Homeopathy approach towards Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

GERD is a chronic digestive disorder where stomach acids back up into the esophagus pipe. Esophagus pipe in usual conditions carries food from your throat to your stomach and when food reaches the stomach the lower end of the food pipe called a lower esophageal sphincter (LES) closes avoiding the food and stomach acidic juices from moving back to the pipe. When this sphincter does not close properly or relaxes abnormally, the food returns to the food pipe (acid reflux) and irritates its lining which further causes sign and symptoms. When experience this type of acid reflux or heartburn frequently more than twice in a week, then it is considered to be GERD.

Causes

  • Abnormalities with lower esophageal sphincter (LES)
  • Eating habits (excess consumption of spicy and acidic foods)
  • Smoking
  • Few medications
  • Hiatal Hernia
  • Stress

Risk factor

Conditions that can increase your risk of GERD include:

  • Obesity
  • Bulging of the top of the stomach up into the diaphragm (hiatal hernia)
  • Pregnancy
  • Connective tissue disorders, such as scleroderma
  • Delayed stomach emptying

Factors that can aggravate acid reflux include:

  • Smoking
  • Eating large meals or eating late at night
  • Eating certain foods (triggers) such as fatty or fried foods
  • Drinking certain beverages, such as alcohol or coffee
  • Taking certain medications, such as aspirin

Symptoms

  • Heartburn, which is a burning sensation in the chest behind the breastbone. It gets worse after eating, on lying down and on bending.
  • Burning in the throat
  • Chest pain
  • Sour, bitter belching or water brash (sudden flow of saliva due to indigestion) from regurgitation of food or sour liquid
  • Sour taste in the mouth
  • Difficulty in swallowing
  • Sensation of a lump in the throat
  • Bad breath
  • Feeling of Abdominal bloating
  • Cough
  • Laryngitis

Diagnosis

  • Barium swallow: After drinking a barium solution, X-ray imaging is used to examine your upper digestive tract.
  • Upper endoscopy: A flexible tube with a tiny camera is threaded into your esophagus to examine it and collect a sample of tissue (biopsy) if needed.
  • Esophageal manometry: A flexible tube is threaded into your esophagus to measure the strength of your esophageal muscles
  • Esophageal pH monitoring: A monitor is inserted into your esophagus to learn if and when stomach acid enters it.

Complications

  • Esophagitis: An inflammation of your esophagus.
  • Esophageal stricture: Which happens when your esophagus narrows or tightens.
  • Barrett’s esophagus: Involving permanent changes to the lining of your esophagus
  • Esophageal cancer: Which affects a small portion of people with Barrett’s esophagus.
  • Asthma, chronic cough, or other breathing problems, which may develop if the person breath stomach acid into your lungs.

Homeopathy treatment

  • The prescription of homeopathic medicine in GERD is based on the current state of the disease, symptoms of GERD, lifestyle, dietary habits, and emotional state of the patient. Hence, it acts on a deeper level and corrects the imbalance in the system.
  • Homeopathy treats the disease at the root and tries to correct the functioning of the digestive system. In turn, it regulates acid secretion and digestion.
  • Initially, homeopathic medicines provide the relief from symptoms, such as heartburn, acidity, chest pain, sour taste, etc.
  • In mild to moderate cases of GERD, it may help to strengthen the muscles of the lower oesophageal sphincter and prevent the backflow of stomach content.
  • If a person is taking antacids for long, over the period homeopathy may help to reduce the dependency on antacids or other conventional medicines.
  • Homeopathic treatment for GERD is completely safe and non-habit-forming. Results in homeopathy for GERD are long-lasting. However, severe cases may require surgical intervention or other treatment.

Homeopathic medicine

 Robinia

Robinia is a top listed medicine for treating GERD. The key indication to use this medicine in GERD is intense heartburn, constant sour belching, and sour vomiting due to regurgitation of acid from the stomach. The symptoms of heartburn and acidity tend to get worse at night time, on lying down and can cause sleeplessness.

 Iris Versicolor

Iris Versicolor is a natural medicine for treating GERD. Sour, bitter belching is the key feature to use this medicine. Vomiting of sour bitter fluid that burns the throat, vomiting with weakness, a smarting, burning sensation in the throat, and heartburn are the key symptoms. There may be burning distress and pains in the epigastric region (the part above the stomach) at frequent intervals. Constant nausea may be present with these symptoms. There is excessive indigestion, and the food is vomited after an hour or so eating a meal. Iris Versicolor is also a well indicated medicine for a headache arising with acidity.

Natrum Phos

Natrum Phos is another prominently indicated medicine for GERD treatment. It is useful when heartburn is attended with difficulty swallowing. Other symptoms include sour belching, waterbrash, and vomiting of sour fluid or cheesy, curdled masses. A lump sensation in the throat may also be present, along with a loss of appetite.

Arsenic Album

Arsenic Album is a medicine for GERD that is accompanied by a burning pain in the throat. The burning gets worse upon swallowing. Swallowing is difficult and painful. Other symptoms include regurgitation of acrid matter, water brash, heartburn, intense nausea, and weakness. Arsenic Album is also a well indicated medicine for inflammation of the esophagus (esophagitis).

Calcarea Carb

Calcarea Carb is a well indicated medicine for GERD where there is a sour taste in the mouth. There is a regurgitation of sour substances with the flow of sour, watery fluid from the mouth. Foul odor from the mouth may be present with nausea. Sour, bitter belches, vomiting of sour, bitter slime (of food eaten), and heartburn are some other symptoms that may be present. The burning from the food pipe extends to the throat. Along with this, continued loud belching may appear especially after eating; with a cough and nausea.

Carbo Veg

Carbo Veg is an excellent medicine for GERD treatment. It is useful when there is bloating along with heartburn. Sour, offensive belching that gets worse after drinking or eating, a burning sensation in the throat and difficulty in swallowing are other symptoms. Even the simplest of food tend to trigger the condition.

Nux Vomica

Nux Vomica is a highly effective medicine for GERD accompanied with a cough. Nux Vomica is one of the best indicated medicines for a gastric cough that gets worse at night time and prevents sleep. Vomiting usually appears from coughing. The throat is sore and raw, and swallowing may be painful. Burning in the throat, especially at night time is present. There is a regurgitation of food with heartburn and sour belching.

 Phosphorus

Phosphorus is a medicine for GERD where there is hoarseness of voice. The hoarseness may be worse during the evening. A hard, dry, racking cough may appear. Gastric symptoms like heartburn, sour belching, sour taste in the mouth, vomiting of food or sour, acidic liquid may also be present.

Pulsatilla Nigricans

It is used in cases of GERD where consumption of fatty food worsens the complaint. Greasy, fatty food like creams, pastries, and ice creams trigger the acid reflux. The symptoms include heartburn and water brash. Belching of food, bitter taste in mouth, nausea and a sensation of having a lump in the throat may be present.

Sulphuric Acid

Sulphuric Acid is a medicine for GERD where intensely sour belching is present. Heartburn, sour vomiting and nausea are other symptoms. The sour vomiting mostly appears after eating.

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