FROM OUR EXPERTS
Acid Reflux from Infancy to Adulthood III: Adults This is part 3 of a 3-part series on Acid Reflux. See Part I: Your Baby and Acid Reflux See Part II: Children and Teens GER vs. GERD Gastroesophageal Reflux (GER) is a normal physiological event characterized by the sensation of food coming up the esophagus in the form of a wet burp. Many adults have GER after eating a large meal, drinking a carbonated beverage or eating too fast. GER symptoms may include: o Sour taste in the mouth after a meal o Sensation of food coming up the throat o Burping o Belching o Fullness, bloating On the other hand, Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is the abnormal backwashing of stomach contents and acid into the esophagus causing complications. GERD may cause esophagitis (irritation to the delicate lining of the esophagus), ulcers and respiratory issues. GERD symptoms may include the symptoms of GER plus: o Heartburn/chest pain
As long as there have been illnesses there have been “natural remedies” reported to cure them. This is also the case with Acid Reflux or GERD . There are several items that have been touted as the next remedy for GERD. A few of the most popular include; apple cider vinegar, peppermint tea, papaya enzymes, slippery elm bark and probiotics.
Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is one of the most popular “natural remedies” for GERD. It proponents claim that it will neutralize stomach acid when taken internally. Unfortunately there is no scientific research to back up this claim. In fact, the science would tend to indicate that, at best, it may produce a “placebo effect”. At worst apple cider vinegar could increase the problem because it is highly acidic. The main ingredient in apple cider vinegar is acetic acid which has the potential to damage tooth enamel and burn the esophagus.
Recently there have been a lot of questions posted about the “less common” symptoms of reflux such as chronic cough. It seems as though when people think of reflux they think of the symptoms such as heartburn, nausea, gas and chest pain. But, there are a lot of other symptoms that we don’t think of as reflux and chronic cough is one of them.
Why does reflux cause a chronic cough? The research has shown that when the acid comes up in the throat the esophagus can become inflamed. For some, that inflammation is going to show as pain/heartburn but for others, the body is going to respond to the irritation with a cough. The body doesn’t know what is causing the irritation and it goes about trying to rid itself of this irritation.
Another possibility is that in addition to the irritation in the esophagus, throat and nasal passages, the sinuses can also become inflamed. When this happens, the sinuses may react by producing mucous. The mucous can then ...
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