Acid Reflux and Heartburn - Simple Steps to Relief
Effective Strategies to Stop the Burning Fire Within
You may have seen advertisements that say: Acid reflux is a terrible disease that will damage your oesophagus (the relatively straight muscular tube through which food passes down to the stomach) and may lead to cancer. Are these realistic statements, or simply exaggerated claims to hype the sales of over the counter medications?
The truth is that doctors have yet to agree on the causes, treatments, and long-term risks related to heartburn, so take what the ads say with a grain of salt...
Heartburn is the uncomfortable feeling resulting from acid reflux, or GERD, gastroesophageal reflux disease. Heartburn is that burning sensation (hence, the name), you feel at the top of your stomach and in the middle of your chest. And it 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 becomes weak or just relaxes at the wrong time. And when that muscle is open contents from the stomach, including the acid, move up into the oesophagus. Because the oesophagus does not have the protective lining that the stomach does, the acid literally burns the oesophagus.
What Works against acid reflus and heartburn? - Several non-prescription drugs may be effective for mild to moderate acid reflux, such as antacids, which neutralizes 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. Brank names of H2 receptor antagonists include Axid AR, Pepcid AC, Tagamet HB, and Zantac 75. Note that 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 appear to be equally effective, one study did find that Nexium may heal esophageal sores faster.
Homeopathic Remedies - 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 tissues. Aloe Vera juice is another alternative that can act quickly to bring relief. For those with chronic problems, Gamma-oryzanol (rice bran oil) has been found to be useful, And you should also consider adding more choline, pantothenic acid, and thiamin (B Vitamins) to your diet. These natural solutions may provide more effective short-term relief, compared with over the counter medications, as well as provide long-term dietary benefits.
Why Try a Homeopathic Remedy? - The benefits of natural solutions are that they are usually less costly and reduce the chances of becoming reliant on a particular solution. Natural solutions tend to treat the cause as much as the affect, leading to longterm relief. 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 reach varied conclusions. 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 gthe chances of 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 most people. Still it is wise to work on relieving this condition longterm regardless of what current studies state about the risks of cancer developing.
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.
About the author: Andrew Kelly is a long term sufferer from Acid Reflux-Heartburn, he has dedicated years to finding the latest treatment and relief strategies and tips to help everyone cure the burning. Visit this link for more tips: www.acidrefluxfree.com Circulated by Article Emporium
Publisher's Note: Pay attention to what you are eating... And notice how your stomach reacts. Often, a change in diet will make a great improvement in preventing heartburn and acid reflux.
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