Many of us suffer from acid reflux or heartburn, especially we eat more than we can chew. Eating too much of fatty, rich, spicy or acidic foods, alcohol, or drinking a lot of coffee make things worse. Eating while stressed, on the run, or late at night are actually silent killers. Chronic heartburn or acid reflux is not a minor issue as it can easily develop into gastritis or esophagitis–the condition that erodes and ulcerates the esophagus, which can ultimately lead to cancer of esophagus. Let’s figure out what we can do to get rid of heartburn.
It is estimated that more than 20 percent of the general population is affected by Acid Reflux (GERD). While other groups are impacted, at least half of all asthmatic children experience symptoms, and pregnant women tend to suffer more than the average population.
For some people, eating a heavy, spicy or fatty meal can produce the unmistakable signs of acid reflux. Symptoms can vary from a burning pain in the chest to a sour taste in the mouth as stomach acid and/or regurgitated food flows upward through the esophagus into the oral cavity. Additionally they may experience difficult or painful swallowing, sore throat, a dry, rough voice, or feeling of a lump in the throat that cannot be cleared away.
In western medicine views too much acidity causes Acid Reflux. Some doctors (including myself) think that Heartburn and GERD are NOT caused by too much stomach acid. They are caused by too little stomach acid and bacterial overgrowth in the stomach and intestines. Therefore successful treatment is based on restoring adequate stomach acid production and eliminating bacterial overgrowth.
In Chinese medicine, acid reflux is viewed as rebellious stomach Qi. Typical treatment includes needling on the points to redirect energy downwards, as should naturally happen just after eating or drinking.
Diet is very important in helping to calm symptoms. By all accounts, reduce the intake of “wheat” and sugary foods. Drinking freshly-squeezed lemon in a one cupful of water with a touch of honey and/or eating an apple in an empty stomach, preferably first in the morning, can help tremendously in restoring acidity in the stomach.