese, chocolate, pepper, tomatoes, citrus fruits) — these stimulate gastric reflexes and increase muscle contractions that propel stomach contents upward through the LES.

A burning sensation after eating is often a symptom of GERD and not an indication of poor digestion. Heartburn medications tend to mask symptoms rather than treat the cause effectively. Once you're on medication, it's very likely you'll be on it for life since there aren't any real cures for gerd yet. A change in lifestyle would probably have lasting effects without side effects.

A sour or bitter taste in your mouth can be a sign that you're about to experience heartburn or acid regurgitation.

Diarrhea GERD may cause gastric reflux of bile, which may contribute to diarrhea particularly in people who already have irritable bowel syndrome (ibs). IBS occurs when gastrointestinal motility is disturbed due to the fact that the smooth muscles located along the digestive tract wall are hyperactive, while the muscle activity in other parts of the digestive tract are reduced. If you have this problem, your stomach and intestines do not empty food as quickly as they should. As a result, food sits longer than it should causing gas build up and letting bacteria multiply faster than normal.

Other GERD symptoms include:

  1. The sensation of a lump in your throat that causes difficulty swallowing. This symptom can be due to acid reflux and is often accompanied by the feeling of food getting stuck as it moves down your esophagus and into your stomach.
  2. Sore throat, hoarseness, or chronic cough — These persistent, troublesome symptoms may result from bleeding caused by irritation to the vocal cords (aspirated laryngitis) or from aspiration pneumonia.
  3. Esophageal dysmotility syndrome — Pain or discomfort in the chest area when lying flat on your back.
  4. Swallowing difficulties, such as choking sensation during meals or feeling like food is stuck in the middle of your neck after you eat.
  5. A chronic cough caused by GERD may lead to recurrent coughing spells, particularly when there's an increased effort required to bring up secretions.