Nutrients and Lifestyle Changes To Help Fight Acid Reflux – InVite Health Podcast, Episode 318
Invite Health Podcast, Episode hosted by Amanda Williams, MPH
You’ve probably heard about GERD, which is gastroesophageal reflux disease. This is incredibly common. It’s estimated that close to 20% of Americans experience heartburn on a weekly basis. Most of this comes down to poor dietary choices and following the Standard American Diet, which can certainly exacerbate this condition. We know that the process of digestion is quite intricate. I want to talk about GERD in some detail today and give some tips as to what you can be doing if this is a problem that you or someone you know experience on a regular basis.†
What is GERD?
What GERD actually is is a condition in which the stomach contents are refluxed back into the esophagus. This can create severe discomfort for people who have experienced this. At some point in time, everyone has probably had even a minimal bout of what we categorize as heartburn.†
Many people turn to the over-the-counter heartburn medications like proton pump inhibitors, or PPIs. We know that this is a really big industry. These drugs are heavily promoted, not only by big box pharmacies, but also with physicians. We know that PPIs are among the highest-selling class of drugs in the United States, making over $10 billion every single year. The problem is that long-term use of these medications come with a whole slew of different detrimental side effects.†
A study done out at Stanford and published in the Plos One journal talked about the utilization of proton pump inhibitors and the risk of myocardial infarctions, which is heart attack. They found a strong increased correlation between those who used PPIs on a regular basis and having a multiple-fold increase in terms of cardiovascular mortality.†
Learn more about some other medications commonly used to treat GERD and the side effects that may accompany them by listening to the full podcast episode.
Nutrients and lifestyle changes to help fight acid reflux
There are ways to target your GERD symptoms without the use of prescription or over-the-counter medications that may cause side effects.
First and foremost, we definitely want to avoid foods and beverages that are associated with GERD symptoms. Certain spicy foods, carbonated beverages and alcoholic beverages certainly can exacerbate this, but we also have to look at the balanced or the unbalanced diet that most Americans eat. The bad sugars from bad carbohydrates and sugary beverages that Americans are consuming on a daily basis are not helping the situation.†
We also know that increased body mass can be a problem because it’s going to create additional pressure on the stomach. This actually creates this stress on the esophageal valve. They recognize that people who are obese have a 94% increased risk of developing GERD symptoms.†
We must also see that, when the body is not properly absorbing nutrients, this is going to make things worse. Even for people who have been on PPIs long-term, there can be significant nutrient depletion that occur in things like calcium, magnesium and Vitamin B-12. At minimum, taking a daily multivitamin would be advantageous, as well as supplements that support digestion such as Digestive Hx.†
For more information on nutrients and supplements that can help support your digestion, listen to the full podcast episode.
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What are some ways you fight off acid reflux? Leave us a comment below to join the discussion!