Scottsdale Acupuncture


Treating Acid Reflux Holistically – Part 1

Posted Thursday, September 4th, 2014 by

acid reflux, stomach, pain, scottsdale, acupuncture

The number of people who have experienced acid reflux has grown steadily in recent times. We have seen many patients at Above & Beyond Acupuncture who have been diagnosed with acid reflux as well as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). The pharmaceutical companies have noted the significant increase in the number of people experiencing symptoms and have provided numerous prescription and over-the-counter medications. Many of these products have undesirable side effects. However, living with the symptoms of acid reflux or GERD is painful, so many people use them anyway. The other issue with taking these medications is that they will only address the symptoms and not resolve the root issue. They provide a temporary solution, but the symptoms likely will return when the person stops taking the medicine.

Since acid reflux and GERD are becoming quite prevalent in western society, we want to present information about these medical issues—what they are and how they can be remedied naturally using a holistic perspective.

What is acid reflux?

The Mayo Clinic describes acid reflux as the backward flow of stomach acid into the esophagus—the tube that connects the throat and stomach. It is important to note that acid reflux is commonly known as gastroesophageal reflux. During an episode of acid reflux, there may be the taste of regurgitated food or sour liquid at the back of the mouth or a burning sensation in the chest (heartburn). [Link] While experiencing these symptoms occasionally may be tolerable to some people, there is a significant portion of the population that deals with acid reflux regularly—and whose quality of life is negatively affected as a result.

What are the statistics of people suffering with acid reflux?

Health & Wellness Digest reports that there are currently 60 million adults who have indicated they suffer with acid reflux at least one time per month. They go on to report that statistics indicate there are at least twenty five million people suffering with acid reflux every day. That means roughly one in fourteen adults is living with painful symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux on a daily basis. [Link]

What causes acid reflux?

To better understand what acid reflux is, it is important to know what can cause it.

First, there are a variety of foods that should be avoided by those who have acid reflux. Spicy, fried or fatty foods, tomatoes, onions, butter, cheese, citrus fruits, chocolate and mint are some items that need to be avoided. Certain beverages like alcohol, soda, tea and coffee can exacerbate acid reflux and should not be consumed.

There are also specific eating behaviors that need to be adjusted if a person has acid reflux. Lying down soon after eating a meal, consuming large meals, eating while lying down or bending over, and eating close to bedtime should all be avoided. Eating smaller meals throughout the day—and not eating within two hours of going to bed—are highly suggested.

Being overweight can play a major role in acid reflux. The current rise in obesity has increased the number of people suffering with acid reflux. Losing weight by exercising and improving diet and nutrition will often fully remedy this situation.

Having a hiatal hernia can also be the source of acid reflux. This type of hernia occurs when there is an anatomical abnormality whereby a small part of the stomach protrudes through the diaphragm and up into the chest. One of the most common symptoms of a hiatal hernia is acid reflux. There are a variety of treatment methods to deal with this issue. We suggest you speak with your doctor before using any natural alternatives.

What are some symptoms of acid reflux?

Earlier in this post we noted that the taste of regurgitated food or sour liquid at the back of the throat is a common element of the acid reflux experience. Heartburn is also a very common symptom. It is described as a burning pain or discomfort that may move from the stomach to the abdomen or chest, or even up into the throat. WebMD shares a list of other symptoms often reported: burping, bloating, weight loss for no known reason, dysphagia (a narrowing of your esophagus, which creates the sensation of food being stuck in the throat), hiccups that don’t let up, nausea, bloody or black stools, bloody vomiting, wheezing, hoarseness, dry cough, or a chronic sore throat. [Link]

In part two of this series we will discuss the difference between acid reflux and GERD. We will also provide information about what foods can help provide relief and discuss natural and holistic treatments that can be used to resolve acid reflux.