This is just a very quick note to bring to your attention a new program which might be useful for acid reflux sufferers.
It’s called Heartburn No More, and it’s offered by somebody with a lifetime’s experience of acid reflux – who, more to the point, perhaps, has actually managed to alleviate his symptoms by using classic “home remedy” type solutions.
It’s a cliché, I think, that heartburn is caused by a lack of balance in the stomach. In fact, people often think symptoms are due to excess acid, but the truth of the matter is as the people who’ve studied this know, that it’s usually either too little acid, or hiatal hernia which is causing symptoms.
I have a friend who has been to the doctor because of his hiatal hernia symptoms, and has been prescribed omeprazole. A brief look around the Internet will convince anyone who is taking this medication there are considerable dangers associated with it, as well as the obvious benefits.
The most obvious problem is that when you try to stop taking it you suffer an acid rebound effect which makes the symptoms far worse than they were in the first place.
One solution for people in this situation might be to take the approach described in Heartburn No More, together perhaps with some other supporting approach such as one of the older generation of hydrogen blockers like Zantac.
I strongly recommend you do the research on omeprazole before taking it, and certainly if you’re already taking it it’s essential that you inform yourself about the potential side-effects.
In my judgement, Heartburn No More offers one of the best options for people in this situation as it relies entirely on home remedies that are safe, proven and innocuous.
If you happen to have any problems with acid reflux, you might like to explore whether or not a holistic treatment would be helpful.
As we all know, the pain of acid reflux can be quite excruciating, which is hardly surprising when you consider that stomach acid is powerful enough to dissolve bone.
In the face of this assault on the tissues of the esophagus, anything that brings relief is a very welcome remedy, which is why people undoubtedly turn to medication such as proton pump inhibitors to deal with this pernicious problem.
The proton pump inhibitors, or PPIs, as they are known, are very effective indeed at suppressing the symptoms of acid reflux. In fact, they are now the biggest selling medication in the world, and that’s a tribute to their effectiveness.
They are regarded as the remedy of choice for acid reflux, replacing the highly effective hydrogen agonists such as Zantac and Tagamet which preceded them.
Yet a few moments’ research on the Internet will demonstrate that there are many unfortunate side-effects that can potentially arise with this medication. These side-effects include bone demineralization in older people with long-term use, susceptibility to Clostridium difficile infection, and the possibility of more frequent stomach infections due to acid suppression.
He actually makes the point that One cause of acid reflux can be low levels of stomach acid — and that far from suppressing acid production in the stomach, the best approach to dealing with this problem is to rebalance the diet and discover which foods, and what lifestyle, will enable you to overcome the symptoms of acid reflux.
Now this is a controversial approach, at least in terms of conventional medical opinion, but there is plenty of evidence to support Dr Mercola’s viewpoint that proton pump inhibitors are a mixed blessing.
For one thing, when people come off these medications, the symptoms of acid reflux rebound more intensely than before, causing much more discomfort and leading to a form of physical addiction to the drugs in question.
This rebound effects can be dealt with by taking other drugs such as hydrogen agonists like Zantac or Tagamet in small doses while reducing the prescription of Prilosec, Losec, or other branded drug (the generic name being omeprazole or some other variant).
However, if you have any interest whatsoever in holistic medication, then you will know that a far better approach to maintaining good health is to find an established and holistic program of diet lifestyle and food which will enable you to avoid the effects of stress, alcohol, tobacco, and possibly also a hiatal hernia if you happen to have this condition as well, which is often associated with acid reflux.
So this leads us on to the question of where you’re going to find such a program, and how you can ever possibly know if it’s reliable or authentic. The sad fact is that the Internet is overpopulated with programs designed to improve people’s lives in one way or another, but they are very often written by people who are not experts in the field with the sole intention of making money.
Of course I weak arm completely in sport people taking responsibility for their own health care and welfare, but the fact is that there will always be people who need assistance and guidance in selecting the appropriate form of health care for their individual conditions.
Since the symptoms of acid reflux can be so severe and debilitating, it seems entirely reasonable to offer a review of a program that is achieved a certain amount of success on the Internet called No More Heartburn No More, and if you’d like to check this out you can easily find out how it works.
