GI Distress: GERD

GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux disease) is a chronic disease of the digestive track caused by stomach acid flowing back into your esophagus.  This chronic irritation to the lining of your esophagus causes acid reflux and heartburn. A GERD diagnosis is given when these symptoms occur two or more times a week.

Symptoms of GERD: (from the Mayo Clinic)

  • Heartburn which feels like a burning feeling in the chest and sour taste in mouth
  • Acid reflux: when food or sour liquid is regurgitated
  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty swallowing or feeling of a lump in the throat
  • Sore throat

Risk Factors

  • Pregnancy
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Asthma
  • Diabetes
  • Scleroderma

Self-Care Tips

  • Based upon the risk factors, losing any additional weight will help release pressure on your stomach
  • Avoid triggering substances which may include acidy foods like tomato sauce, caffeine, fried foods, alcohol
  • Eat smaller meals and do not lie down for 3 hours after eating
  • Sleep elevated on a pillow
  • Quit smoking (see last week’s blog for smoking cessation tips)

How Chinese Medicine Can Help:

  • Numerous herbs can help alleviate GERD symptoms.  These include licorice, slippery elm and chamomile.  Call our office for advisement.
  • Acupuncture has been shown to help people with GERD.  A study by Dickman et al (2007) found that electro-acupuncture was more effective than doubling the dose of a conventional proton pump inhibitor (PPI) therapy in reducing the symptoms of heartburn and acid regurgitation.  For a copy of the full NIH report on Gastrointestinal Motility Disorders and Acupuncture in which this study is cited click here: NIH.GERD

At Wildwood Acupuncture Center–we are a family owned medically based clinic who will work in collaboration with other treatments you are receiving to enhance your treatment results.

Call us today to schedule a consultation: 301-530-5308