Acid reflux — The backflow of stomach acid into the esophagus. Acid reflux generally occurs because the lower esophageal sphincter relaxes and allows harsh stomach juices to flow into the esophagus. Also known as gastroesophageal reflux.
Acid Reflux Medication — There are three classifications of drugs that treat acid reflux. The first of these is antacids, which neutralize the acid in your stomach and are at best only a temporary fix. Antacids are loaded with harmful ingredients such as sodium and aluminum. The next group of drugs is called H2 Blockers. They reduce the amount of acid that the stomach produces and provide longer lasting relief than antacids. Finally there are the PPI drugs (proton pump inhibitors), which shut off the proton pumps in the stomach that manufacture hydrochloric acid. All of these acid reflux medications have myriad side effects.
Acid suppressors — Acid reflux medicines that slow down the production of acid in the stomach. Proton (or acid) pump inhibitors and H2-receptor antagonists are the two main types of acid suppressors.
Acupuncture — A technique of inserting needles into the acupuncture points on the body in order to restore health and well-being. It is particularly effective in treating pain.
Aloe Vera — Aloe has been called the “burn plant”. For centuries it has been used to put out
the fire externally from sunburn to fire burns. Now, with the advent of aloe juice,
we can successfully put out the fire in our throat, esophagus and stomach. Aloe
has the ability to detox the entire body, as well as help heal the lesions and
irritated tissue caused by acid reflux. Aloe can also be taken in capsule form called AMP (aloe mucilaginous polysaccharides). AMP is the stabilized healing agent that is extracted from the
plant and made 1000 times more potent than juice from the natural aloe leaf.
Allopathic Medicine — The medical science to treating sysmptoms primarily with pharmaceutical drugs.
Antacids — Medications commonly used for the treatment of heartburn. Antacids treat heartburn symptoms as they occur and work by neutralizing acid in the stomach for a short period of time.
Alternative cure or treatment — An approach to healing other than that of allopathic medicine, usually associated without the use of drugs.
Barrett's esophagus — A condition marked by an abnormal lining of the esophagus that develops in response to acid injury. Studies indicate that this condition may be linked to an increased risk of cancer of the esophagus.
Demulcents — A category of herbs and spices
that have a high content of mucilage, and thus are used to soothe and protect irritated or inflamed internal tissues of the body. These include: Marshmallow (
Althaea officinalis), Liquorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) and
Slippery Elm (Ulmus rubra, syn. U. fulva).
Deglycyrrhizinated liquorice. Liquorice contains a naturally occurring substance known as glycyrrhizin. When consumed, glycyrrhizin has been known to raise the blood pressure. Deglycyrrhizinated licorice root extract is a very effective natural supplement to nutritionally support stomach and duodenal mucosa in conditions like acid reflux.
Digestive Enzymes — Digestive enzymes are secreted by various parts of the digestive system and pancreas. They help to break down components of food. In addition to naturally occurring enzymes produced by the body, supplemental digestive enzymes may be taken in capsule form to assist in the digestive process. Vegetable digestive enzymes include; Protease, amylase, lipase, cellulase, dialase, invertase, lactase, pectinase and alpha galactosidase. Digestive enzymes should be taken in conjunction with probiotics, when treating acid reflux.
Dysphagia — Difficulty in swallowing. The muscles of the esophagus perform a series of three separate
rhythmic contractions which push food downward through the LES into the stomach. These contractions are reversed while
regurgitating. It is when this complex operation fails for some reason that we experience difficulty in swallowing. A build up of scar tissue in the esophagus as the result of GERD can be one of the causes.
Electrical Acupoint Stimulation — A high-tech form of acupuncture, which inhibits the transient lower esophageal sphincter relaxations ( TLESRs ) by electrical acupoint stimulation to the
acupuncture point neiguan (Pericardium-6).
— Visual examination of the interior of the body, using a long, flexible, fiberoptic instrument.
Erosive esophagitis — A complication of acid reflux that may result when the esophagus is exposed to gastric fluids over a long period of time.
Esophageal ulcer — A sore or erosion of the esophagus generally caused by excessive exposure to acid.
Esophagitis — An inflammation, irritation or ulceration of the lining of the esophagus. This injury is often caused by the excessive exposure of the esophagus to acid.
Esophagus — The tube-like structure that connects the mouth to the stomach and acts as a passage-way for food. This organ is one of several that make up the digestive system.
Fundoplication — A surgical procedure which entails removing the damaged part of the esophagus and attaching the remaining section to the stomach.
Gastroenterologist — A physician who specializes in disorders and conditions of the gastrointestinal tract.
Gastroesophageal reflux — The backflow of stomach contents into the esophagus. Reflux generally occurs because the lower esophageal sphincter relaxes inappropriately and allows harsh stomach juices to flow into the esophagus. Often referred to as acid reflux.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD — A digestive disorder caused when the acid contents of the stomach regularly back up into the esophagus. Heartburn is the most common symptom of GERD, but regurgitation, difficulty swallowing, chronic cough, hoarseness and a feeling of a lump in the throat may be associated symptoms.
H2 blockers — A type of acid reflux medication that falls into a group known as acid suppressors. These drugs prevent a substance called histamine from stimulating acid production.