How Can You Deal With Acid Reflux Symptoms?
To start with, check out the best guide to dealing with acid reflux available today. Click the link in the right hand column of this page (in the blue box) –>>
The first and most obvious symptom of acid reflux is heartburn, which is also known as acid indigestion (and sometimes dyspepsia). It’s a burning pain which you feel in the middle of your chest, perhaps moving up into your throat. It’s a strange name, really, because it doesn’t affect your heart, although as you may also know, it’s sometimes possible for symptoms of a heart attack be mistaken for a straightforward case of heartburn. (One of the keys here is if the pain goes down into the arm, something needs immediate medical attention.)
So the question is: what can you do about this horrible symptom of acid reflux? And the answer seems to be that you have a wide variety of options, strating with simple remedies such as buffering the acid with food — in other words, eating something that alleviates the acidity level in the stomach. This isn’t actually very effective, although you may find it gives you slight relief.
The next step in remedying heartburn as a symptom of acid indigestion is to take an antacid tablet, and over-the-counter remedy such as Rennies. There are many varieties of indigestion tablets available, and they may be helpful in dealing with the symptoms of acid reflux to some degree.
Next up are the medications that reduce acid production in the stomach: again there are several varieties to choose from. The longest established pills are histamine-2 blockers, developed in the 70s, and a revolutionary step forward in treating ulcers and stomach problems they were too! The most commonly prescribed — and now available over the counter — is probably Zantac, the chemical name for which is ranitidine, although there many others in the same family (Tagamet to name but one example). The advent of these drugs was a true revolution in dealing with ulcers, because they’re very safe and have few side effects, and are extremely effective. Although described as histamine blockers, these drugs are actually hydrogen receptor antagonists, and decrease the production of acid by the parietal cells of the stomach. They’re widely used to this day in the treatment of symptoms of excess acid production and stomach ulcers.
To some extent drugs like Zantac have been superseded by proton pump inhibitors. These are drugs whose main action is to reduce acid production by irreversibly blocking the hydrogen/potassium adenosine triphosphatase enzyme system of the gastric parietal cells. Because of the way these drugs operate, they are actually much more effective in blocking acid production than hydrogen antagonists like Zantac, and they effectively reduce the secretion of acid in the stomach by as much as 99%. This lack of acid allows ulcers to heal, and obviously reduces the symptoms of acid reflux, as well as eliminating pain from both indigestion and heartburn. Read more here.
Another common symptom all of acid reflux is regurgitation, which is a most unpleasant symptom in which acid moves up into your esophagus, and perhaps even your mouth, producing a sour taste and a burning sensation which can be extremely unpleasant. The so-called “wet burp” or even the vomit that may be produced with acid reflux is both a distressing and uncomfortable symptom of acid reflux. Now, if you’re taking any of the tablets above, the pain of the acid in your esophagus can obviously be significantly reduced; as for eliminating the regurgitation itself, that is a matter of ensuring that you modify your lifestyle so that the likelihood of regurgitation is reduced.
You’ve probably read this advice already, but it includes such things as: losing weight, ensuring that you maintain an upright position and don’t bend forward, raising the head of the bed at night, eating small meals and masticating thoroughly. It’s also possible if you have a hiatal hernia to get medical (surgical) treatment which may be able to remedy the weakness in the esophageal sphincter that is responsible for regurgitation.
The word dyspepsia is applied to a syndrome of acid reflux symptoms: burping, nausea soon after eating, a sense of bloating or fullness in the stomach, and upper abdominal discomfort. If you have this combination of acid reflux symptoms, it’s most likely to occur at night. And it is, in fact, night time GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) which causes most pain. That’s why it’s essential to make sure that you adopt the lifestyle modifications generally recommended to deal with acid reflux – such as raising the head of the bed, and using drugs that are commensurate with the severity of the symptoms of acid reflux in your case.
Now check out the Complete Guide To Dealing with Acid Reflux – you can see a link to it in the right hand column of this page ->>
Addendum: What is a Sign and a Symptom?
