Supplements For GERD and Acid Reflux
While visiting with friends and family over the Holidays, on two different occasions I'd noticed friends kids keeping food journals. I later learned that both have something called Gerd. Having an interest in supplementation, nutrition, and wellness I was curious and began to do a little research, and it seems to be something a lot of people struggle with. I'd also noticed Dr. Oz has a Gerd Smoothie he recommends people with Gerd drink, and has also recommended some supplements recommendations for Gerd and acid reflux. So in today's post we're going to be talking a little bit about what is gerd, the symptoms of gerd, and how to potentially treat gerd as many people are looking for a way to permanently cure gerd.
What is Gerd?
What is Gerd? Gerd stands for Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease and gerd occurs when stomach acid comes back up the tube which connects your mouth to your stomach, the esophagus. This backwash is what we know as acid reflux and it can irritate the lining of your esophagus, as well as cause problems for your teeth. While many peple manage the discomfort and symptoms of gerd simply with lifestyle changes, others turn to supplementation.
What Are the Symptoms of Gerd?
Those who suffer from gerd can experience a wide array of symptoms, however common symptoms of gerd include a burning sensation in your chest after eating, oftentimes being the worst in the evenings. Other symptoms of gerd include difficulty swallowing, regurgitating food or sour liquids, or feeling the sensation of having a lump in your throat.
Those who experience nighttime acid reflux may also experience a chronic cough, laryngitis, worsening asthma, and disrupted sleep.
What is a Gerd Diet?
Anyone experiencing acid reflux or gerd should definitely visit their physician, but one thing a physician will often recommend is lifestyle changes and changes to one's diet. While those who suffer with gerd are often told to keep a food journal to figure out what foods agitate their gerd, there are some best practices or some foods that are generally encouraged for people with gerd, as well as some foods that are generally suggested to avoid.
As far as foods to avoid on a Gerd diet, these include foods that are high in fats, caffeine, chocolate, onions, peppermint, carbonated beverages, alcohol, and citrus and tomato products.
Foods that are generally recommended for those on a gerd diet include are non citrus and non acidic fruits like bananas, melons, apples and pears. Most all vegetables are recommended as long as they aren't covered in high fat sauces or other irritants like tomato sauces. Eggs and lean meats are encouraged as are complex carbs like oatmeals, whole grains breads, and whole grain rice.
Natural Remedies For Gerd
When it comes to learning more about a condition or illness and solutions, many people seek out natural cures or natural remedies. There aren't really any natural remedies to treat gerd in the senese of "oh just eat a teaspoon or honey" or anything along those lines. We will in the next section cover some supplements that are often taken for gerd and which some gerd sufferers report success with.
When it comes to natural remedies for gerd it's more dietary and some small lifestyle changes that may help. These include things like trying to maintain a healthy weight, keeping a food journal and knowing what foods irritate you and which foods to avoid, eating smaller meals and sitting up longer, and quitting smoking if you're a smoker.
Supplements For Gerd Sufferers
Many people with Gerd turn to supplements and supplementation while seeking relief from Gerd, and some report success with various herbs, roots, and supplements. You should always check with your physician prior to taking any supplements, however some users have reported success using things like Peppermint Oil, Ginger Root, and others. Below we'll touch on some of these...
Peppermint Oil is often used for alleviating colds, headaches, indigestion, nausea, and other stomach problems. Some research, as well as anecdotal reports indicate it could be helpful in improving symptoms for those with gerd. It's important however that you never take peppermint oil at the same time as antacids as it can actually increase the risk of heartburn.
Seeing as how Peppermint Oil has been found to be helpful for some suffering from gerd, Nature's Way offers a similar supplement called Peppermint Soothe which aims to provide users with digestive comfort. Peppermint Soothe contains peppermint along with rosemary, and thyme to help sooth the intestines and the digestive systom.
Ginger Root has historically been used for stomach irritation and especially nausea, and ginger candies are often recommended as a short term measure for pregnancy related morning sickness and nausea. Ginger also has been used to treat other gastrointestinal ailments including heartburn and gerd, and it's thought to have anti-inflammatory properties which may help reduce swelling and irritation in the esophagus.
Another all natural ingredient which is often used by those with gerd is Marshmallow. Marshmallow is a sap like substance that comes from the marshmallow root. Marshmallow has medicinal properties and helps to form a coating over the digestive tract and esophagus which many report helps protect from acid damage. One reviewer of this product noted that she'd suffered from GERD for 20 plus years and has had all types of prescriptions and over the counter products, but after beginning to take marshmallow has only experienced two flare-ups.
We'll have to do a follow up post going into a bit more detail and exploring even more vitamins, herbs, and supplements that may help with gerd. A few others worth mentioning and exploring, but which we won't go into depth into in this post include caraway, garden angelica, chamomile flower, licorice root, lemon balm, milk thistle, slippery elm and turmeric. If you suffer from acid reflux or gerd and have experienced relife taking any of these or other supplements or herbs please drop a comment below the article and share your experience.