Panama City Natural Treatment for Acid Reflux / GERD
If you or anyone you know has ever experienced acid reflux disease—more widely known now as gastroesophegal reflux disease (GERD)—you know how disruptive it can be to daily life. As the acid in the stomach backs up or “refluxes” into the esophagus, pain in the chest and stomach, ulcers, heartburn, nausea or vomiting, and dental complications are just some of the symptoms experienced by sufferers, with severe cases leading to stomach cancer or Barrett’s esophagus. Worse, GERD is extremely widespread, with sixty percent of Americans experiencing symptoms in their life according to healthline.com.
Acid Reflux/GERD Causes
In the conventional model, GERD is thought to be caused by too much acid in the stomach. This is treated by daily medications like proton-pump inhibitors or sucralfate, or else by major surgery to wrap part of the stomach around the esophagus. While these procedures do report some success, neither medication nor surgery addresses the root cause of a patient’s pain, which is why Functional Medicine practitioners provide alternative treatments.
Contrary to the conventional understanding, the functional model demonstrates that GERD is caused by not enough acid in the stomach. Although this fact seems counterintuitive, the reason why insufficient stomach acid leads a build up of stomach acid is because the stomach needs to have enough acid to be able to release enzymes that digest food. Undigested food results in fermentation in the gut, which in turn causes a release of carbonic acid. As this carbonic acid builds up in the stomach, it spills over into the esophagus, causing the symptoms described above. What’s more, further inflammation results from the fermentation and putrefaction process from undigested food, causing even more discomfort.
Functional Medicine Treatment for GERD
Understandably, popping pills or reorganizing the digestive system doesn’t do much to treat the effects of fermentation in the stomach. Practitioners of Functional Medicine at wellness centers like the Bay Clinic of Chiropractic thus recommend two main avenues to wellness for GERD sufferers:
- Restore proper function to the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) by training the nervous system for the valve to close. This is achieved by properly administering specific chiropractic adjustments and brain-based therapies.
- Dietary counseling can address the issue at its source and help the body heal by avoiding foods that are pro-inflammatory such as processed foods, gluten, dairy, soy and corn. If there is a mucosal lining problem such as an ulcer or gastritis, it is also wise to avoid acidic foods such as tomatoes, spices, and certain fruits until lining is restored. For all GERD sufferers, carbonated drinks and alcohol should also be avoided, as well as tobacco.
Nutritional support is given in the Bay Clinic’s Panama City, FL chiropractic office to help repair the lining, improve digestion and restore proper functionality through functional neurological and chiropractic-based treatment. We also conduct lab testing for H.Pylori—a bacteria known to be a culprit in GERD and stomach ulcers.