Scottsdale Acupuncture


Treating Acid Reflux Holistically – Part 2

Posted Tuesday, September 9th, 2014 by

acid reflux, acupuncture, scottsdale

This blog post is the second part of a series titled “Treating Acid Reflux Holistically”. If you’ve not already done so, we urge you to read part one, which provides background information about this condition, the statistics of those suffering from it, and some of its causes and symptoms. Please click here to view that posts: [Link]

What is the difference between acid reflux and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)?

While it is true that acid reflux and GERD share some similarities in symptoms, there are also important differences between the two. As we noted in part 1 of this blog series, acid reflux is defined as the backward flow of stomach acid into the esophagus. When a person is experiencing acid reflux, there is often a sour liquid taste or the taste of regurgitated food. There may also be a feeling of heartburn.

GERD is characterized by an abnormal frequency or amount of reflux. It can result in heartburn, hoarseness, chest pain, and—although rarely—asthma. It may also be associated with Barrett’s esophagus and esophageal cancer.

The best way to understand the difference between acid reflux and GERD is that acid reflux is when stomach acid backs up into the esophagus, while GERD is a disease of which acid reflux is a part. [Link]

What foods can help alleviate acid reflux?

One of the best ways to help treat acid reflux is to eliminate foods that can exacerbate this condition. In the first part of this series we provided a list of foods that can cause acid reflux. After these items have been fully removed from your diet, there are a variety of foods that can help to alleviate the symptoms. Consuming the right foods is essential to properly treating acid reflux. It’s vital that a person analyzes his diet fully—and then makes the necessary changes.

Some foods that can help reduce (and possibly help to eliminate) acid reflux are oatmeal, aloe vera, banana, ginger, salad, melon, fish and seafood, chicken, turkey, fennel, celery, parsley and rice.

Apple cider vinegar has also been used successfully to treat acid reflux. The suggested dosage is one tablespoon, mixed with eight ounces of water, taken three times daily. (It is advisable to dilute the apple cider vinegar in water if you are going to consume it daily as it can degrade tooth enamel.) Although there aren’t many scientific studies that have been done to properly understand why this treatment works, there have been many people who have reported successful results with it.

Japanese plum, which is also called Ume, has been used to provide relief for those suffering with acid reflux. Ume helps with healthy digestion and naturally relieves occasional heartburn due to the soothing blend of organic acid that is naturally found in it. These various acids help the body maintain comfortable pH levels, which is essential for those who have acid reflux. Ume also provides natural minerals such as potassium, phosphorus, sodium, magnesium, iron and calcium—all of which are essential to good health and well-being. [Link]

Studies have shown that drinking alkaline water can help reduce the symptoms of acid reflux. The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) released information about a study that provided alkaline water to people suffering with acid reflux. The NCBI concluded, “unlike conventional drinking water, pH 8.8 alkaline water instantly denatures pepsin, rendering it permanently inactive. In addition, it has good acid-buffering capacity. Thus, the consumption of alkaline water may have therapeutic benefits for patients with reflux disease.” [Link] In a previous blog post titled “The Advantages Of Alkaline Water,” we discussed what alkaline water is, along with its many health benefits. When you have a moment, please check it out.

Can acupuncture help resolve acid reflux?

Traditional Chinese Medicine, which includes acupuncture and Chinese herbs, has been used for thousands of years by millions of people to help resolve illness and promote health and well-being. Acupuncture is a natural way of helping the body heal itself. It uses a holistic perspective in providing relief for people suffering with disharmonies.

A licensed acupuncturist will use differential diagnosis to analyze the problem and provide a proper diagnosis as to what is causing it. There can be many different causes of acid reflux. By obtaining all of the necessary information, the practitioner can develop a treatment plan to alleviate the symptoms while also tending directly to the core issue.

A common TCM diagnosis associated with acid reflux focuses on the interaction between the Liver and the Stomach. From a Traditional Chinese Medical perspective, the Liver—when dysfunctional—can have a tendency to overact onto the Stomach. When this disharmony takes place, issues like acid reflux become prevalent. If this is the correct diagnosis, the practitioner will work toward harmonizing the relationship between the Liver and the Stomach by using acupuncture, Chinese herbs and lifestyle changes. (Please note that this is a very abridged description of a complicated relationship and diagnosis, but for the sake of providing easy-to-understand information, we have done our best to provide an easy-to-understand description.)

We hope that by providing information about acid reflux, you will be better equipped to deal with it naturally—avoiding over-the-counter and prescription medications. Modifying your diet, making lifestyle changes and using Traditional Chinese Medicine can help provide significant and long-lasting relief.