Posted on by Paula Gallagher
In this weekly series, we will look at digestive health and natural approaches to related problems like candida, irritable bowel syndrome, acid reflux, and food allergies. The first issue we will tackle is acid reflux. Acid reflux or heartburn occurs when stomach acid rises up into the esophagus. This results from the lower esophageal sphincter not closing properly. Normally the sphincter closes as soon food passes through it and it should not allow back flow of food or stomach acid. However, when the sphincter either doesn’t close all the way or it opens too often, stomach acid moves into the esophagus causing uncomfortable symptoms. Symptoms can include:
- Chest pain/burning sensation
- Dental erosion
- Difficulty swallowing
- Sore throat
- Regurgitation of food
- Eating large portion sizes
- Lying down right after a meal
- Snacking too close to bedtime
- Being overweight
- Bending forward
- Hiatal hernia
- Peptic ulcers and insufficient digestive enzymes
- Trigger foods – commonly alcohol, black pepper, chili and chili powder, citrus fruit, pineapple, coffee, garlic, spicy food, tea, carbonated beverages, chocolate, fatty foods, tomatoes, vinegar, and foods that you might be sensitive to (commonly dairy, wheat, soy, corn, eggs, and nuts)
- Medications – such as aspirin, ibuprofen, certain muscle relaxers and blood pressure medications
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