“Sign” and “Symptom” are medical terms with slightly different meanings. Symptoms are what a patient notices or feels, and signs are what a doctor can see or measure. So, for example, if a patient feels hot, this is his experience – it is a symptom. When a doctor examines him, and finds his skin is warm and moist, this is a sign.
Other examples: Breathlessness is a symptom (it’s what the patient experiences) but a rapid heart rate is a sign (the doctor can measure it, and does not depend on the patient’s report of the condition to know it exists). And again: Fatigue or tiredness is a symptom, but muscle weakness is a sign that can be tested and measured.
A detailed case history backed up by investigations such as esophageal pH monitoring, barium X-rays, esophageal manometry, and endoscopy are needed for a definite diagnosis of GERD or Barrett’s esophagus.
The best way of diagnosing GERD is esophageal pH monitoring, a test which diagnoses reflux disease objectively by monitoring acidity in the esophagus. (It can also be used to monitor GERD patients after medical or surgical treatment.)
One strategy for diagnosing GERD is to treat it with proton pump inhibitors and then monitor symptoms – any improvement suggests a positive diagnosis. Short-term treatment using well-established proton pump inhibitors can predict symptoms suggestive of GERD.
If a patient does not respond to treatment or has serious dysphagia, anemia, blood in feces, wheezing, weight loss, or voice changes, an endoscy may be required. For those at risk of developing Barrett’s esophagus, or with longstanding GERD, a 5 yearly endoscopy may be recommended so as to monitor the development of dysplasia or precursor lesions indicating the possibility of esophageal adenocarcinoma.
Esophagogastroduodenoscopy – endoscopy – requires a thin scope to be inserted in the mouth down into the eophagus, while the patient is sedated, to examine the surfaces of the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum. Simultaneous biopsies may show edema and non-specific inflammatory changes, as well as inflammation due to reflux or Helicobacter gastritis. Reflux changes may be non-erosive, and so produce “non-erosive reflux disease”.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), also known as gastric reflux disease or acid reflux disease is caused by stomach acid coming up from the stomach into the esophagus. It can lead to mucosal damage in the esophagus.
GERD is often due to changes in the valve between the stomach and the esophagus, including such variations as abnormal relaxation (lack of muscle tension) of the lower esophageal sphincter, a muscle which normally ensures the top of the stomach remains closed; and also impaired expulsion of any accidental reflux from the esophagus; or, very often, it is caused by a hiatal hernia. These changes may either be permanent or transient.
Laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR) or “extraesophageal reflux disease” (EERD) may cause symptoms in the larynx, but unlike GERD, LPR tends not to produce heartburn, giving it the name “silent reflux.”
GERD sometimes causes injury of the esophagus. These injuries may include a condition known as “Reflux Esophagitis”, which involves necrosis (death) of esophageal epithelial tissue – this produces ulcers near the junction of the stomach and esophagus.
Other conditions due to acid reflux symptoms include “Esophageal Strictures” – a condition in which the esophagus narrows because of reflux-induced inflammation; “Barrett’s Esophagus” – where epithelial cells change from squamous to intestinal columnar epithelial cells in the distal esophagus. Ultimately, this may lead to the formation of Esophageal Adenocarcinoma – a rare form of cancer.
Several other symptoms can be associated with GERD, bu only if esophageal injury is also present can they be blamed on acid reflux. This would be the case when any of the following were present: chronic cough, laryngitis, typified by hoarseness and throat clearing, erosion of dental enamel, sinusitis and damaged teeth, asthma, a feeling of choking, or of having a lump in the throat, or pharyngitis.
GERD may be difficult to detect in children, because of their limited capacity to describe what they are feeling. Symptoms range from typical adult symptoms to repeated vomiting, spitting up, coughing, wheezing, crying, refusing food, crying for food and then letting go of bottle or breast then immediately crying for it again, not gaining adequate weight, and belching or burping are also common. No single symptom occurs in all children with GERD: they may show one acid reflux symptom, or several. A large number of children outgrow acid reflux by the age of one year; but some do not, particulalry when there is a family history of GERD.
