Saturday, October 18, 2008

Gastric, Gastric Ulcer, Peptic Ulcer, Heartburn, GERD & Homeopathy Treatment

Acidity ; Curable with Homeopathy
Acidity refers to a burning pain in the upper abdominal and chest area. This condition is medically called as Heartburn. It is not uncommon for people to have heartburn episodes but if these attacks occur very frequently they indicate a disorder called as GERD (Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease). This is also called as acid reflux disease. Although many people are able to manage heartburn with lifestyle changes but for those who do not respond and frequently suffer from it, homeopathic medicines can be of great help in curing this disease.

To understand GERD, one will have to first understand how our esophagus (food pipe) and stomach handle food and acid. As the food reaches the lower end of the food pipe, a circular muscle present around the food pipe opens up and allows the food to enter the stomach. Once it enters the stomach, this muscle closes the lower end of the food pipe. This actually behaves like a valve stopping the food and the acid in the stomach from moving back into the esophagus.

In Gerd, this valve relaxes abnormally or weakens, so the stomach acid flows back up into your esophagus very frequently, causing repeated attacks of heartburn. Gerd if left untreated can lead to a more serious complication called as ?Erosive esophagitis?; which in turn can lead to ulceration, bleeding and narrowing of the food pipe.

Symptoms of Gerd are frequent attacks of heartburn. The main symptom of heartburn is burning pain in the lower part of mid chest usually after eating or lying down (as the acid back flow is more while lying or bending over).At times patients may even have vomiting and bitter risings of acids in their mouth. Obesity pregnancy and smoking are factors known which contribute to GERD. Foods that are known to increase the symptoms of heartburn are citrus fruits, chocolate, drinks with caffeine or alcohol, fatty and fried foods, garlic and onions, mint flavorings, spicy foods, tomato-based foods and various masalas.

Homeopathy can be of great help for those who do not show much improvement even after lifestyle modifications. Homeopathic medicines - Iris, Arsenic album and Robinia are the leading drugs in treating symptoms of reflux. Nux Vomica is very effective for those who frequently eat foods that are known to trigger heartburn. It is also used when alcohol is a trigger factor. Natrum Phos is another important medicine which is often used when symptoms of heartburn are accompanied by sour belching and even sour vomiting. These medicines are apt in treating acute episodes of the heartburn; but for treating Gerd permanently, constitutional treatment is required. This kind of treatment is a holistic approach and the prescription is based at the detailed physical and mental analysis of the patient.

Lifestyle changes that can help in reducing the symptoms of reflux are losing weight( if one is overweight), avoiding trigger foods, stop smoking, eating small frequent meals, and avoiding lying down for at least three hours after the meal. Elevating the head of the bed either by adding a wooden block underneath the bed post can be of help

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