Acid Reflux/Heartburn - Simple Steps to Relief
You've seen the advertisements: Acid reflux is a horrible disease that can cause damage to the oesophagus and lead to cancer. Are these claims realistic, or simply exaggerated to sell over the counter medications? The fact is that doctors don't even agree on the causes, treatments, and long-term risks related to heartburn, so you can believe what you want about the ads.
Heartburn is the uncomfortable feeling resulting from acid reflux, or GERD, gastroesophageal
reflux disease (try saying that out loud a few times). It can feel like a burning sensation
(hence, the name), but can also feel like pressure in the chest, which is why it is sometimes
confused with feelings associated with heart attacks.
Acid reflux occurs when the muscle between the stomach and the oesophagus gets weak or relaxes
at the wrong time. The result is that the stomach contents, including the acid, move up into
the oesophagus. Because the oesophagus doesn't have the protective lining that the stomach
does, the acid literally burns the oesophagus.
Several non-prescription drugs may be effective for mild to moderate acid reflux,
such as antacids, which neutralize stomach acids. These include well-known over the counter
medications such as Tums and Rolaids. Another option is H2 receptor antagonists, which reduce
the production of stomach acids. These include Axid AR, Pepcid AC, Tagamet HB, and Zantac 75.
Pepcid complete is the only of these that combines an antacid with an H2 receptor antagonist.
Which is the best treatment? One study found that Pepcid complete performed better than either
an antacid alone or an H2 receptor antagonist alone.
Prescription drugs prescribed to treat acid reflux are called proton-pump inhibitors. These
include Aciphex, Nexium, Prevacid, Prilosec, and Protonix. While these are equally effective,
one study did find that Nexium may heal esophageal sores faster.
Combined with homeopathic remedies, heartburn may be treated effectively
with less reliance on over the counter or prescription medications. Together, these solutions
may provide the answers where just one solution fails to deliver on the promise.
Natural options that may help reduce GERD include deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL), which may
bring fast relief and help heal damaged lining. Aloe Vera juice may also act quickly to bring
relief. For those with chronic problems, Gamma-oryzanol (rice bran oil) may be useful, as could
choline, pantothenic acid, and thiamin. These natural solutions may provide more effective
short-term relief as well as provide long-term dietary benefits.
Why Try a Homeopathic Remedy?
The benefits of natural solutions is that they are often less
costly and reduce the chances of becoming reliant on a particular solution. Natural solutions
include treating the cause as much as the affect, and experimenting with diet and alternative
treatments may help lessen the cause of the problem. Additionally, all of the homeopathic
remedies mentioned above can be used along with over the counter or prescription medications.
Does Acid Reflux Cause Cancer?
Studies on acid reflux and cancer vary. One study showed that
chronic acid reflux increased the chances of oesophageal cancer by as much as eight times.
Another study determined that the risk of cancer is not nearly as much as was once thought.
Chronic acid reflux can lead to Barrett's oesophagus, or BE, which has been thought to lead to
an increase in cancer. A study conducted by a group of medical doctors found that the risk of
cancer from BE is not as much as previously thought, stating that BE will not cause cancer for
What is not questioned is whether or not acid reflux is uncomfortable. Chronic GERD is
difficult to live with, and experimenting with both traditional medications and natural
remedies may be the best solution. As research continues on the causes and affects of GERD,
additional options are likely to come along.
Andrew Kelly keeps you up to date with the latest Acid Reflux/Heartburn relief tips and strategies. Learn simple and effective methods to help stop the burning. To recieve your free info visit the Acid Reflux Relief Tips
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