Submitted by: Jeff W. Martin
There are typically three principal kinds of treatment for Heartburn: classical medicine, surgical operations and the natural/holistic solution. These methods are very different in the way that they operate and their approach to resolving the different underlying factors, as well as in their effects over the long-term. It s important to select the correct and most effective solution for you and that means getting precise information on the real reasons that lie behind the symptoms of heartburn.
Heartburn is the external manifestation of acid reflux or GERD (gastro-esophageal reflux disease). GERD is what happens when the muscular valve between the esophagus and the stomach is weakened. This valve is also known as the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). When the LES is in a normal, healthy state, it allows food to pass one way into the stomach, but shuts afterwards to prevent acidic stomach contents from being pushed back the opposite way. It is when this muscle relaxes at the wrong moment that acid content refluxes into the esophagus and causes the pain and burning that is known as heartburn.
Physicians habitually treat heartburn and associated problems by prescribing medications, some of which can be bought over the counter. These drugs to treat acid reflux can be further divided into three categories:
, examples being Maalox, Rolaids, Mylanta and Tums. They neutralize stomach acid by creating a covering that envelops the food content.
to reduce acid creation, examples being Pepcid AC, Axid AR and Zantac 75. They diminish acid production in the stomach.
PPI (Proton Pump Inhibitors)
, examples of these being Nexium, Protonix and Prilosec, which act by blocking the stomach cell mechanism that releases acid.
Although short-term alleviation of pain can be effected by these drugs, long-term usage can lead to a number of problems. These drugs do not treat the underlying causes but only the symptoms and they do this by changing the chemical ingredients of the gastric system. The Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery published an article in 2004 to show that PPIs do not help with the frequency of reflux attacks for GERD victims. PPIs simply change the acidic contents into alkali ones. The reflux still occurs in the esophagus with acid content now being changed in to an alkaline bile that may in fact be no better. These drugs in general only have a temporary effect and can also lead to long-term dependency. GERD drugs such as these can also generate many undesirable secondary effects.
The next alternative to drugs is surgical intervention. The surgeon uses the upper part of the stomach to wrap around the lower part of the esophagus in order to reinforce the valve mechanism between the esophagus and the stomach. This is designed to stop the valve opening when it should not, thereby halting the flow back of stomach contents into the esophagus.
This solution is not without its problems however. Risks and secondary effects include cramps in the abdomen, diarrhea, nauseous feelings, bloating and problems in swallowing. A patient who relies solely on this is likely to be disappointed as without the right lifestyle of diet alterations, heartburn symptoms can come back again.
The major drawback of these classical methods for resolving heartburn is that they all target local GERD symptoms and give solutions only for reducing the symptom, and not the real cause. They try to decrease the quantity of acid produced, or neutralize the acid or tighten mechanically the LES. Yet in no case are the real causes being addressed.
It is the simultaneous existence of different medical and lifestyle factors that provoke acid reflux. Genetic weakness, fatty foods, being overweight and specific lifestyle and nutrition factors all conspire to weaken the LES which stops it from closing properly. Inner equilibrium can also be perturbed by Candida infection and poor diet and lifestyle habits, including undue stress and inadequate sleep patterns, which lead to excess acidity, toxic accumulation and fermentation. It is the underlying factors that must be tackled to treat heartburn. This is the only possibility for permanently solve acid reflux and to prevent it from happening again.
About the Author: Jeff Martin is an author of the best-selling e-book, “Heartburn No More- Open The Door To an Acid Reflux Free Life”. To Learn More About His Unique 5-Step Holistic Acid Reflux Cure System Visit:
Heartburn No More
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