"GERD" oder Gastro-ösophageale Reflux-Krankheit ist auf dem Vormarsch, die kurzfristigen Lösungen um Symptome wie Sodbrennen zu unterdrücken sind jedoch langfristig oft kontraproduktiv.
Typische Refluxbeschwerden sind Sodbrennen, ein brennendes Gefühl in der Brust oder hinter dem Brustbein, saures Aufstossen oder sogar saurer Geschmack im Mund. Dir Prävalenz von saurem Reflux, oder Sodbrennen, breitet sich mehr und mehr aus.
Ausgelöst von bestimmten Speisen oder Getränken, oder zu viel Essen, nehmen es die meisten von uns nicht allzu ernst, insbesondere da diverse Tablettenlösungen die frei erhältlich sind die ersten Symptome recht effektiv lindern können. Das häufigste Missverständnis ist jedoch dass Reflux durch übermässige Produktion von Magensäure verursacht wird. Daher werden in vielen Fällen oft sogenannte Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPI) verschrieben - diese kontrollieren die Säureproduktion in Magen/Darmbereich. Langfristig kann jedoch eine zu geringe Magensäure zu diversen gesundheitlichen Problemen führen.
Lesen Sie mehr zu dazu, sowie Tips hinsichtlich natürlicher Lösungen, (insbesondere durch Ernährungsumstellung sowie spezifischen natürlichen Nahrungsergänzungsmitteln) in englischer Sprache von unserem Partner BioCare. Continue reading in english from our partners BioCare:
Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GERD), associated by the unpleasant feeling of acid in your throat and a burning sensation, is a very common problem. The prevalence of acid reflux is on the rise and most of us have experienced it at some point in our life. Whether it is triggered by a glass of red wine or spicy food, it causes a great deal of discomfort to sufferers. Unfortunately, most people don’t take it seriously and put it down to having too much food or the wrong types. Popping a pill available over the counter, is easy, and can alleviate symptoms quite effectively. However, in reality chronic reflux is often more complex and can lead to ulceration and increases the risk of oesophageal cancer.[i]
The common misconception about reflux is that it is caused by excessive production of stomach acid. While the symptoms of reflux certainly involve acid and the stomach contents regurgitating into the oesophagus, this theory doesn’t explain why it happens. Let’s explore the most current research on the causes of GERD, why suppressing stomach acid production isn’t ideal and what you can do to relieve your symptoms.
THE CRUCIAL ROLE OF STOMACH ACID
Stomach acid is responsible for:
- Breakdown of food in general, especially proteins found in meat, legumes, nuts and seeds etc.
- Forming an acidic barrier to pathogenic bacteria, regulating the population and composition of bacteria in the small intestine.[ii]
- Absorption of minerals and vitamin B12
- Deactivation of environmental antigens (proteins that can cause allergic reactions, if exposed to our immune system).
In about 30% of GERD patients, stomach acidity is actually normal, suggesting other mechanisms.[iii][iv] Insufficient stomach acid production can be caused by certain medications (e.g. anti-histamines, Proton Pump Inhibitors - PPIs), excessive snacking, eating in a rush or mindless eating and deficiencies in nutrients needed for stomach acid production – zinc and B6. Stomach acid production also significantly reduces with age and therefore digestive complaints and indigestion are much more common in the elderly.
Long term, insufficient stomach acid can lead to different complications and further digestive symptoms. These include small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO),[v] IBS[vi], Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhoea[vii] or higher risk of H.pylori infection – the bacteria that is associated with ulcers and gastric cancer. Long term use of acid blocking medication (e.g. omeprazole) can lead to reduced nutrient absorption, in particular iron, [viii] B12[ix] [x] and vitamin C[xi], consequently contributing to the risk of developing anaemia, cardiovascular disease[xii],[xiii] dementia[xiv],[xv] or osteoporosis.[xvi],[xvii]
Another cause of reflux may be the weakening of the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), which separates the stomach from the oesophagus. In between meals, it is supposed to be closed to prevent the backflow of food into the oesophagus. However, when there isn’t enough stomach acid, the food isn’t digested properly, often leading to an overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine (SIBO). These bacteria feed on and ferment undigested carbohydrates resulting in the feeling of fullness, discomfort, bloating and distension. This causes an increase in intra-abdominal pressure (IAP), which relaxes the LES and pushes the stomach contents and acid into the oesophagus. Other factors such as obesity, inflammation (poor diet, smoking, high alcohol intake), high intake of caffeinated drinks, spices, mint and chocolate can all relax LES and make symptoms worse.[xviii],[xix]
KEY STRATEGIES TO ELIMINATE REFLUX
Weight loss: It may be best to see a registered Nutritional Therapist
and/or a Personal Trainer to help you with a personalised weight loss programme.
Low-carbohydrate diet has been show to significantly reduce GERD symptoms.[xx] Avoid all refined sugars and carbohydrates (e.g. pasta,
bread). Simple meals based around a source of protein (meat, fish, eggs, legumes) and vegetables work well. Avoid snacking and eating late in the evening.
- Use healing and soothing herbs that help by coating the stomach lining and regulating acidity:
- Slippery elm mucilage soothes the throat and lining of the stomach and stimulates mucus secretion.[xxi]
- Gamma oryzanol from rice bran oil normalises stomach secretions,[xxii] has potent antioxidant activity and has an anti-ulcer properties.[xxiii]
- Marshmallow soothes irritated mucous membranes and has been used as a remedy for ulcers.[xxiv]
- Deglycyrrhizinated licorice increases production of protective mucus[xxv] and exhibits activity against H. pylori.[xxvi],[xxvii]
Aloe vera has a long tradition of use for its wound healing and
Strengthen connective tissue with glucosamine, chondroitin,
MSM and vitamin C.
Support bacterial balance with probiotics[xxix] and antimicrobial herbs such as garlic[xxx] or cinnamon[xxxi], for their activity against H.pylori.
- Promote effective digestion with digestive enzymes to reduce carbohydrate fermentation, gas production and bloating. If you have ulcers, gastritis or any other tissue damage in the GI tract, use the soothing herbs above before trying digestive enzymes.
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[viii] Shikata T et al. Use of proton pump inhibitors is associated with anaemia in cardiovascular outpatients. Circ J. 2015;79(1):193-200
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