Whatever you call it, you need a natural solution.
Digestive issues can stop you from enjoying some of life's simple – and best – things. Meals with your family, events with friends, and your favorite foods can all become a source of pain and discomfort when they cause you to have an upset stomach or an achy gut. Exercise, hobbies, or getting a good night's sleep can be affected.
One of the most common digestion complaints is Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) – also known as heartburn or acid reflux. GERD is a digestive disorder that affects the ring of muscle between your esophagus and your stomach. Most simply, it’s when the contents of your stomach, mainly stomach acid, persistently migrate back up to your esophagus.
- Burning pain in the middle of the chest, "heartburn"
- A feeling of gag-reflex vomiting
Related symptoms from chronic suffering also include:
- Bad breath
- Tooth erosion
- Trouble swallowing
- Trouble breathing
Several factors cause GERD, most of which are in our control. They include lifestyle choices like overeating, consuming caffeine and alcohol, smoking, using over-the-counter medications too frequently, like aspirin or other painkillers, eating certain foods, or eating late at night.
But not all instances are self-induced. Factors like pregnancy, gastritis, ulcers, or allergies can also contribute to GERD.
Traditional treatments to reduce GERD occurrences
The first line of defense against GERD is a change in personal habits.
Common treatments include:
- Adjusting diet
- Lifestyle changes, including quitting smoking
- Over-the-counter antacids
- Not eating close to bedtime
- Wearing looser clothes
Prescription medications like Prilosec, Nexium, Prevacid, and over-the-counter antacids such as Pepcid and Tums are commonly used to treat the symptoms of GERD. However, prolonged use of these medications can have serious side effects – more severe than GERD.
The long-term use of prescription medications for GERD may lead to poor digestion, robbing your body of necessary nutrients. You can expose yourself to Vitamin B12 deficiency, gut infections, kidney damage, and even bone fractures.
The continued use of over-the-counter antacids may lead to muscle weakness, liver problems, and decreased sex drive.
Chiropractic support for reducing GERD occurrences
Your digestive system is intimately connected with your brain and central nervous system. They are in constant communication, sending messages back and forth. Some issues related to gut health, like heartburn, abdominal cramping, and bloating, can be eased by improving your muscular-skeletal alignment.
Suppose you've made the lifestyle changes necessary to reduce GERD symptoms but are still suffering. In that case, chiropractic care can be the next step to avoiding medications. Certain subluxations (misalignment) of the spine may contribute to the spasmodic movement of the stomach valve.