GERD can cause Barrett’s esophagus, a precursor for carcinoma. Barrett’s espohagus progresses to dysplasia in about 20% of cases. It is because of the risk of chronic heartburn causing Barrett’s, that men and women with persistent acid reflux symptoms should seek medical advice.
Acid reflux is a very well-known condition. About one in five Americans experience acid reflux one or more times every month. It can be a very painful condition, and its seriousness is reflected in the name “acid reflux disease”, although it can also be called gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD for short.
1) Heartburn. This is most commonly known symptom of acid reflux, also called acid indigestion. It takes the form of a burning pain or discomfort, which you feel somewhere at the top of your stomach, or higher up in your abdomen and chest. Sometimes the pain can even be felt in your throat. As you can see from this description, heartburn is not actually related to the heart.
2) Acid Regurgitation. This is a very uncomfortable symptom, which you may know as the taste or feeling of acid leaving the stomach and moving upwards into the esophagus, sometimes far as the mouth. It can produce a burning, sour or bitter feeling, together with what’s known as an “wet burp.” It’s even possible that in some cases you may vomit some of your stomach contents.
3) Dyspepsia. Dyspepsia is a word that we use to mean indigestion, but in fact, medically, it’s a generalized term for discomfort in the area of the stomach, and therefore covers symptoms such as burping, feeling nauseous after you’ve eaten, feeling bloated or full, and more especially experiencing discomfort or pain in the abdomen.
Symptoms of acid reflux can indicate a whole range of conditions from nervous indigestion all the way through to a hiatal hernia. But although the symptoms are extremely common they should not be ignored. For one thing, if untreated, it is possible that stomach acid may damage the lining of your esophagus and cause bleeding or even cancer. More particularly, the sheer discomfort of acid reflux is something that you should not have to suffer.
Acid reflux symptoms are most likely to occur after you’ve eaten a heavy meal, when you’re bending over or lifting something, or when you’re lying down. Sufferers also note a correlation between anxiety and acid reflux, which is unsurprising since the aanxiety-related activity of the sympathetic nervous system is known to inhibit digestion and interfere with peristalsis in the intestines.
It’s noticeable that people who have acid reflux symptoms frequently report that they most often occur at night: to make this worse, it’s nighttime GERD which produces the maximum amount of pain.
It’s important to realize that even if you feel extreme pain from the symptoms of acid reflux, this is not necessarily a symptom of severe damage to your esophagus.
(Note: pregnant women report that they experience heartburn during pregnancy, and this is undoubtedly due to the growing baby inside the uterus, putting pressure on the stomach and causing regurgitation of acid.)
For most people, however, acid reflux is the product of a weakness in the valve where the esophagus enters the stomach, either because the opening in the diaphragm has enlarged, or because the muscles surrounding the esophagus have become weaker. In either case, it’s possible for acid to reflux up the esophagus instead of being contained within the stomach, where a thick layer of mucus prevents it from irritating the wall of the intestines.
When stomach acid is regurgitated upwards into the esophagus, there is no mucus to protect the sensitive tissues from the irritation of the acid. Over a long period of time, this irritation can cause the cells which line the esophagus to become abnormal both in form and color — a condition known as Barrett’s esophagus. This can be a precursor of esophageal cancer.
Symptoms of acid reflux which are indicative of a more serious condition.
If you have any of the symptoms below you should speak to your doctor. The same is true if you don’t get relief from medication which he or she has prescribed, or if you experience heartburn, acid indigestion, or acid reflux more than twice a week over a period of two weeks or more.
1) Unexpected Weight Loss
2) You Start to Vomit Blood (or you see blood in your feces)
3) You Have Difficulty With Swallowing
4) You Have a Chronic Sore Throat
5) You Feel Nauseous After Meals
6) Or You Have Damaged To Your Larynx (because of acid reflux) or a Sore Throat
There have been many cases of confusion between heart problems and acid reflux. For clarity, the symptoms of heart attack which require immediate urgent medical attention include chest pain or feeling of fullness or pressure which last more than a few minutes, perhaps going away and returning; any pain or discomfort in your neck shoulder or jaw; shortness of breath with or without any accompanying chest pain; feeling of nausea, dizziness or lightheadedness, and chest pain accompanied by sweating.