digestion

May 5, 2011

Acid Reflux Disease Information

Causes of Acid Reflux

There are many different factors that can contribute to the development of acid reflux disease. If you have this disease, it was probably caused by a combination of issues surrounding your digestive system. Digestion is one of the most important processes of the body. Whenever you eat food, the process begins. Food that is swallowed goes down your esophagus, past the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) and into the stomach. The LES opens and closes to allow food to enter the stomach. If you have a LES that is weak, you may develop acid reflux. A weakened or dysfunctional LES will not close normally. If it remains open, this can permit stomach or gastric acids to go up the esophagus. Other causes of acid reflux disease include pregnancy, hiatal hernia, obesity, diet, behaviors and certain medications like diabetes. Respiratory diseases can also contribute to acid reflux.

Symptoms of Acid Reflux

Heartburn is the major symptom of acid reflux. When stomach acid reaches the esophagus and throat, this causes irritation. Stomach acid is used to break down foods for the extraction of nutrients. This acid is too corrosive for other parts of the body. When stomach acid travels to other areas, this can cause you to feel a painful, burning sensation in your chest area.

Dysphagia is another symptom of acid reflux. This is when you have the feeling that food is stuck in your throat. You may also have difficulty with swallowing.

Regurgitation is also a sign of acid reflux. Food can also escape from the stomach through the LES and into the esophagus, causing discomfort. People with acid reflux disease may feel nauseated and uncomfortable. Nausea is related to another symptom which is excessive burping and vomiting. Wet burps also allow gastric acid to reach the esophagus and throat.

Bloating is yet another symptom. Bloating will cause you to feel pain and fullness in your abdomen. Bloating can trigger chest pain and hiccups as well.

Treatment for Acid Reflux

There are several treatment options for acid reflux. Some treatments are preventative while others offer a solution for acid reflux that is already present. These measures can help to prevent you from developing acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). The easiest ways to combat acid reflux is to have lifestyle changes. You should try not to eat meals right before you go to bed because this increases gastric acid production at a time when your body will be horizontal. In this position, the acid can easily escape through a weak LES and get into the esophagus. Eating smaller meals is best for preventing acid reflux. Larger meals encourage acid production. You should also be careful about the kinds of food you eat. Fattening foods are not ideal. Stay away from caffeine, garlic, onions and alcohol. Aloe juice, water, ginger and papaya enzymes have been known to neutralize stomach acid, promote digestion and reduce the discomfort caused by acid reflux disease.

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February 4, 2011

Stress and Digestive Problems

Stress can cause a whole host of health problems. Stress and digestive problems often go hand in hand, and it goes back to the body’s natural fight or flight response. When in an emergency situation, digestion becomes low on the body’s priority list, which is why things like diarrhea, constipation, heartburn and other problems arise in stressful situations.

Think about what happens to your body in the days and hours leading up to that big presentation you have to give.

  • Did you spend a few extra minutes in the bathroom?
  • Did you pop a few extra Tums to help settle your stomach?
  • Are you feeling the burn hours after the presentation is over?

The problem with chronic stress is that it causes these disruptions on a regular basis, which isn’t healthy. It can wear your stomach lining down, increase acid production and damage your esophagus. That’s why you need to take steps to help your body’s digestion process, and de-stress your life.

First, to help digestion, less is more. By eating less more often you’ll help your body properly handle the amount of food you’ve given it, rather than stressing it out by throwing more than your stomach can handle in the ring. You’ll still get the same amount of food by eating three small meals and two snacks as you would if you ate two giant meals, it’ll just be spread over a longer period, which gives your stomach time to process what’s there.

Second, take steps to lower stress levels in your life. Although some stress has been shown to be good and keep productivity levels high, too much stress can be extremely detrimental to your health. So, reprioritize. You may be concerned about money, relationships, the holidays, work, deadlines, that home renovation that never seems to be done, a death in the family, your kids or any number of problems. But, worrying about them won’t make them better. So, focus on what will make your situation better. If you need help learning some techniques, see someone, i.e. a therapist or counselor. Although you may feel like this adds to your financial stresses and takes time away from your family, it can help you deal with what’s going on, and learn techniques for dealing with future stressors.

You also may benefit from getting a massage. Treating yourself to something like this can help you reduce your stress levels and promote healing in your body if chronic stress has done any damage to your digestive system. Like seeing a therapist, you may view it as a time and financial suck, but it can pay dividends in the long run.

Additionally, you may want to look into adding exercise to your daily regimen. People who exercise regularly are much healthier and are proven to be less prone to stress related illnesses like heartburn and ulcers. So, go for a walk, take up running or tennis, do whatever you can to keep exercise fun and engaging and keep stress at bay.

Stress and digestive problems often go hand in hand. For more information on dealing with stress and helping your body’s digestive disorders heal naturally, visit refluxremedy.com today.

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December 28, 2010

What Can I Eat With a Stomach Ulcer

If you have a gastric ulcer, you might be wondering, what can I eat with a stomach ulcer?

A stomach ulcer happens when the lining of the stomach becomes traumatized or injured in some way. This can be a result of a bacterial infection called H. pylori, stress, smoking, pain killers, or alcohol.