Heartburn — A burning discomfort that is generally felt in the chest just behind the breastbone. The burning sensation results when harsh stomach juices come in contact with and irritate the delicate lining of the esophagus. (Also known as acid indigestion or pyrosis).
Hiatal hernia — A condition that occurs when the upper part of the stomach moves into the chest cavity through a hole in the diaphragm, the muscle separating the stomach from the chest. Hiatal hernias do not cause heartburn, but research suggests that people with hiatal hernias may be more likely to experience heartburn episodes.
Homeopathy — A system of medical practice that treats disease by the administration of minute doses of a remedy that would in healthy humans, or animals produce symptoms of the disease treated.
Hydrochloric acid — A powerful acid contained in stomach juices that helps the body break down food. When present in the esophagus, this acid can irritate the lining of the esophagus and cause the sensation known as heartburn.
Also known as dyspepsia, is a painful or burning feeling in the upper abdomen and is usually accompanied by nausea, bloating or gas, a feeling of fullness, and, sometimes, vomiting. While indigestion may be the result of a disease or an ulcer in the digestive tract, most often it is the result of eating too much, eating too quickly, eating high-fat foods, or eating during stressful situations.
Laparoscopy — A surgical proceedure in which ,under general anesthesia, a surgeion makes an incision into the adomen of the patient to examine organs and take biopsies. A slender tubular endoscope is inserted through the incision and used to view the abdominal or pelvic.
Lower esophageal sphincter — The natural valve that keeps stomach contents in the stomach and out of the esophagus. When working properly, this important valve operates like a door, letting food into the stomach but not back up into the esophagus.
LES — Abbreviation for lower esophageal sphincter, the natural valve that keeps stomach contents in the stomach and out of the esophagus. When working properly, this important valve operates like a door, letting food into the stomach but not back up into the esophagus.
MSM — (methylsulfonylmethane) MSM seems to have the power to reduce pain and inflammation. It is currently being used to treat a wide range of ailments including, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, gout and allergies. It has the ability to soften scar tissue.
Natrum Phosphoricum — A homeopathic remedy which treats the symptoms of hyperacidity, indigestion and flatulence. It is also used for the relief of the symptoms of stiffness and swelling of the joints and rheumitism.
Natural Medicine — The science of curing disease at the root level without the use of allopathic pharmaceutical drugs, which only treat the symptoms.
Neiguan (Pericardium-6) — The acupuncture point
related to the treatment for nausea and vomiting. Researchers now believe that pressure applied to this point may also relieve acid reflux. Sea bands or (wrist bands) are now being used for this purpose.
Nissen fundoplication — A surgical proceedured eveloped by Dr. Rudolph Nissen in 1951 that can strenghten the LES by wrapping the upper part of the stomach around it to preven acid reflux and to repair a hiatal hernia, if present.
Pepsin —An enzyme called a gastric protease produced in the mucosal lining of the stomach that acts to break down protein. It is activated by stomach acid and begins the process of degrading protein. In its inactive form it is called pepsinogen.
pH — A scale of measure to determine how acidic or alkaline a substance is, with low pH levels being more acidic and high pH levels being more alkaline. A pH of 4 or less is considered to be detrimental to the esophagus.
Potter's Acidosis — A Brittish herbal formula for the symptomatic relief of indigestion, stomach ache and acid stomach. This remedy, which is not available in the United States, contains meadowsweet, rhubarb and medicinal charcoal. It is believed that if taken on a regular basis, this remedy can help to strenthen the lower esophageal sphincter.
Probiotics — Live microbes which one takes in capsule form as a food
supplement. Probiotics encourage the growth and colonization of healthy
bacteria in the intestines. Healthy gut flora is essential to proper digestion and can be beneficial in treating acid reflux. A good probiotic should contain at least 5 billion microorganisms in each capsule. Acidophilus is the most common strain, however, there are many other beneficial bacteria. The better probiotics contain FOS (fructooligosaccharides), which is a probiotic enhancer in the form of carbohydrate food helping to increase their numbers in the body. In treating acid reflux, digestive enzymes should be taken in conjunction with probiotics.
Promotility agents — Prescription medicines used in the treatment of severe heartburn or GERD. These medications help speed gastric emptying, reducing the amount of time that stomach contents stays in the stomach. They also may help strengthen the LES.
Proton pump inhibitors — Tthe most powerful type of acid suppressors. These acid reflux medications work by preventing acid pumps in the stomach from producing too much acid. Also known as acid pump inhibitors.
Sea Bands — Also called
acupuncture wrist bands, consist of a plastic bottons which apply pressure to the Neiguan, or
pericardium 6 (P6) acupuncture point on the wrist. Application of pressure on the P6 has been used by traditional Chinese medicine to treat nausea for centuries. Recently acupressure on the P6 has shown to be affective in reducing transient lower esophageal sphincter relaxations ( TLESRs ) in 40% of the cases studied. Relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter is the major cause of acid reflux.
Stomach ulcer — A sore or erosion in the lining of the stomach generally caused by two powerful substances in stomach juices – hydrochloric acid and pepsin. A stomach ulcer is an acid-related malady and therefore shares some of the symptoms and therapies as heartburn.