GERD, or gastroesophageal reflux disease, can wreak havoc on your well-being and lifestyle. After months or years of dealing with heartburn, you may be left feeling exhausted and defeated – especially when prescription medications have not brought you much relief. But it's important not to give up! For many patients who don't respond well to medications, these natural therapies have been extremely helpful in diminishing GERD symptoms.
Chiropractic care is safe, painless, and in most cases, inexpensive. Chiropractors treat GERD by addressing its underlying causes rather than its symptoms. This might not mean immediate relief, but it should mean any relief you experience is more permanent.
In many cases, GERD is caused by failure of the muscles at the bottom of the esophagus to close properly. This allows acidic stomach contents to flow back up into the esophagus, leading to a burning sensation. The muscle at the base of your esophagus may not be closing because a misaligned vertebra is putting pressure on a nerve that controls it. By adjusting your spine to relieve this pressure, your chiropractor can encourage the muscle to close normally again, relieving your GERD symptoms. Your chiropractor may also relieve pressure on nerves related to acid secretion in the stomach. Less acidic stomach contents lead to milder heartburn symptoms.
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Eating Fermented Foods
GERD may be made worse by the presence of a bacterial species called H. pylori in the stomach. This bacteria can impede the action of the glands that release digestive enzymes in your stomach. Digestion is slowed and your stomach becomes too acidic. Some of the medications used to treat GERD are antibiotics intended to fight H. pylori, but unfortunately, a lot of H. pylori bacteria have developed resistance to these antibiotics.
Another way to get rid of H. pylori is to populate your digestive system with helpful, healthy bacteria that will fight against the H. pylori. Fermented foods are great sources of these probiotic bacteria. Try eating lots of yogurt, kefir, and sauerkraut. Alternatively, you can try taking a probiotic supplement from the local health food store. Combine these fermented foods with anti-inflammatory foods like ginger and chamomile tea. These will help decrease inflammation in your esophagus so it does not feel as irritated.
Don't go on living with the pain of GERD just because conventional medications have not helped. Turn to chiropractic care and fermented foods to natural, safe relief.