Eating and certain types of food can exacerbate a stomach ulcer and cause additional pain. Some people may find it helpful to watch what they eat if they have an ulcer.

Foods to eat

Certain foods are easier for your stomach to digest and may help make the eating process slightly less painful where an ulcer is involved. Focus on:

  • Whole grain, seedless breads
  • Low acid fruits and vegetables
  • Lean, unseasoned meats like pork, beef and poultry
  • Fish
  • Low fat dairy products in moderation

Foods to avoid

Other foods won’t necessarily cause a stomach ulcer, but they can certainly worsen it, or delay the healing process. Stay away from these types of foods:

  • Fatty breads like croissants
  • Fruits and vegetables that are high in acids, like tomatoes and all types of citrus including grapefruit, oranges and lemons
  • Heavily seasoned foods like beef, pork, poultry and fish
  • Whole milk and dairy products high in fat content

These are difficult to digest and cause the body to produce additional stomach acids to accommodate the digestion process, which can irritate an ulcer

  • Fried foods, like fast food
  • Fatty desserts like cake and ice cream

Things that might help

In addition to what to eat, there are methods you might practice to keep pain at bay when trying to let a stomach ulcer heal.

For example, eat smaller portions more frequently. This keeps your stomach from being bombarded by a huge amount of food, which creates pressure in the stomach and can result in a buildup of acid. This will aggravate your ulcer and cause more pain. Smaller amounts of food helps the stomach?s digestion processes go more smoothly, and can keep pain at bay.

Additionally, try to avoid pain killers. A stomach ulcer can be pretty painful, but taking a pain killer can majorly worsen the condition. Whether it’s an NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) like Ibuprofen or Aleve, Aspirin, or a prescription pain medication, these drugs can inhibit the body’s production of protective enzymes in the stomach, making the lining terribly vulnerable to harmful acids. If you have an ulcer, seriously restrict your intake of pain killers in order to allow your body to heal.

Another way to help an ulcer heal is to reduce your stress levels. While stress hasn’t been proven to cause an ulcer, it is thought to worsen one, by subjecting the already irritated stomach lining to additional acids. If you feel like you’re getting too stressed out, take a walk, add regular exercise to your routine, take a few deep breaths, or enroll in a course on meditation. Practicing a few simple strategies now can help you have a healthier mind and body in the future.

Hopefully by now you understand better what you can eat with a stomach ulcer. If you’d like more information, head over to refluxremedy.com to find out what can cause a stomach ulcer and additional treatment options.

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October 20, 2010

Exercise and Hiatal Hernia

Do you have questions about your hiatal hernia and exercise? If you don’t, you should have. The whole problem with hiatal hernia is the physical stress placed upon your entire torso. A hiatal hernia, as you may well know, creates so much discomfort that it’s almost impossible to even bend over or lie down.

So thinking about exercise isn’t going get you anywhere, chances are that’s the last thing you feel like doing. The catch is . . . ?exercise really is of the utmost importance to reversing and curing your hiatal hernia pain.

So let’s find an exercise you can practice.

As you may already know exercising while lying down isn’t an option. In fact exercising on your back, side or stomach will only force more acid reflux up past your esophagus flap. This flap or Lower Esophageal Sphincter (LES) is really the main problem you’re dealing with.

It’s a mistake to think all hiatal hernias are caused from an acid reflux disease. In fact it’s usually the opposite case. Because there’s so much pressure in your stomach from eating too much of the wrong foods, it piles up and pushes against your esophagus flap.

Lack of exercise makes a hiatal hernia worse and may be one of the root causes in the first place.

Nothing beats going for a walk in the park after eating a meal. If you suffer from hiatal hernia, you really would benefit from exercising more after eating any amount.

So forget about lifting dumbbells, doing sit-ups and somersault, those types of exercise will make your hiatal hernia symptoms even worse than before.

Whatever you do while exercising, avoid putting any pressure on your hiatal hernia area.

Drugs for acid reflux should only be used by a small minority of hiatal hernia cases, and if used, use them only for a short time.

Covering up symptoms is counter-productive for most people, especially if you are capable of doing some simple exercises.

I suggest getting one of those big yoga exercise balls. I personally found this helps stretch the stomach area. You can exercise your abdomen by using the giant ball to arch your back, head over heels.

Another exercise which helps relieve hiatal hernia pressure is jumping up and down. In fact I would suggest a few tools, or toys. Pick up a small trampoline. This works great for people who can’t walk outside for one reason or another.

Living in the Snow Belt makes it hard to get out and having a little trampoline to walk and jump upon is a great way to invigorate digestion.

If you suffer from hiatal hernia, you’ve got to focus on whatever it takes to increase proper digestion.

If you’re really determined to exercise, buy a jump rope. I can’t think of a better exercise for a hiatal hernia.

Probably the easiest exercise for hiatal hernia is walking and there are many other benefits to walking, such as increasing circulation, moving food away from your esophagus, promoting movement of lymph fluid and it also encourages deep breathing. . . plus it keeps you away from raiding the refrigerator-which is the worst exercise you can be caught doing. I know it’s hard to even breathe with hiatal hernia, but when you can, use deep breathing exercises to.

Anything that stretches, creates downward movement and invigorates digestion is highly encouraged.

You were born to heal,

Todd M. Faass?

Health Ecologis

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