The idea behind Integrative Medicine is to help people heal and get to the root cause of their ailments without using prescription drugs. I’ve had many clients and family members trying to figure out how to stop heartburn, Gastroesophageal reflux, GERD and Acid Reflux. Sadly, they were told by doctors to take drugs to band-aid their problem. Not good! So, I decided to do some investigating and research… to look into what’s really going on inside their bodies and how I can help them get relief without having to pop pills.
These tips will help you keep your symptoms from returning once they’re long gone and they’ll also help any of you from possibly developing any symptoms.
The common confusion with acid reflux and GERD is that people think it’s caused by too much stomach acid. That is NOT the problem – it’s actually caused by not enough stomach acid and the bacteria that overgrows in your stomach and intestines (aka your gut). The goal is to restore adequate stomach acid and eliminate the bacteria overgrowth so that other issues don’t start to flare up. As I’ve mentioned before, 80% of your immune system is in your gut so if you don’t have a healthy gut or if your gut is full of bacteria overgrowth, you’re going to end up with other issues such as acne, asthma, arthritis, eczema, etc.
With a few simply changes in your food and lifestyle, you can eliminate discomfort and pain after you eat. Many acid-suppressing drugs can make your heartburn worse as well as cause other awful issues such as cancer. The sad thing about Western medicine is that they don’t understand the real cause of heartburn and GERD.
So, there’s a few steps to take to get you started with this.
Step 1: Remove the triggers that are contributing to your low stomach acid and overgrowth of bacteria, which is an overgrowth of bad bacteria. See my page on SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacteria Overgrowth) for more info.
Step 2: Add in supplements such as enzymes, stomach acid and nutrients to help your digestion and your overall health. Apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, raw unpasteurized sauerkraut and pickles can be helpful right before you eat food. Also, bitter herbs such as fennel, ginger, milk thistle, peppermint, caraway and wormwood in very small doses can be helpful when used under supervision of an Integrative M.D. Be sure to have yourself checked for B12, calcium, iron, zinc and folic acid by an Integrative M.D. to see if you need supplementation for ideal digestion. Organic homemade bone broth has been very helpful for people to restore nutrients and to feel much better and heal their guts.
Step 3: Restore the good bacteria in your gut and help build back a healthy gut lining from Leaky Gut that was caused due to GERD and acid reflux. Probiotics are a great way to help get your gut back to a healthy balance and protect you from pathogens. Not all probiotics are equal so be sure to work with your Integrative M.D. on what’s best for you before you do more harm then good- yes it’s possible to take too much probiotics or to take the wrong kind and make your gut even worse.
Step 4: Lower your stress levels with deep belly breathing. Lowering your body burden of stress also includes the stress you put on your body by what you are eating and how you eat it. Eating cheeseburgers from McDonald’s and not chewing properly? Hello disaster!
Step 5: Try to remove nightshade vegetables to see if that alleviates your symptoms. Also, stop drinking liquid during meals, especially water because it dilutes the concentration of your stomach acid.